Disclaimer: This is not a balloon related post
Truthfully, I haven’t felt much like celebrating. The world has been chaotic. Life has been chaotic. 2020 has been an (insert your feelings here) kind of moment.
I've been pretty much off of social media since CV19 hit. My empath senses were on overdrive and it has been emotionally and physically draining.
However, my story is more than a post and paragraph can hold.
I’m Laureign and I am a Black Female Business Owner.
I don’t talk about that aspect much. I haven’t often felt the need to explain who I am or what I am to anyone. Maybe because it was a state of being that I secretly held in pride.
Or maybe it was because of fear...
For real. I was scared.
When I started Sugargirlee & Co. seven years ago, I wanted people to fall in love with my company, and not fall in or out of love with it, because of who they saw running it.
It saddens me to know that I had entertained these thoughts, but even more so, that over time, I became comfortable in them.
From my childhood - I have always been the "Black Girl" that could fit in with different cultural groups of people with ease. Sleepovers with my Jewish Friends, Baptisms for my Greek Friends, Birthday Parties with my Filipino friends - the list goes on and on.
To me, it was normal to just blend in and "feel" accepted.
Living in my bubble felt good....even comfortable.
In light of the many saddening and hard events that have taken place in the last while, it has really caused me to re-think and reassess everything. The Good, Bad and Ugly. And the truth is, I have experienced all three. And it feels heavy.
For the sake of where this post is, I'll keep my examples related to business.
GOOD: There has been much Good. SO MUCH GOOD. And I will always look back at the blessings and opportunities that this company has had with joy and fondness.
From growing a company with $500 and a dream, working with well known brands and companies to selling our products to retail outlets, we've had some good times.
BAD: Not being confident enough in who I am as a Black Woman to stand in front of the brand I have worked so hard to build. As an introvert, I am not a person who enjoys being at the visual and physical forefront of things. But who I am, matters.
UGLY: I will only mention one instance here for the sake of time!
I was prepping for a private daytime event at a clients home, and my husband often drives me and we'd have our kids in the back. He helps me unload, all is well and I am inside doing what I do best =)
Unbeknownst to me, there is a storm brewing outside.
My darling hubby parked outside (across the street from the residence) and fell asleep, as he was tired from the long drive. He was awoken by a knocking on his drivers side window.
It was a police officer.
As explained by the officer, apparently a "well-meaning" neighbour called the cops as they saw a black man in their area, who they did not know, sleeping in a "nice" car.....HIS car.
I will never forget that day. My client was so hurt for us, she felt horrible.
But for us, it was just another day.
As I look back on to that moment, and others, I think that it further caused me to retreat into my own bubble. Not in a good way. And again, reigniting the flame of fear. And that's not ok.
Over the past week, many of our colleagues have reached out to see how I was doing...or to let me know that they support me/us.
And many of them haven't and that's ok. This is not a moment of judgement.
I know that during this time (and it is my hope) that people are self-reflecting.
Some may be uncomfortable or don't even know where to begin or what to say.
Maybe they fear the judgement that people of color have lived with for a lifetime.
Racism has many layers, some subtle, others not so much. And it's everywhere.
Yes, even in my "bubble"
While I believe it will take time to really work through the many issues that Black People face in our society as human beings, business owners and as a race, what matters is that we have started the conversation. A much needed conversation.
But it's more than an Instagram Post. It's more than a hidden DM.
It's time to Teach. Learn. Heal.✊🏾
As a Black Owned Business, we are working together on our message and resources to reflect change.
It's time for all of us to do some hard work.
I know that I will be doing mine.
With love, understanding & grace🙏🏾
**This is a safe community space. Inappropriate posts will be removed.