Spotlight Tuesdays Presents: The Innovator

Madina 2
in·no·va·tor
noun
a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products.

Deja is a burst of energy and sunshine! We met back in high school during our drama club days and she was always positive and such a joy to be around. We have been laughing together ever since. An advocate, activist, creative, game changer, and beautiful Black Queen. With every cloth diaper she sews, she makes it with love and her customers in mind. She uplifts those around her and is #FUBU to the max, spreading awareness on the beauty that is Black culture. She proudly uses her platform to discuss topics of social justice and promoting eco-friendly baby products. I am truly inspired by her and her business she runs. She’s not only building a legacy, but creating generational wealth for her family too.

Here’s her story:

Tell me a little bit about yourself? How did you meet Bree?

Hey ! I’m Deja, 29 years old, sage burning, fist raising, mother of one little Sunshine Jaylen. I met Bree in high school. She was super sweet with a big smile and I knew we would become friends. We spent 3 years singing, acting, and laughing together at Junipero Serra High School.

What inspired you to start your business? How long has it been up and running?

When I had my son Jaylen at 19 he had really sensitive skin. He experienced frequent baby acne breakouts and really bothersome diaper rashes from disposable diapers. He had one really bad chemical rash and I decided to try out cloth diapers as an alternative. After one full day in cloth diapers, I decided to make the switch. Soon after, I began to make his cloth diapers and received requests to make diapers for other babies. Once I started fulfilling orders, I never stopped sewing.

It turned into a passion, it led to viral posts, and a cloth diaper that disrupted the natural parenting world and brought about change. 9 years later, I am still sewing and using creative activism to promote change in the cloth diapering community.

What is the main focus of your business?

The main focus of my business is Black Centered Designs and Eco Friendly baby products. I combine the two and raise money for organizations that benefit black people while supporting myself and my son.

What do you hope your audience gains from viewing your content and purchasing your products?

I remember being a parent and having so many questions about other black parents, what others were feeling, doing, sharing, experiencing, and I try to answer those questions while creating community daily. I hope to inspire change, start hard conversations about social justice, and give parents a quality eco friendly cloth diapering option. Shopping for a baby is such an important process because you want the best that you can afford to give your child. Each diaper I create I pour my best into, because I understand the desire to provide the best for the little Sunshine in my life.

For those who aren’t buying, above anything else I want people to walk away from my social media accounts thinking about how social justice plays a part in their everyday lives and how they can impact the world around them in a positive way.

What does influence mean to you?

Influence means responsibility. I try my best to be intentional about what I post but Im a flawed human being whos growing everyday. I take my platform seriously and hope I can make an impact and create open dialogues. 2

 It comes with a lot of responsibility, while I’m human and make mistakes, influence is something that you have to handle with great care. So I try my hardest to move with great integrity and grace with those I encounter and share with online. I am careful with the hearts and minds I may come in contact with and when I misstep I apologize and try to get it right the next time.

What words of encouragement would you give others who may want to start a business?

It’s a commitment. I have to give my little brother Martin credit for that statement because it’s something that he recently spoke on when it comes to his boxing career but I believe my sentiments are the same with business. The process has it’s easy moments, it’s hard moments, it wins, and it’s failures but you have to be committed to the journey. It’s continuously showing up and putting the best you can into your business that separates those who see traction and who don’t. It’s building something and trying again when you fall that truly defines success.

I also would advise those interested in business to ground themselves in something and define their own success. Success for one person looks like the ability to pay all of your bills and take one vacation a year, success for others means legacy building with eyes set on 6 and 7 figure earnings that they can pass down to their children. Define what your goals are, define what your happy looks life and ground yourself in faith or spirituality to get you through those hard moments. PS Therapy is a business owner’s best friend!

What are your top 3 favorite blogs that you follow?

I love: Myleik Teele – https://mytaughtyou.com/

Jasmine Marie Mitchell – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaREwB6mEzAhlW62Ib-0Keg

and Shanicia Boswell over at Black Moms Blog: https://blackmomsblog.com/

Where can readers follow you for more information?

Instagram.com/the.shine.cloth

Facebook.com/sunshinecloth

SHINECloth.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SSHINECloth

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