To The Grice Grove Community: An Open Letter from Our Founder
To My Grice Grove Community:
I write this to you after living through the wildest three months we have ever encountered in our lifetime. We have been doing our best to survive in the midst of a global pandemic, and now, we are also living in the middle of major societal upheaval as the Black Lives Matter Movement takes centerstage in our country.
You're probably thinking "Here's another company's email about Black Lives Matter," and maybe you're about to stop reading and delete this. Stay with me. I am a White woman, a born and raised Southerner from Georgia, and I own a small business in the suburbs of Atlanta with a large White customer base. I am also, and most importantly, a mother. A mother of a White little boy named George.
The difference between me and George Floyd's mother: I can still hear when George calls out for me, his mama, in fear, in pain, or in happiness. I do not and will never have to worry about the color of his skin being the reason he is systemically targeted and brutally killed by our socially constructed systems. When George Floyd called out for his mama, all mothers were summoned to fight against the injustice and racism faced by Black people and People of Color in our society.
I've felt shock, horror, sadness, anger, confusion, and a plethora of other emotions, that I'm learning, are a result of my White privilege. I've also learned that this isn't about my voice: it's about amplifying the voices of our Black community, so that we can really hear about their experiences, and ultimately DO BETTER and create long lasting positive change for our future generations.
What does this have to do with Grice Grove? A lot, my friends. When we started in 2016, we described ourselves as a "cultured and eclectic boutique for all of life's occasions and celebrations." We were and are so proud that we sourced product for you from small businesses and artisans in South Africa, Europe, and right here in the States. We have always believed that learning about and appreciating our differences make us better, and inclusion makes life more fun. Our mission then was "to be your one-stop online shop for creative goods and thoughtful gifting."
While that mission is still true, we've refined it over the years, and our tagline now is "Details Matter." Guess what else matters to us? Black lives. Black Lives Matter.
As an individual and the Founder of this company, I am still learning, and hope to always be learning. I will never claim to have all of the answers. But I do promise that I will never stop fighting for what's right, and living those values out loud with the Grice Grove community and platform we have painstakingly built with you over the last 4 years.
Here's what we're doing to put our money where our mouth is:
- Though we're a small business and not a massive company like Amazon or Target, we are taking part of the 15% Pledge which calls on retailers to dedicate 15% of their "shelf" (or product) space with products from Black-owned makers and artisans, to more accurately represent the 15% of the U.S. population made up of Black people. If you visit our newly launched Grice Grove Market, you will already see this at work. I look forward to building on this in the months to come, and to continuing to diversify and lift up Black and POC artisan makers in Grice Grove's supplier relations from here on out.
- It's not enough to just say we at Grice Grove are "diverse and inclusive." We are working on a new Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Policy that will be listed on the landing page of our website so you always know where we stand.
- We are working on a Grice Grove Goods Box that will donate 100% of profits to Black Lives Matter, launching July 1st.
- We will continue to lift up our Black and POC friends, artists, makers, and small businesses on our website, blog and social media channels.
In closing, to our Black community and customers: I am with you. I hear you. I see you. I love you. I - and Grice Grove - will not stop amplifying your experiences and voices. You matter to us, and we are here to join this lifelong fight against injustice. We're here - for the long haul - to do better. For you, and for all of our children.
Founder + Owner, Grice Grove