Inspired by her daughter, one mom creates party supplies celebrating children of color
If you ever wanted to see the mantra “create the things you wish existed” come to life, look no further than a Florida mom’s diverse and beautiful party supplies.
Lynnette Abbott, the event planner behind Craft My Occasion in Miami, was disappointed when looking for party supplies for her daughter’s birthday party. Like many girls her age, 5-year-old Anyah wanted a mermaid themed birthday party. But while shopping Abbott didn’t see any supplies that represented her daughter or kids of color. That’s the moment that sparked her. She needed to create diverse party supplies. And her idea was born.
Abbott’s first design is a mermaid of color with curly hair. The hair was especially important to her. “Hair is always a topic when you’re talking about people of color,” she tells HuffPost. “Most mermaids have long, flowing hair which is beautiful, but I wanted her to have hair that basically looked like my daughter’s hair.”
Her daughter gushed over the design. “She absolutely loves the mermaid. She just keeps saying, ‘she looks like me,'” Abbott tells Scary Mommy. And this right here is why representation matters. She looks like me.
Abbott says her company is dedicated to “giving our children positive imagery of themselves, which in turn impacts their self-image,” in a Facebook video. “I think it’s important to provide young girls with characters that are created in their own image, they want to belong, so they’re constantly looking for examples they can relate to.
Abbott is working with graphic designer Ana Rako to have her ideas illustrated. It’s clear the two are creating magic with this project.
Her first mermaid collection includes cups, plates, balloons, and backdrops done by three manufacturing companies. Additionally, the mom of two has launched a Kickstarter campaign and hopes to raise $20,000 to produce the first batch of mermaid supplies (she currently has samples only). At last check she is at around $3,000 and has a little less than a month to reach her goal.
She says she’s confident that she’ll reach her Kickstarter goal because the response has been amazing. “Moms are in awe and totally falling in love with our Mermaid Collection,” she says. “They all agree that it’s about time, it’s long over due.”
Abbott’s vision doesn’t end with the mermaid collection, she has designs for a pirate collection and a superhero collection (with boy and girl characters). She knows the importance of representation, and hopes to empower children and families through her work of making diverse party supplies.
“My goal is to expand distribution so that every child of color, and their families, can easily access party supplies that were created in their image,” Abbott says.
It’s clear that her project is about more than supplies, it’s a labor of love with a deep sense of positive purpose.
She writes on Kickstarter, “I want my daughter, and every brown little girl on this planet to feel beautiful, acknowledged and loved each time they look at our party products and see themselves smiling back.”
“Collectively, we will empower children of color all over the world. This is more than party supplies, it’s a movement!”
In the spirit of party supplies and celebration, we say cheers to that.