Last week and during this time of unrest, I've had the chance to ponder my stance on the issue of race and discrimination against black families here in America. To be honest, I didn't grow up in the USA, and as a woman, POC, and business owner, I've been so preoccupied with the issues that affect me, our artisans, and what happens to immigrants in this country, that honestly, I have not taken the time to fully learn about other issues.
I understand it is not enough to say I stand with you, or I hear you. It is not enough to let it be someone else's problem, or I'm not part of the problem. When I expect someone else to fix it, then, yes, I am part of the problem.
I have been taking the time to watch videos, listen to podcasts, read articles and learn more about black history and black communities in America. Educating myself on the systemic problem of police brutality and the corrosive role that racism plays in our society. All I can say is, I am so sorry that black children, men, and women, still have to deal with inequality and racism.
Instead of posting irrelevant content, I wanted to soak in more and learn more. I have looked at my own POC privilege and honestly, even as a tiny brand, we can do something about it; to make our world and community better. It is going to be a process, nothing changes overnight, of course, but we can take little steps, ours may be micro steps, but we will do our best, not just this week, or next, but every single day! For other small shops that are struggling with what to do, here is our list:
1. We are adding a permanent resource list under our bio Link Tree, it will stay there for anyone to access at any time.
2. Donate and champion a charity that aligns with your goals, here are three of them that align with our Mission and that we have already donated to:
3. We will seek more black artists and small shop black owners to collaborate with. We have not actively done this because we usually get invited to join other shops. This will change. If you know of any shops that we can collaborate with, please help us out, DM us some names. Please note, as a small shop we don't send free products, but we have a loaner program in place for shops. If you have a shop, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if the product you sell is a good fit for us we will be happy to do a collaboration.
4. If you are a black parent and you own our products, please share your photos using the hashtag, #mikoleonkids and we will be sure to better showcase the diverse customers we have.
5. Last, we will make our feed more inclusive. We do two photoshoots a year and we invite models to be part of it. In the past, my grandkids have been my models, I won't stop this practice, however, I will make sure that we increase our inclusivity of POC models.
Thank you for reading our message, thank you for having patience with us while we change, and thank you for supporting our artisans!