15th October 2019
This summer, IRIS met Carolyn Clarke, the founder of Cherish Me, a company set up by a mum who wants to change the way young girls see themselves.
“Cherish Me is a company I started just over three years ago with my two daughters, and I had lots of reasons; from my personal view, it was to help raise the self-esteem/worth of young girls – and young black girls specifically. Raising two daughters myself, I witnessed how societal standards of beauty scrutinise girls and black girls are subjected to an even more intense level of scrutiny. Particularly, black femininity is often misrepresented or portrayed in a negative light. My aim is to change this and that led to the beginning of Cherish Me.
“The name of my brand aims to combat the low self-esteem I have witnessed in young girls as a mother and as a professional. I want girls to see the words ’Cherish Me’ and put it into practice and cherish themselves. Cherish Me believes that every girl needs to be cherished and should cherish herself. My overall message is a message of positivity. In my career, I have worked with children and I have recently undertaken courses around helping children who have gone through trauma. With the skills these experiences have given me, I do not wish to sit back and not help change an issue I have observed.
“A key aspect of Cherish Me is creativity. Our brand is recognisable through our illustrations. Having two black girls, I wanted to develop a journal which included imagery that reflected who they are and how they look. I want girls to read my journals and feel seen, so our illustrations showcase a range of skin colours, hair textures and body types. Journal writing helps children with every level of their development. It helps them to develop confidence in their writing and helps channel their emotions. We have recently started Cherish Me workshops which build self-esteem through affirmations, gratitude and self-love activities. Our affirmation cards are another product that we have to help young girls love who they are.”