they | them | shawty | honey
a divine soul. a human. a sibling. daughter. a granddaughter. a friend. a sibling. a community member. a lover. a fighter. an empowerer. a builder. a creator. a weaver. an artist.
Asé and so it is...
About Our Founder
Jaee Honey Sumter
Janae' Sumter as known as Jaee or Honey is a traveling nonbinary practitioner who has a rich background and practice in the realms of Visual Art, Arts Integration Education, Spiritual Narrative Weaving, Dance, Sound healing, Community Event Curating, Creative Life Coaching. and Reiki & Herbal Thai Massage healing within the U.S and internationally.
Jaee is a New Orleans native who obtained their Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College in Studio Art and Master of Art in Integrated Practices focusing on Community Art & Social Justice from Pratt Institute. Honey is a community organizer and cultural bearer who uses many forms of creative modality as a collective altar that channels community empowerment, care, interdependence, legacy wealth building, sustainability, integration, mindfulness, ancestral knowledge, legacy, transformation and the relationship between self & the world around us.
Physically, this manifests through cooking, movement, activism, creative business, archiving, creative writing, dialogic creative workshops, art activations, curating, visual art, curriculum building, travel, cultural storytelling circles, symbolic material public altars, herbal medicine, ancestral knowledge, creative inquiry and real-world skill-based education and energy work.
Energetically, this happens through connection + vulnerability -- unpacking the roots of generational trauma, collective oppression and community separation. Through using these creative practices, we unpack these realities in order to rebirth fertile space to further our understanding of the ways we can accept, challenge, rework and change systems that do not work, while welcoming ideas for new ones that creates innovative guidance towards collective liberation.
As a New Orleans native from a low-income community and single parent household, Jaee’s childhood was filled with a powerful spirit of community, culture, celebration, tradition, southern hospitality, elder stories and creative expression. As a child, they learned how to still have joy even in hardship and the power of community business, celebration, creativity and artistry. They grew up in a city filled with creative entrepreneurship where everyone had a local business and/or some form of outlet that supported community upliftment and resource. They experienced a cultural norm of blended traditions from our native, creole and Afro heritage.
At a young age, Jaee witnessed how their community cared for each other in the best ways they knew and created life from death through dance, drum, chant and cultural foundations such as formal balls, second lines, Black & Indigenous centered parades, crawfish boils, skate night, festivals and block parties. As they experienced the highs, they also experienced extreme lows and injustices as a child that ranged from racial profiling, learning disability, sexual abuse, homelessness, homophobia, gun violence and more... Jaee learned early the importance of understanding minimal resources for abundant solution building, storytelling, expression and creative thinking.
Through those experiences, creative practice supported them as a foundational language for what they were processing. They explored this through dance, music, tie dyeing, cooking, singing, majorettes, stepping, visual practice, swimming and all sports. Through exploring all of those forms, the arts allowed space for them to learn themselves, discover what they love and find community in the most unconventional forms that became their way of understanding their spirituality and connection with their creator. This started early and is still their process as an adult.
As they traveled over the years, they learned of the similar injustices and traditions around the global world that fostered connections between them. Through living in cities such as Houston. Atlanta, New York, California and China, while traveling to Sumter, Thailand, Myanmar, Puerto Rico, Laos and more, they learned and taught a great deal while traveling and working within those communities. Through this, they've explored and learned some of the greatest wisdom from each experience that guides their work within and beyond Sweet Herbal Honey 's Apothecary.
Centering community, cultural, legacy, storytelling and activism guides the principles of Sweet Herbal Honey Apothecary and who Jaee as a human and community member. There is the greatest liberation in individual and collective power.
in understanding ourselves and the legacy were meant to leave behind, no matter how big or small.