We had the good fortune of connecting with Mercy Quaye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mercy, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Earlier in my career, I was so focused on getting to the top of my game that I saved very little, if any time, to root myself and find wellness. All through my 20’s I hustled and worked, and hustled and worked until I had a wellness crash at age 27. I had to take a three-month medical leave to repair. When I came back to work, I realized that working for someone else in a corporate non-profit that didn’t invest a great deal into their employees was never going to be an ideal place to work.
This was a part of the reason that I paid such close attention to the work culture I created at The Narrative Project.
In my company I have a mandatory one day off a month rule so that the team can avoid burnout and understand that we value them. For myself, I schedule two 10-day vacations a year, one day off a month, and try to be tech-free on the weekends. I’m incredibly lucky to have gone through this because now I know what’s most valuable in my life.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Narrative Project started as a conversation platform in 2015, working collaboratively to improve individual and organizational race relations and normalize all intersections of identity. In 2017, TNP solidified itself as a socially-responsible public relations consultancy, offering affordable communications consulting to non-profit and mission-driven organizations throughout the state. Rooted in the belief that no mission is too small to succeed, we’re motivated by the mantra, “communications and justice for all”.
We believe that every cause that seeks to enact positive societal change deserves support and assistance when it comes to achieving their goals. As such, we offer comprehensive communications consulting at affordable and attainable rates. We strive to ensure that a lack of funding and resources never impedes success for any mission-driven organization.
We’re working on creating a model for anti-racist public relations that the field can use to improve the ethics in the field.
The path to this point wasn’t easy. In fact, although I had been consulting under the name The Narrative Project for years and known in the field of journalism for a while, none of that name recognition bled over to the team that I was building. Less than a year after we launched as a formal agency, the pandemic hit and our future was unclear. Now, having made it through successfully, our team has more than quadrupled in size and our portfolio of clients, whom we call partners, has done the same.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Recently I’ve been liking my time at South Bay in New Haven. It’s a new restaurant with an old-school playlist. But some of the best things about New Haven are rooted in the hidden gems. Being able to take a hike and get away from the downtown people. Getting lost in a new read at “People Get Ready” bookstore. And of course, eating your way through some of the lesser-known eateries — New Haven is more than Pizza.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
For a short period of time, I worked as the Director of Communications for the New Haven Public Schools District in Connecticut and I had the pleasure of working with a phenomenal leader — Garth Harries. His was the sort of leadership that asked others to exhibit their own leadership and decide the best strategy forward. With his support, I was able to finely tune my skill set in crisis communications and strategic thinking. In some ways, my drive to launch The Narrative Project was fueled by that crash course.
Provided by The Narrative Project