Asmeret Berhe, born to parents who were politically active during the war, moved from Eritrea to just outside of Stockholm when she was very young. She came to the United States to study finance, but quickly changed field to design, arts and fashion. Years later she moved to New York permanently to put her drive and creative mind to work. Her widespread upbringing is a constant influence on her life.
Asmeret is passionate about social justice and is enthusiastically involved in organizations that work towards achieving equality. One of the projects she’s working on is called One Love Community Fridge, a community-based response to the long lines at food banks that began when Covid-19 infected thousands of New Yorkers.
“I'm focused on building One Love Community Fridge, a social impact project. Healthy Food is a human right. The project is a purpose-driven community initiative that supports community fridges, local businesses and farmers. We address immediate hunger needs and work to minimize food waste while building on our long-term goal to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and fresh food. I hope it will inspire even more people to get involved.”
Other projects include Phenomenal Girls Club, which aims to instill confidence and leadership skills to young girls of color through the use of exploration, collaboration and mentorship. She also works with Shoe 4 Africa because she strongly believes in their mission: Donations go towards providing health care and education and have been significant enough to open the first hospital in East Africa.
We admire Berhe for her inspiring work, and got the opportunity to talk to her about life priorities, balance and challenges this past year.
Hi Asmeret, thank you for taking your time to catch up with us – tell us a bit about who you are and what you do? – My name is Asmeret Berhe-Lumax. I'm the founder of One Love Community Fridge, I’m a mother, a wife, a fashion and beauty executive and an entrepreneur.
Is there anything special you have realized about the world this past year? – Fragility, Honesty, Resilience. We are all one and more interconnected than we ever thought. We need more people to value and balance individual freedom in respect to responsibility to our communities. While this past year brought pain, anger, challenges, uncertainty and showed ugly, it also unveiled long hidden inequalities, and brought accountability and responsibility to people's door steps. It forced the whole world to take a stand. In all the pain, I also both witnessed and experienced so much beauty, resilience, strength, community and love.
And what have you realized about yourself? – This past year made me realize and appreciate the complexities in me as well as my determination and strength. Most surprising though, of all the things, was probably that I'm a great driver and dog person.
Is there a book/movie/album that has been a big part of who you are today? – There are several books, films and songs that are a big part of who I am today. At this moment, I'm excited about the book Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenny Wortham because I'm sharing it with our daughters and it represents yesterday, today and tomorrow.
What’s next for you in your life/career? – My life continues to evolve. I continue to search for balance. Right now, I'm focused on guiding our daughters and giving them real world examples of how a confident, caring woman looks like. I want to show them that it's possible to be empathetic and kind while ambitious and goal oriented.
If you would change career, what would that be? – Nothing I have ever done has been a linear path. I'm constantly evolving and learning. Somehow, everything is still always connected and has led me to this exact place where I am and I needed to be today. The constant in my path has been identity and advocating for change and equality.
What do you spend too much time on? – Thinking.
And what do you wish you spent that time on? – Farming.
What do you always carry with you? – My love for family and our community.
Follow One Love Community Fridge's instagram account here
Shop Berhe Lambswool V-Neck here