Something to think about….

I have been quiet over here!  All my energy outside my family’s everyday needs has been focused on a little campaign called #imready for #15in2015.  Cool right?  It is.  It actually is really cool and the coolest part is that thousands of people all over the world called out retailers and because of that we met our goal.  After a month and a half we met our goal of 15 retailers committing to using models with disabilities in their advertising.  How great is that?

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I am personally  astounded by it.   That is about the only way to describe it.   My husband suggested way back in August that I ask for 50 retailers and I told him he was crazy!  That is how hard it is to really change perceptions, especially in business.

I mean who wouldn’t want the face of my daughter on the cover of their 2015 product guide, right?

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North American Bear did!  They wanted my girl and my SON for that matter to grace the front of their 2014 product guide.

Well unfortunately a lot of people would rather not.  The excuses I have heard run the gamut from if Grace is playing with that toy then maybe consumers will think it is a “special needs” toy or does it even matter if we include individuals with disabilities in the advertisement, will it increase the bottom line?  The best is, Whats the point?  No one else includes why should we?  Those responses are real and they hurt. The reality is that business decisions are made everyday based on how best to market and sell the  products to the general public.  If the public buys the product then we must be doing it right. Right?  I wonder about the 15 now 16 companies that have committed to including individuals in their advertising will they be rewarded by the general public?

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This led to a discussion I had with a great friend the other night.  A friend who is like a mentor to me when it comes to really pushing for change in advertising.  She lives and works in it every day.  The conversation was frank and real life.  No sugar coating. It was the facts and they got me thinking on a lot of levels.  The question she asked was will these companies be supported?  Will these 15, now 16 companies be supported by the community of people with different abilities so that it is worth the extra time and money these companies will put into making sure they represent everyone.  I assured her that this is a possibility because the numbers suggest that 225 billion dollars are spent by this community alone every year and if that is true then there is a whole lot of money to go around.  The question still stood though.  Will they actually support these companies?  The companies that answered yes?  The 16 (and counting) companies that will be revamping their current plans to include one more face which involves rescheduling and reorganizing.  Will they be rewarded by the community that so wants to see this change?

Interesting question isn’t it?  I had to ask myself the same, will they be supported?  Well believe me I hope so.  I personally will make a conscious effort to market for them as well as purchase their merchandise.  I do understand as a small business owner myself how important the bottom line is.  You have to survive in a competitive field.  I also know that consumers are loyal to the companies that they love.  I know that there are many companies out there both big and small that make decisions that show their customers that they not only think with their minds but also with their hearts.  They include because they want to see a change.  They want to be a part of the change.  Those are the companies that I will look for in the future.

So here is the deal.  We ask and often receive from small businesses.  Independently employed people who want their services, their products and their time valued.  We ask over and over for them to donate, to support and to do.  Do we support them back?  Are they the first on their list to call when we need what they offer?  Do we take the time to return the favor?  I know I can answer personally, not always.  I try really hard but I too fall short.  Companies big and small often answer the bell but the only way they can continue to answer is if people like you and I buy their products and use their services.  Bottom line is if you don’t buy their products and services they can’t stay in business, meaning they can not longer answer for you are anyone else.  It is a hard fact to swallow but it is the truth.  No one can continue to support our community or any community for that matter if we don’t support them.  So a retailer with wonderful intentions is gone and we are back to square one.

I wanted to throw this out there because I expect this campaign to continue to push retailers in the right directions.  I believe all people want to do what is right, that is why you are hearing from the small businesses first. It is personal to them.  They hear and see your words along with your faces.  They believe in you and they want you to believe in them.

Why am I writing this?  Because I want us all to make a conscious efforts to shop these companies.  We have choices.  And as this list grows we have options.   I encourage you to exercise them and show these companies we appreciate being included in their imagery.  We appreciate them taking a stand for something that is right.  If we stepped up and dedicated ourself to change wouldn’t we want someone to support our buisiness so that we could continue the mission?

We are big big community of people who have tons of love to give.  Lets show these companies that by doing what is right we believe in their products and services twice as much. Three times as much!

Just something to think about…..and while you are at it lets continue to Change the Face of Beauty.  #imready for #15in2015 x2 aren’t you?

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A huge thanks to “Nathaniel David Utesch” (nthnl.com) who designed this awesome logo and donated the money for the design right back to the Changing the Face of Beauty mission with Mighty Acorn Foundation.

Meanwhile we are braving the weather here in Chicago.  Trying to stay warm and entertained.  We have dove back into schedules when we have had school and for the short time that happened this past week it felt good.

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I mean we found cookies as big as your head and a sunset.  How much more schedule do you need?

Ox Katie

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About Kathryn

I am a mom of 6, 5 boys and 1 beautiful girl. We live life to the fullest, as best we can! Some days are good and some are bad but we push through and some how have a smile on our face at the end of the day! We have a little bit of this and a little bit of that in our family including Down Syndrome and Gluten Intolerance.

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