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Kisha Holt, of Kisha’s Kids, Creates Room Decor for African American Kids

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Mompreneur Mondays: Black Moms Are Doing It!
Kisha Holt, of Kisha’s Kids, Creates Room Décor for African American Kids

Kisha Holt, of Kisha’s Kids, Creates Room Décor for African American Kids
I always love to meet Moms who are all about giving our kids positive self-images.  Black children need to see themselves in books, clothes, television, movies and more. And if we can add some modern style to their bedrooms along the way, then even better. Hey, every little bit helps.
That’s why I just love Kisha’s Kids (www.kishaskids.com). The founder, Kisha Holt, is a former school teacher and dynamic mother of four, ages 10, 7, 3 and 1, who had her own challenges finding brown-skinned ballerinas, fairies and firemen when she tried to decorate her own children’s rooms. By the time her last child was born, Kisha said enough is enough and decided to provide what she could never find. Having been a school teacher and reading specialist in Newark, New Jersey, among other places, she saw firsthand the issues of low self-esteem and self-worth that can plague our children and was a firm believer in the power of seeing positive reflections of brown faces in everyday items and goods.
The slogan at Kisha’s Kids, “See yourself. Be yourself,” is evident in all the fabulous products, like the Black fairy handcrafted 100% wool rug, featuring “Nicole the Good Fairy.”  Or the black fireman rug, named after her three-year old son Jayse.   “I think of the site like a Pottery Barn or Bellini, but with brown skin images,” Holt says. I also love the growth charts, and the canvas wall art featuring adorable brown boys and girls, all hand-selected by Kisha, who spent over a year researching every aspect of her products and business before launching the site in October 2008.
But what I love most is the positive impact these items have had on Kisha’s own children. “With things like the Disney princesses and all the Hannah Montanas out there,  my own daughter would often wish her hair was straight or I would notice that she never drew or colored in brown princesses. I would say, this is great sweetie but let’s make her look like you,” Holt says.  Now Kisha’s message of loving yourself in all your brown glory is really penetrating at home. “Recently my daughter told me about a young Black girl who was complaining about the hair, and my daughter was actually the one telling the little girl how beautiful she is and how beautiful her hair is. I was so proud. It was like a full circle moment,”  she says. 
Kisha has these words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs:
1. “Before you do anything, research everything. I kept a three ring binder just for my ideas.  I researched every aspect of everything before I spent any money. Then I put together a business plan of how I would do it, how much would it cost, how long it would take to happen and what does the future entail.
2. I have two little ones at home. I get a little help for 2-3 hours a day for a few days. I structure my day so I can have the time for them. Think of your timeline as a mother, when the children be in school, what can your family realistically afford and every other aspect of how your business and your family will work. 
3. Take every opportunity to sell. I do parties at family and friends’ homes.
4. Quality photography is one of the most important things when you’re running an online boutique. If you can do it professionally, it really makes a difference. This is your storefront. Your customers will feel more comfortable that you are a legitimate and solid business.
5. Don’t give up. It really is true. Every time I get discouraged, I keep telling myself don’t give up.

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