Latoya Hawthorne, Founder
Latoya Hawthorne, a native of Jamaica, moved to the United States with her family in 1993. Many know her as Latti; a nickname given to her by her mother as a child. She spent the rest of her childhood growing up in suburban Westchester County, N.Y. However, shortly after arriving in the United States, Hawthorne was diagnosed with severe arthritis and spent much of her early years on crutches. She eventually overcame adversity and learned to live with chronic pain, and taught herself to walk without assistance.
Hawthorne went on to study mass communication and advertising, and after years of building her confidence to an all-time high, she entered the dating scene. It wasn’t too long before she fell madly in love with a man she believed to be her soul mate-or so she thought.
Her former boyfriend wanted to take care of her, but under his rules: He wanted her to be a stay at home wife. However, Hawthorne, on the other hand, wanted to be a runway model. Although deep down, she knew she was created for a greater purpose, she eventually compromised to be accepted by the only person she believed loved her. After a few years of catering to his wishes, she decided she wanted more. But her former flame was none too pleased by her independent streak…
Hawthorne endured years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a man she believed to be her “rock.” Brick by brick, the self-esteem she worked so hard to build began to crumble. She tried to run away from the pain, but fell into a downward spiral of drug abuse, leaving her hopeless and desperate for a way out.
Eventually Hawthorne escaped her troubles and followed her dreams, moving to California to pursue a career in the arts. She instantly began modeling and started shooting with some of Southern California’s finest fashion photographers. But it was when she began to explore the other side of the lens, working as an assistant photographer, that she found her passion for the craft. Her confidence and self-esteem returned with a vengeance, motivating her to push herself to the next level: creating A Walking Virtue.
A Walking Virtue celebrates organic and ethical products handmade by women across the globe! A Walking Virtue is created by a collective of young artistic women from Los Angeles, CA, who cultivate healthy relationships through a sisterhood of creativity. In her spare time, founder, Latoya Hawthorne speaks on violence prevention in schools. She empowers young women to build healthy relationships with one another through the arts. By sharing her skills and experiences, she hopes to inspire young women as others have inspired her. Latoya obtained her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies in 2015. Latoya has hopes to travel and help under-served women launch businesses in countries around the world. She spends her leisure time visiting new restaurants, modeling, sewing and volunteering at performing arts schools with at-risk teens. Latoya is a member of the Art Therapy Association. She still resides in California and is currently writing her memoir on overcoming domestic violence, low self-esteem and drug abuse.
Kerry-Ann Ellington, Co-Founder