My friends, I want to start by saying that I do not have all the answers, nor are my words going to be perfect. But this post comes to you straight from my heart and with the sincere hope for long-term change. Starting with myself.
I hope you’ll hear it with a warm heart and an open mind…
As you know, last week marked a week of protests, amplifying Black voices, and spreading awareness about the racial inequality in our country. My heart is heavy to know that my Black friends and the Black community do not experience equal freedoms or treatment. Daily. Yearly. Generationally. In no way is this right or fair.
In this incredible video, Ivirlei Brookes (my business coach) talks about how white people can help fight racism. It’s a powerful message, and the biggest takeaway in my opinion is that the work starts with ourselves, using our hearts, eyes, and voices. In asking ourselves what each of us could have done better. In doing better in the future.
Because one week isn’t enough to create change.
Her message made me realize that silence, no matter how well-intentioned, supports inequality. And I’m afraid that my silence up to this point has helped no one. I have work to do on this, I know that. And yet, this was also the first time I felt like I actually could do something.
I know that many of you feel the same way. In fact, I couldn’t be more proud of how many of you have stepped up — publicly or privately, as a white person or as a person of color — to show your support, listen, and take action in whatever way is most authentic to you.
I am honored to know such goodhearted people, and I know we can create change together.
I am sure you have seen the dozens of books, movies, and podcasts that have been recommended for anyone looking to understand racism and the current system at work. Or people to follow. Places to donate.
If you feel inspired by any of these, by all means, follow that inspiration! I am still learning and exploring these resources myself, so for now, I will stick with what I know: marketing and running a business.
Today, I want to propose a few ways that we can be racially inclusive when presenting our businesses to the world.
Please note that this is not about making a business “look good” or being “up on the times.” It’s about using our voices to see and support other human beings who deserve to be treated like human beings. It’s about inviting everyone to the table AND/OR being okay if they have their own table.
Again, I don’t have all the answers, and I know that the ideas I am proposing today might not move mountains. But maybe, just maybe, they will be part of a ripple effect in the direction of equality. And that is certainly worth a try.
So here goes…
Part of racial equality comes from seeing people of all colors and backgrounds around us. Diversity should feel normal, not like a special occasion or an active attempt at inclusion.
That said, if our marketing isn’t racially inclusive already, yes, we will need to consciously represent other races before it can become an unconscious habit.
That could include sharing racially diverse photos in blog posts or social media posts. If you’re not sure where to find this type of content, these free stock photo resources feature men and women of all different backgrounds:
If you’re an interior designer who blogs for your business, chances are high that you’ve put together a product roundup at some point in your career. Do you know which businesses those products came from? Who owns them? What values do they support? Could you make more thoughtful selections?
What does your inner circle look like? Do you have designer besties? Are there other designers you could invite to the table and cheer on because they are crazy talented, too? This article in Bazaar features several talented Black artists and designers.
If you haven’t already, you could show some support or seek out others with whom you feel a connection and whose work inspires you. Grow your community.
If your design business is growing, why not hire a talented and diverse team? Why not bring more voices to the table and perspectives to the conversation? I know that no one wants to be hired just because of the color of their skin, so that’s not doing anyone any favors. But if you’ve been seeking help in a small pond, consider widening your search!
Well, that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be honest, this was a difficult post for me to write. I am by no means an authority on this topic, but to stay silent would have felt like letting down good people, friends and strangers.
So I hope you got something from this post (even if it’s the courage to find your own voice!), and I hope that you’ll join in trying to make the world a kinder, more equal place — in your unique way.
I believe that life, like home, is meant to be designed. In just 3 years, I built a life I love and a business that supports interior designers across the globe. I’m obsessed with books, a bold red wine, and helping women rise in their power — and I believe that your freedom in business starts here. Read more >>