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Rising Stars: Meet Teresa Baker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Teresa Baker. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Found in 2015 by Teresa Baker, Brown Boy Brown Girl, LLC is a family-owned multimedia publishing company whose core principles are Love, Social Benefit, Integrity, and Awareness. With a mission of celebrating the diversity of brown children by amplifying young voices of color, the company uses their products as a platform to assert positive representation in educational materials. In the wake of social unrest, we decided to create notebooks to serve as harbingers of pride and creativity while normalizing characters of color found in books and school supplies. BBBG published their debut book titled “Josie’s Bedazzled Shoes” in 2017 and extended its platform to include children’s books written by independent authors of color. We launched their notebook line in August 2020. 

We started our publishing company with our three children in mind, as we see the mainstreaming of content that highlights positive images of brown children as a solution to one of the most urgent problems facing black children today. I wanted to leave a legacy for my children and impact children who look like them. They are the company’s Junior CEOs, and they are excited to see their product in Meijer stores. 

Brown Boy Brown Girl is creating a new narrative. We have seen the social injustice and mischaracterizations by the media surrounding teens Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown (and now countless others) unfold right before our eyes. It is now more important than ever that all children see the beauty in themselves, as well as the beauty in others.” To this end we carry out our mission of portraying positive images of characters of color through our branded products and our online children’s bookstore of books written by indie authors of color. 

Since launching into Meijer stores, we are focused on helping other families of color to start businesses and launch their products into the retail space through our annual Junior CEO Business Fair and Conference, which is now hosted under our 501 (C) (3) charity Brown Boy Brown Girl Reads, Inc. The Junior C.E.O. Business Fair & Conference is a hybrid two-day cutting-edge business fair and conference designed to develop young entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs ages 8-17 as they pursue their journey to become thriving business owners. 

Moving forward, we are extending our brand to include toys, additional school supplies, and children’s books. It is our hop to pick up more retail partners so that our products will become more accessible to brown children and allies. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
No, it has not been a smooth road, but the journey was well with worth it. Some of the struggles we faced was brand awareness and having access to capital to keep up with demand and for product launches. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Haha, well, I have returned back to work part-time as a lobbyist. I took a 9-year hiatus to raise my family. The skillsets I learned from being a lobbyist allowed me to employ those skills and apply them to my own business. As a lobbyist, you continuously work to keep your clients’ issues on the legislative forefront. That’s exactly what I am doing with my own brand by keeping our work in the forefront of the public. I identified several issues: 1) There were not enough multicultural books published by authors of color; 2) There were not enough positive representation found in books with characters of color as the protagonists, 3) There are not enough companies that focus on the importance of building generational wealth in the black community, 4) There’s not enough representation found on the shelves of big-box retailers. I continuously work to solve the problems I identified. 

Given my profession, I’m most proud of starting my own business and having the wherewithal to overcome challenges, and having the ability to navigate through my entrepreneurial journey, which led landing our Meijer distribution deal. To have products in a retail chain I used to shop as a child with my mother is surreal to me. It’s like I did that. I did that! 

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I probably did, lol! There’s so much to our business. It’s multidimensional in every aspect. Here is one thing, we plan to launch our 18-inch Josie doll in November at the Detroit Doll Show. Josie is BBBG’s first beloved character in our debut children’s book Josie’s Bedazzled Shoes. Additionally, we are launching 2 more children’s books titled Becoming Me and Look, Daddy! Look! 

Oops, let me make clear that Reach for the Stars notebooks are in Meijer stores now. Meijer will carry our matching 2-pocket folders starting the top of the year, 2023. 

Also, it’s important to note that I coauthored Josie’s Bedazzled Shoes with my mother Lydia Miles. I will have a photo uploaded with she and I with the book at our Barnes & Noble book signing in Flint, MI. 

Pricing:

  • $10-18,99 for book on our site
  • $7.50 for notebooks

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Wayne Norman Photography

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