I always love to meet moms who are all about giving our kids positive self-images. Black children need to see themselves in books, clothes, television, movies, and more. And so do black women.
Kimberly Seals Allers: In fact, the lack of "mocha-flavored" images and slogans was one of my primary motivations for launching my maternity T-shirt and Mocha Baby onesie line three years ago. And it's also why I just love Kisha's Kids. The founder, Kisha Holt, is a former school teacher and dynamic mother of four, ages 10, 7, 3, and 1, who had her own challenges finding brown-skinned ballerinas, fairies, and firemen when she tried to decorate her children's rooms. By the time her last child was born, Kisha said enough is enough and decided to provide what she could never find. While she was a teacher and reading specialist in Newark, New Jersey, among other places, she saw firsthand the issues of low self-esteem and self-worth that can plague our children, and became a firm believer in the power of seeing positive reflections of brown faces in everyday items and goods.
The slogan at Kisha's Kids -- "See yourself! Be yourself!" -- is evident in all the fabulous products offered, like the black fairy handcrafted 100% wool rug, featuring Nicole the Good Fairy. Or the black fireman rug, named after Kisha's three-year-old son, Jayse. "I think of the site like a Pottery Barn or Bellini, but with brown skin images," Kisha says. In addition to the rugs, I also love the growth charts and the canvas wall art featuring adorable brown boys and girls, all hand-selected by Kisha, who spent over a year researching every aspect of her products and business before launching the site in October 2008.
But what I love most is the positive impact these items have had on Kisha's own children. "With things like the Disney princesses and all the Hannah Montanas out there, my own daughter would often wish her hair was straight, or I would notice that she never drew or colored in brown princesses. I would say, 'This is great, sweetie, but let's make her look like you,'" Holt says. Now Kisha's message of loving yourself in all your brown glory is really penetrating at home. "Recently, my daughter told me about a young black girl who was complaining about her hair, and my daughter was actually the one telling the little girl how beautiful she is and how beautiful her hair is. I was so proud. It was like a full-circle moment," she says.
Every black mom could benefit from the high-quality, African-American kids' décor products at Kisha's Kids as we work to raise confident, self-assured kids and add some modern style to their bedrooms. Hey, every little bit helps.
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|