“My daughter kept saying mommy, I wish I had blonde hair. When I went looking for a greeting card that would have an image on it that would represent her, there were none.” – Jessica Huie, founder of Colorblind Cards
Jessica Huie, founder of the ethnic greeting card and gift company “Colorblind Cards,” has been noted as one of the first companies to secure space for ethnic greeting cards inside of high street retailers in the UK.
“Colorblind Cards” features images of children and families of color. You can personalize the cards and there are a variety of options for gifts you can add your own personal touch to. Huie was recently awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for entrepreneurship after being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Would you believe that this all started from a lunch break? EURweb’s Associate Tanisha Williams learned all about the woman and her catalyst behind ‘Colorblind Cards.’
When entrepreneur Jessica Huie’s seven-year-old daughter started going through the ‘princess’ phase and wishing that she was blonde with straight hair, Huie wanted to ensure that her daughter felt beautiful and learned to love herself just the way she is. Her motherly instincts kicked in and during a lunch break she went to look for a greeting card that would express her thoughts and get the conversation started.
“It disturbed me to hear her speak that way,” Huie says. “So, I went looking for a card with an image on it that would represent her. However, as I browsed Britain’s biggest shopping street in London, I realized that there was nothing that represented our community.”
Soon after Huie began researching all of the greeting card and department stores and came to the same conclusion. At that moment Huie vowed that she would get her card line on UK’s famous High Street and make them easily accessible and that she did. This delicate time in her daughter’s life became the catalyst of “Colorblind Cards.”
“I wanted all children to have access to positive images which reflect their identity and nurture a sense of self-love and pride. So, that they don’t have to aspire to be or look like anyone other than themselves. If we can contribute to that reality through our range then we have achieved what I set out to do,” Huie states proudly.
Huie credits her father for raising her with the will and attitude to never let challenges get in her way. Moving to Britain from the West Indies as a young man, he faced the stench of racism head-on and continued to work hard to take care of his family.
“Despite having this entrepreneurial spirit and incredible brain he dedicated himself to menial jobs in order to put food on the table. Being raised by a parent like that gave me the resilience and massive determination that I have inside to go after what I want.”
Although Huie became a teen mom, she was determined to not be another statistic. Knowing that she would have some difficult times ahead of her, she chose to go back to school. Launching “Colorblind Cards” in 2006 was not an easy task as she had to rely on limited resources and the support of those around her.
“I was calling in favors with family and friends. Monet – my daughter- was photographed on the cards when we started. I used real people on the cards, because, I felt the message would be stronger,” Huie explains. “A good friend of mine, photographer Nina Duncan loved the idea and did the first shoot at no cost.”
“Colorblind Cards” is quickly spilling over into the (High) streets of the US, Barbados, South Africa and Bermuda. Huie offers this tip to budding entrepreneurs.
“Draw on your personal skills. Do something that you know. The most successful and fulfilled are the individuals that live their passions. You have to have passion in order to remain dedicated to whatever it is that you want to do.”
Colorblind Cards can be found online at www.ColorBlindCards.com and at select US retailers. Follow Colorblind Cards on twitter at @colorblindcards. You can find out more about Jessica Huie at www.jhpr.co.uk or follow her on twitter (@JessicaHuie).