We created Seeing is Believing, a personalized book that incorporates a child's own photo into the story and is designed to help little children, and especially little girls, overcome gender bias and stereotypes. Kids will have the chance to literally see themselves in fifteen diverse careers, ranging from astronaut to firefighter and nurse to elementary school teacher, empowering them to chase their own dreams regardless of sex or identity.
Women are sorely missing from media and literature as strong figures in their own stories, and when little girls don't see themselves in the picture, they can’t imagine the possibilities that are open to them. We see the direct effects of this when we look at how few women are at the top.
We know that we need more equality and better representation for women in almost every field, and one of the most immediate changes we can make is to offer our young girls a better mirror through books and media. Not only will this encourage them to dream bigger and reach for what they really want in life, it will give them the tools to fight back when peers or other adults underestimate them because of their gender or objectify them. It will show them that there are more important things than their looks. It will keep them safer as they learn about their agency and their ability to fight back. And it will bring more female voices to the table.
Gender stereotypes don’t just hurt girls! It’s time we recognize how limiting they can be for everyone. When little boys are told to “be a man,” they learn to ignore their emotions and to be stoic at all costs. That message is clear. Do not care. Do not cry. Be tough. This robs our boys of the chance to develop deep and profound relationships. It prevents them from understanding and processing their feelings. It enforces toxic masculinity and encourages boys to solve their problems with physical violence. And it leaves boys who fall outside of traditionally male fields of interest (like athletics) to feel as if they are somehow less than.
Unlike many other personalized books, we have not created one version for girls and a different version for boys. All children will receive the same book— same storyline, same colors, same message. We have purposely used a diverse list of careers that are often stratified by gender so that boys and girls have a chance to see themselves in new and engaging ways. Just like girls need the opportunity to picture themselves as leaders or in STEM careers, boys need the ability to see themselves in care-taking roles or working in the arts, allowing them to redefine what success and happiness can look like for a man.
It is our strong belief that seeing themselves in varied and interesting careers will help children internalize the message that they can be whoever they want to be, regardless of sex or gender. We hope that children will find the courage to embrace the future they want, a future that is not limited by the expectations of others, and that this will spill over into their lives, magnifying their confidence and encouraging them to pursue their dreams.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have family members they actually like, let alone family members they like to work with! We hit the jackpot there. Our team is made up of a mother and two sisters, and while we don't agree on everything, we sure have fun together.
Sandra, our mother, is the artist in the bunch. She's always created in different mediums: paper, weavings, paintings. One of our fondest memories involves sitting at the kitchen table playing with the stacks of paper dolls she made us when we were children. She's been bringing our books to life in her studio in San Francisco. Altana has the mind for business, and she's the one who's figured out how to pull this project off. She signs contracts like a boss, and she also runs her own metalsmithing and jewelry design business in Oakland. Cassandra is the one with the vision and the two cheeky small children who make every business meeting feel a little bit more like a playdate. She believes that life can be (and should) be beautiful, and she is passionate about leaving the world a better place.
There’s no crowd-funding without the crowd! Please share our project with your friends and family and follow us on our journey!
Believing takes people who have your back and encourage you to dream, even when it seems impossible. We would love to thank the incredible community of creators here in the Bay Area who helped us pull off this expansive project. Media Kitt, Isara Krieger, Slice of Love Photography, Katie Prodoehl, Marisa Williams, Kim Fleming, and Renaissance Center: you have our undying gratitude! You have all made this so much more enjoyable and rewarding. Thank you for your professionalism, expertise, and time. xx
Risks and challenges
All Kickstarter projects come with their share of unpredictability, and ours is no exception. There are many moving parts when printing a personalized product, meaning there is more room for error. However, we have spent countless hours going over the details of our operation to make sure that we are knowledgeable and prepared for the challenge! We have established relationships with reputable vendors, identified every step of the manufacturing process, created a realistic timeline, and sought out experienced, local business advisors as mentors.
Our largest expected risk is that exceeding our goals could slow down our delivery timetable, but we have purposely padded our scheduled delivery dates in the hope that we will be able to pleasantly surprise you all.
No matter what happens, we promise to be totally upfront and keep our backers updated. Honesty and integrity are important to us, and we pledge to always behave in a way that shows that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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