A pair of working mums have launched a range of Christmas tree decorations of colour to help make the festive season more inclusive. Alison Burton and Natalie Duvall, both from London, teamed up to create the decorations which launched in October this year.
They say the launch was all about creating better representation for their children at a time that should be all about family and bringing people together.
‘We wanted to find some black Christmas ornaments so that our daughters could see themselves represented at Christmas,’ Natalie tells Metro.co.uk. ‘We searched everywhere but couldn’t find anything available online or on the high street in the UK – except one which had been hand painted black by a local shop owner. So we decided to do something about it.
Natalie says inclusion is important for all of us, all the time – but especially at Christmas.
‘Seeing our daughters faces light up when they saw our designs of the tree ornaments, was just magical. We knew we were on to something.’
There are more than three million people of colour living in England and Wales, and the pair believe that Christmas decorations should mirror that more accurately.
‘It has been widely reported that the BAME consumers in the UK often feel a lack of representation,’ explains Alison. ‘Christmas is no exception. If you have angels or fairies to hang on your tree, why can’t at least one look like you?
‘These Christmas products are long overdue in the UK.’ The two mothers say the response to their products have been fantastic, so far – and it isn’t only ethnic minority families who are showing interest.
‘We have many white families that want their Christmas to be reflective of the world they live in,’ adds Alison. ‘People are beginning to appreciate that representation and inclusivity really does matter – particularly with children and especially within the home.’
The pair called their business March Muses, as they both have birthdays in that month. Each Christmas figurine is named after an inspirational person of colour, or family member, who is also born in March.
‘The figurines currently come in two shades to demonstrate the diversity of complexions within the black community,’ says Alison. ‘Dressing your Christmas tree this year could be a whole new experience.’
Natalie and Alison also run Creative Spotlight, an organisation that provides workshops for young people and delivers home ‘Elf Visits’ in London and surrounding areas. They have plans to increase their festive product range, so you’ll have to watch this space.
Written by: Natalie Morris