New Year

*Deep breathe, sigh* 

So here goes, my first blog post. I've been in some ways avoiding this, mainly because I kept questioning what I would actually share here? At first I intended it to be where I would share obviously about the shop, but I had also wanted to share about my advocacy/activism work.

I just didn't know really where to start? So I'm just going with the flow on this. Sharing what's on my mind and on my heart. And right now it's the shop.

It's been a slow start to 2023 for Min'na. I recently launched the online shop, and only because of the kindness of two very good friends have had two orders come from it. I didn't think the flood gates would open when the online shop launched, but thought I'd have at least a handful of them. Especially because I had folks wanting that option available. I mean I get it (to an extent), and Min'na is still a very very new business. Also, times are just weird right now. We're emerging from isolation, we're in a recession, we're watching where we spend our money more, I mean I could go on and on. Opening a physical shop first probably wasn't the smartest business move. I definitely feel the pandemic drove the online retail business in a HUGE way (hence, why I launched our online shop), and it's been a challenge to divert from that. When I opened the brick & mortar location with my partner, Naomi we both felt that longing and need for human connection, and we thought others felt the same. We missed interacting with people! Seeing things IRL, touching them! But also having meaningful conversations and gathering with our beloved community.

So for us, it made sense to open a physical space and create an environment that nurtured community, catered to it, and filled what we had missed for so long. 

As I type these words I am reminding myself why I wanted to create Min'na in the first place. From the name of the shop, the products I carry, to the space that I've curated, it was all done with great thought, care, and intent. It started with my daughter, Wynter. From the moment she was born a fire was lit from beneath me. I saw the world clearer and my purpose became greater. I wanted to do the work for her and her Down syndrome/disability community. I wanted her to see and know her worth and value in this world. That she was meant to be here. She wasn't a mistake, she wasn't "wrong", she was and is exactly who she is suppose to be.

Inclusion, representation and the feeling of belonging are things we all want, and we want them for our children. That should also mean for children with disabilities, of different ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, and needs. I want more than anything for my daughter to feel she belongs, to be included, to see herself reflected back in all the ways that are important and significant. 

I can't control how the world works, what our society deems important or acceptable. But I can keep doing my part. Doing what I am capable and passionate about. So I will continue to hold Min'na with great care and intention. To see my vision through and always remind myself why I began. How important it is to me, to Wynter, to my family.

 I can't wait to see what the future holds for this tiny, but mighty shop. 

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