This post is late in coming because, I had to get my words together. I wanted to make sure that I was completely honest and transparent, as is my way. I also wanted to make sure I conveyed the gravity of this project in a way that did not diminish my intention or its goal. Can we talk?
As you know, I'm a Black womxn. I can add other labels to that description, but Black womxn is sufficient right now. Being a Black womxn is no easy task. And I don't have the time or space to write about what that means, because whole volumes of literature already exist chronicling our struggles and triumphs, our obstacles and victories, our beauty, fragility, and strength. Black womxn, as Mama Zora Neale Hurston has so eloquently stated, are "the mules of the world". Beasts of burden whose needs are often neglected, even by themselves.Though I am a writer of sorts, I'm a creator, and as a creator, I wanted to pour into my sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, Big Mamas and the like from the fruit of my creativity. In my mind, the gift set would include a hand painted journal, a small painting, some pens, and a card. Small, but intentionally loving and intimate without being obnoxious.
It goes without saying that I love journals. I've written about that before. I believe in the power of a journaling practice, and know that in times like these, when it seems like the world is on fire, a few minutes of solitude can make a huge difference in ones mental and emotional health, and spiritual growth. I played with the idea of giving away journals during Black History Month, but I didn't know how best to go about it. I'm super shy, and sometimes, sending an unsolicited message from my business account is unnerving because I don't want anyone to think I was a scammer. So I waited. And a beautiful sister, who unknowingly did the work of Spirit, asked if she could anonymously donate a journal to someone in need. The answer to Spirit is always Yes.
The first phase of The Crown Initiative worked like this. Clients purchased a $45 gift card. With the purchase of that gift card, they were able to send a gift to someone they cared about and keep the gift card for themselves. I thought this would be a great introductory offer, to help get some traction behind the idea. I get to send love to my sisters, a client gets to send love to someone they care about, and in doing so, they also get a gift card for a future purchase. Everybody wins. To date, I've sent out about 10 Crown Initiative Gift sets, and each time I get a notification that one has been purchased, it makes me happy in a way I can't really describe.
The other part of The Crown Initiative aims to donate gift sets. The donations happen on the prompting of Spirit. I'm an intuitive, not just as an artist, but as a sentient being. So when Spirit calls my attention to someone, I figure out how to gift them this set. I've done a few of those as well, with more to come.
Now that the first phase is over, I'm considering changing things up a bit. I'll more than likely continue to allow clients to purchase the gift set and send it to someone, because I love giving, especially to givers, but I'll also allow people to donate - as they are so moved- to anonymously send love to sisters they don't know. I believe this fulfills the vision and allows everyone who participates a much needed respite from the chaos that surrounds us. We are inspired by love, and motivated to love more.
The donation option will more than likely be added this week, so if you'd like to contribute, let me know. Take care of yourselves y'all.