Let’s start a conversation
I hope you are all well.
Wow it has been an intense few months, I am sure you are all feeling it.
With the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. I have been looking within myself, questioning myself and having conversations with myself. In more ways than one!
‘Lock down’ in London has been surreal, I have however grown to enjoy my own company more and more, listening and making regular me time.
I am looking forward to holding my friends and family one day soon tho.
The BLM moment opened up my eyes, wider than before regarding the racial imbalance, with the death of George Floyd in the US and following protests around the world. I am a white women, I am now realising not being racist is not enough, I am starting the journey of re education myself, anti racist is the only way forward.
I am my brand, I believe in the stories and messages within my products. I believe each person has they own relationship with themselves my wearable pieces are a reminder to build that relationship and relationships with others.
I believe in unity.
In working together for a greater good.
But I also believe that you cannot do any of this without looking after yourself and taking care of yourself. Me time is SO important in our busy lives and these intense times.
That is where my wearable reminders come in.
You can see more about them on my Shop page.
I have been finding a lot of information on social media, mainly Instagram regarding all the above topics. It is a great starting point to help you explore information.
This is where I was introduced to Jenny and her work @mindthecork
When the BLM movement exploded over social media this week, personal stories were being shared, my reaction was to dive in.
When I read Jenny’s story I had many feeling running through my head, mainly of upset and anger regarding the hateful comments and that this is a part of life for Jenny because of the colour of her skin. But also because of this her beautiful relationship with herself and her work. There is more to Jenny that her black skin, but that is a beautiful part of her and the journey that has shaped her to where she is today.
Jenny has kindly given me permission to share these words with you all:
My name is Jenny Espírito Santo, I am the owner, designer and Jill of all trades here at @mindthecork
I AM BLACK.
You know that – We’ve probably met at craft markets, design shows, open studios, social media, maybe we’ve studied or worked together.
If you know me, you’ll know that I love design, plants and fashion. You’ll know that I am optimistic, love starting projects, and collaborating with others but am terrible at turning up on time… and get easily distracted.
You might even know that I have watched Alien and Jaws (and all the zombies) more times than it’s cute to count.
What many of you don’t know is that throughout my life…
– I was called ugly blackie
– I was told to get back in my cage
– I was told to go back to the jungle
– I was met with surprise when I had top grades in school
– I was asked if I understood English
– I was told in disbelief “Oh, I didn’t know black people could tan!”
– I was suspended from school because I got angry when a classmate called me nigger in class in front of the teacher, whose only reaction was telling me not be offended – “He means nigger in a cool way”
– I was (and continue to be) confused by other Black women far too many times.
– I could go on… Some of these happened when I was a kid, and some happened as late as last year, in London, by people supposedly surrounded by diversity.
Unfortunately, some of it formed my perception of myself for a long time. I have mostly recovered.
I AM BLACK.
I AM PROUD.
If it doesn’t make sense to you for someone to be proud of their race, of the colour of their skin, it’s probably because you’ve never had to use your skin as an armour.
MY BLACK SKIN IS MY ARMOUR
It has many scars but it’s strong and beautiful.
It protected my heart and my mind from hate. For that, I will always be proud.
I am a loving person
I am a tough cookie
I am a beautiful soul, however imperfect
I will always have your back, my friends, but you might have to wait 15 minutes
I will try never to lose hope – in you, in myself, in all of us
I will always try to love myself
My name is Jenny Espírito Santo.
I AM BLACK.
And I am everything else that makes me, ME.
So, see ME.
Jenny Espírito Santo
Head of Creative
Thank you for being you Jenny. You can see more about Jenny and her work on the links above.
I want to start conversations through my blog and my social channels with YOU.
What makes you, you.
My aim is to help you to discover and look into yourself by hearing about other peoples journeys, starting conversations with yourself, people around you. In turn discovering some fantastic female lead businesses.