Thursday, May 1, 2014

SPOTLIGHT: Beautiful Me

Hello Readers... Please help me welcome our newest friends and supporters: 

The Bjork Family

    creators of:

CC&S:  Alright ladies & gentlemen, let's get comfortable and make sure you have your favorite drink within reach.  I know I do. Now, let's get to know our new friends and creators of this amazing line of shirts "BEAUTIFUL ME".  

     Meet my new friend Danielle Bjork!  Danielle, tell us how and when did you meet your other (better) half? :) 

     BM: I met my wonderful Caucasian husband at our church youth group. We had mutual friends that introduced us. After about a year of being friends we began to date, and after 4 1/2 years of dating we got engaged and 5 months later we got married. I'm happy to say that we will be celebrating 11 years of marriage in just a few days!

CC&S:  WOW, well congratulations and happy 11th anniversary are in order!! My husband and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary next week, so I can relate to that amazing feeling!! :) 

I want to know more, so let's continue, Danielle, together for 11 years.. how many beautifully blended children do you have? 

     BM:  We have 4 beautiful bi-racial children: 
            Destiny is 9 and will be 10 this year
            Danay is 7
            Demi just turned 5
            ...and we finally got our boy! Derek aka, Bubba will be 3 next week

CC&S: what a blessing.. four children with approximately two years in between each.. what can you tell us about them? are they all different?

     BM: Destiny is a studios, smart and a personable little girl who loves her family, friends and horses. She will go out of her way to make someone smile!

     Danay is our little social butterfly. This smiley thing can and will make a friend everywhere she goes. She is outgoing and extremely friendly, and has a smile that will light up a room.

     Demi is the brains of the operation. "Mimi", we call her, can often be seen reading or putting together puzzles. This itsy bitsy beauty has a breath taking smile and infectious laugh, but spends a little time with her and you will quickly see that she's a sharp little thing.

     Derek, aka Bubba is a 2ft, 25lbs ball of energy. He can go! and go! and go! The only thing we've found to slow him down is an episode of Thomas the Train- or Thomas the Twain as he calls it. He loves helping his daddy fix things around the house, and playing with his sisters.

CC&S: It's amazing to see how all our children can so different .. and don't think that we didn't notice that all of their names start with the letter "D".  :) 

Tell us how did "BEAUTIFUL ME" came to life? 

     BM: Beautiful Me was first thought of when my oldest daughter, who was in Kindergarten at the time came home with the question " Why don't I have yellow ( blonde) hair".  I explained to her that her hair was just the way God wanted it to be an that it is beautiful. I have since taught her, and my other children to see the beauty within themselves regardless of any differences. Through teaching them, I began to think of all the other little girls who might not see the beauty in their differences or quirks. Because of this, we launched Beautiful Me last October as a way to help build self esteem and worth in girls of all races, sizes, walks of life or cultural backgrounds.

CC&S:  Yes, as a mother I can relate to such incidents, I remember when my son told his daddy (during kindergartner year) that he didn't want to be "brown", he wanted to be "white" like mommy.  It was a hurtful thing for my husband to hear but it became clear to us that even at that age, children do face discrimination from their own peers (and sometimes adults).   That was one of our biggest struggles as parents, what has been your biggest struggle?

     BM: The struggles of raising bi-racial children are trying to find places where they will be accepted and not  discriminated. Places such as school, church and social interactions. All are thought through carefully. Another struggle is the questions about the differences that they notice.
     My husband and I work hard to manage these struggles by being positive about life and the uniqueness in which God created all of us. To help them not focus on the color of anyone's skin, but like the late Dr. King once stated,  " When all men will be judged by content of their character..." which is the true essence of who we are.

CC&S:  YES, I repeatedly tell them that they are beautiful and smart.  I invested a great deal of time and money trying to obtain items and ideas that could help them understand the different colors and cultures and how the world is more fun because we are all different.  

This ONE book that truly helped my son Little B was "I AM MIXED".  As he read the book, it reminded him that he was the perfect mixture of "Mommy and Daddy", he has daddy's height while having mommy's curly hair.. Now, my son is about to turn 8 and I think he feels pretty good about his physical appearance (of course now he wants muscles like daddy).. what about your little ones?  Do you see any change on how they feel about themselves? 

     BM: My girls are still very young but I think the ground work has been laid for them to understand that they are uniquely beautiful. That God's thumbprint is on each of us so we can't compare or judge our self to anyone. My girls can now find BEAUTY in anyone despite differences in height, features, complexion or hair texture.

CC&S:  That's fantastic!!  How do you continue to encourage them? 

     BM: By loving myself, By me being comfortable in my own skin. This isn't easy even for adults we are so quick to want to look like the people we see on TV or in magazines. The best way I can continue to help my children is to keep loving myself and be an example worth following.   It's an ongoing process to teach them to love what they see in the mirror. as a mother we have the responsibility to speak life into our children. I think the  biggest challenge as a mother is continuing to stay positive despite all the other stuff going on in your life. We get one chance to get this right. Encouraging words go a really long way.

CC&S:  I absolutely agree, it is no secret to anyone here that my mother was tough on me and the way I looked, always relaxing my hair, always telling me I needed to be skinnier.  Those kind of things are harmful to a child and can follow them through adulthood.  Because of my daughter I had to learn how to love me for me, curly hair and all.   I learned from her mistakes and I try my best to stay positive and definitely try for my children to be positive (sometimes my son gives me a run for my money though.. :) ).  Being a parent is not easy, this is a lifetime job we accept gladly but unfortunately, it does not come with an instruction book, what would you say to a "parent-to be" or a new parent"??

     BM: My advice to a new parent of any child bi-racial or not, would be to remind them constantly that they are beautiful, special and unique. That they are LOVED by Mommy and Daddy but most of all by GOD!

CC&S:  beautiful words!  Now, I love your shirts.. "Beautiful Me- I am that girl".. simple but powerful message, who's idea was it? 

     BM: Our shirt design is simple, we want every girl to feel special, unique and most of all BEAUTIFUL! For every girl to be able to stand with confidence and say I am beautiful...Beautiful Me

CC&S:  Where can we find these shirts? 

     BM: Currently our shirts can be purchased through our store on our FB page but we are working very hard to have our Website running soon!