I’m pretty sure I hadn’t even wiped the sonogram goop off my belly before I rushed to Benjamin Moore, Ikea, and Kids ‘R Us to pick out paint colors, furniture, bedspreads, and doll babies for my unborn baby, who’d happily opened wide to reveal herself a girl. I was on a mission; I needed lime green and hot pinks and a tidbit of yellow, a natural-colored crib, bed, and glider, and, to set the nursery off, something to hang up on the walls that would reflect the pretty little chocolate child who’d soon be making her debut. Finding a crib set and bed sheet with lime green and hot pink was hard enough (everything was either pink or blue—so uninspired and blah), but finding art with brown babies on it? Impossible. There was nothing. Zip. Nada. Everything with pictures of babies on them—from the framed wall art to the baby frames to the crib sheets to the growth charts and burp clothes—featured white babies. Which I guess was fine for parents who were having white babies. But this was so not going to work for my brown baby’s room. I wanted—needed!—her to see her beautiful, brown self reflected in her love-filled room. I owed her that much.
I ended up making a border of picture frames filled with pictures of her family on the wall next to her crib. But I thought it perfectly ridiculous that not one of those baby stores thought it important or practical to stock baby items with brown children on them—even though African American moms stand at the ready, fists full of cash, to decorate their nurseries in a way that reflects their families—just like any other mom excited about creating a warm, welcome environment for her child.
Almost 10 years later, it’s still tough for us African American moms to find room décor featuring black babies and kids. But one mom, Kisha Holt, is on it. Her new boutique, Kisha’s Kids, is a beautiful online store for African-American babies and children, in which she carries contemporary and vintage-inspired, high-quality kids accessories and toys featuring images of brown kids. Her motto, “See yourself! Be yourself!” is reflected in practically every item with images on them—little brown boys are dressed up life firefighters on canvas wall art and area rugs; little brown ballerinas and mermaids twinkle on picture frames, tote bags, clocks and growth charts. Artist Lizzy Rockwell created the vibrantly juicy original illustrations on Kisha’s Kids products—images that’ll allow our kids to imagine, explore, and play in living color.
Kisha is quite passionate about her mission, too. “Everything I sell is personal to me,” she writes on her website. “But it is also about your family and your need to teach our kids to be proud and find beauty in what makes us different.”
Next spring, Kisha’s Kids will expand it’s merchandise to include quality décor products for Hispanic, Native American and Asian children.
So, are you feeling lucky today? Because Keisha is going to hook up a lucky MyBrownBaby reader with a set of personalized frames—one of a brown baby in a stork, one of a brown boy swishing a basketball into the net, and one of a brown ballerina on pointe. All three will be just waiting for the perfect picture of your perfect little one. Yup.
Want the Kisha’s Kids hook-up? Here’s how you get your chance to win: Visit the Kisha’s Kids website, then come back to MyBrownBaby and leave a comment about your favorite item by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 11, 2009.
Want to enter more than once? Boost your chances of winning by completing one or more tasks on this list:
If you haven’t already, sign up for MyBrownBaby’s email updates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 11, 2009. To be eligible, you must verify your email subscription when Feedburner sends you a verification email. Your entry will be invalid if you do not verify. If you would prefer to get MyBrownBaby updates via an MBB RSS feed, please leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so, and include an email address, as RSS subscribers are anonymous.
Order one or more items on Kisha’s Kids online boutique, and email a copy of your confirmation order to email@example.com.
Blog about MyBrownBaby and post a link to your blog entry here.
Fave MyBrownBaby on Technorati. After you do this, come back to MyBrownBaby to leave a comment with your Technorati user name so that I can verify it.
See? That means each of you can receive up to 5 entries. A winner will be chosen via Random.org, and contacted via email. This contest is available to U.S. mailing addresses only; prizes will be sent directly from the contest sponsor.
Well, go ahead—what are you waiting for? Those frames are begging for your cutie pie’s pictures!