Stay-at-home mother Kisha Holt has created an exquisite, upscale line of children’s home accessories and décor for black children.
The idea for the business, Kisha’s Kids, was born after Holt’s first child came into the world nine years ago.
“While pregnant with my first child, I wanted to decorate his room,’’ Holt said. “I looked online, of course, and couldn’t find anything with little black children on it. So I thought,
‘Of course it’s out there…I just can’t find it.’ ”
When Holt, who holds a master’s degree in education, and her husband Ronald were expecting their second child, a little girl, Holt’s search for little black fairies and ballerinas to decorate her daughter’s room came up empty.
Holt said she has no problem with white fairies and ballerinas, except that her daughter is not white.
“She’s a black child with beautiful brown skin, and I want to celebrate that,” she said.
By the time she was pregnant with her fourth child, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I said this is really crazy. I need to just do something about this. Why am I constantly looking for someone else to do it, because obviously it’s not out there?” she said.
Assuming that the products she sought were actually “out there,” but simply needed to be pulled together and sold from a singular source, she began her research.
“Well, I literally spent days and hours and weeks – I could not find any place that had the type of high-quality, beautiful merchandise that I’m currently carrying. So I had to manufacture it.”
Kisha’s Kids – which has a motto of “See yourself! Be yourself!” – launched online last month. The Holts planned a private launch party at their elegant Plantation home on Friday, Nov. 14.
Although early sales have been slow, Holt is optimistic that the marketing blitz that she has planned, (she was on NBC 6 on Tuesday morning and has been contacted by People.com) will help introduce the line to the country.
Motivated but not completely fearless, she briefly questioned whether she could actually pull it off.
“Of course, I cried, and thought, ‘How am I ever going to do this? I don’t know anything about this.’ Well guess what, I did. You call around, you hit the pavement, you research, and I was able to come up with people who were willing to do the artwork for me…manufacture the stuff for me and they’ve done a great job.”
Holt said the $65,000 she and Ronald, the CEO of an investment firm, have poured into the company is far more than the $10,000 maximum she envisioned; however, her strong commitment to creating top-of-the-line, high quality products demanded the larger investment.
Whether the products sell well is almost irrelevant to Holt.
“The goal was not about, oh, I want to get rich. It was about my children being able to see themselves in their surroundings. It has changed the way my children see themselves. My little daughter, who still loves Hannah Montana and all the others, which is fine, used to say, ‘Oh, I wish my hair was like this,’ does not do that anymore,” Holt said.
When her then six-year old daughter came home from school one day and told her about a black classmate who wished that she was white, her daughter’s response to the little girl assured Holt that she’d accomplished her mission.
Holt recounted her daughter’s statement: “Mommy, I told her, you need to love who you are. Your hair is beautiful.”
Photo by Khary Bruyning. Kisha Holt
IF YOU GO
Kisha’s Kids products are available exclusively online at www.kishaskids.com and include floor rugs, canvas wall art, picture frames and more. With prices ranging from $10 for baby bibs with brown faces to $150 for area rugs with black ballerinas and firemen, there’s something for everyone.