In early 2018, I was inspired to write a children's book after an experience I shared with my 4 year old daughter Autumn. She is the inspiration and the charge for many things I do in life, including cutting my hair.
One weekend Autumn watched me straighten and style my natural hair and told me she wanted "princess hair" like mine. I immediately told her that I liked her hair and that she had her own "princess hair"; but deep down, I knew that she would continue to compare and prefer my straight styled hair to her own curly 'fro. This moment struck me like I was anticipating its arrival. As a Mother to a little black girl, I felt compelled to be Autumn's mirror, and I knew she needed to see herself in me.
Just Like Me is simply a children's story about a little girl who wants to have princess hair like her Mommy, but to her surprise, her Mommy instead chooses to have princess hair like her.
This story is also about the decisions parents face when raising their children, and how our choices are much more impactful than the words we speak.
Finally, this story is a reminder to women and girls everywhere that hair love is important, but one's beauty and confidence emanates from within.
I joined Kickstarter to help me raise funds to publish our story as a children's picture book. Receiving Kickstarter funds will allow me to pay for illustration for the story, cover expenses related to publishing and cataloging, and finally, launch the release of the book online and in print at a local independent bookstore in Washington, DC.
Just Like Me will be illustrated by author and illustrator Ariel Mendez. Ariel is a Latina woman, and fellow Mom friend with a passion to add diverse stories to children's literature. Representation and diversity in print and imagery are very important to me, and so I'm proud to be partnering with Ariel and contributing this work to The Story Movement. You can follow Ariel's newest project Fear And A Friend on social media @arielmwrites and @thestorymovement.
Budget Breakdown: $3,500 Goal
Kickstarter Fees $350
Independent Bookstore Publishing $600
Kickstarter Gifts & Shipping $720
The story is complete. Next, it will be illustrated, and the sketch process for illustration has already started. I hope to have a draft complete by the end of the campaign. After that, it is my goal to have the book available for online orders and printing by the holidays. In 2019, I hope to start the process to publish the book in a local independent and/or retail bookstore.
The point(s) of it all...
First and foremost, I want to raise my beautiful black daughter to know that she is and always will be enough. I want to instill confidence in her by teaching her that she is beautiful by design and her features are a work of divine artistry. I also want her to know that her physical differences should be celebrated.
The same values I want to share with Autumn apply to all children. Cookie-cutter's are out! True beauty is not measured by temporary features; nor by mainstream media's limited beauty standards imposed on society in a handful of images. Beauty is diverse and anyone can wear a crown! And children, especially black children who are underrepresented and misrepresented, will know this more and more when they see themselves in a variety of imagery.
In writing this story, I also want to empower parents, but specifically Mothers, who daily walk the line between teaching and setting an example for their children. Parenting is not easy and there will be tough choices. I'm here to encourage us to continue BEING the example as much as possible. We won't get it right every single time, but as long as we know they're watching, we have to keep trying!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge will be managing the timeline for producing hard-copy books. I am still researching and learning how to self-publish and market with an independent bookstore. If my suggested timeline is not fulfillable, I will be updating supporters by email. This is my first Kickstarter campaign and I'm very eager to finish this project entirely in time for the holidays so that the book can find its way into a child's hands as a great holiday gift!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)