Anticipation as the days creeping to our departure arrive (no pun intended).
Jamaica. A place that is such a familiar setting for us. Being of Jamaican decent, my sister and I are no strangers to the crisp Jamaican air, genuine people, and artistic blue hues of the ocean. Oh Jamaica, we meet again.
To know one’s story is to truly understand how complex a person can be. Many who are familiar with KAE, have heard about it beginning as an idea while traveling to Africa to build a school and later materializing while in grad school as a mock business idea. Although these facts are true, this trip to Jamaica reminds me that KAE did not just start there. KAE started in the stories and experiences of our great grandparents. As we visited the house that our mother grew up in with her grandmother, KAE’s history and message is made clearer. The kindness we speak of on our current social platforms, did not start there. It was formed way before our years. It was manufactured by the wisdom of our elders. It was molded by the teachings and prayers of our great grandmother, grandmother, mother, father, aunts, uncles, and the detailed list goes on. As we visited our great grandmother’s tombstone and read the engraved words “The Peacemaker”, we are filled with so much more thankfulness and enthusiasm than simply the emotions derived from being an entrepreneur. It is the kindness of my mother who sees the office for, “Jamaica Child Evangelism Fellowship” as we are walking in Montego Bay and instructs me to donate on behalf of KAE that speaks to both the footwork and spine of KAE. That is KAE's influence. We are proud to be the result, the outcome, the consequence, and all words in between of the prayers and teachings of our family members. KAE’s history begins in Jamaica. I think about my mom and dad and how I've always been a witness to their integrity and hardworking spirit. In a world that gets crazier by the minute, my parents always ensured that our world remained constant. The aura of our household is constructed with our eyes fixed on God first and foremost, the importance of being obedient to our upbringing, and the power of a person's voice and opinion.
The future of KAE is unclear, just like everything else in this world however, the history is rich and has never been clearer. KAE was groomed by each opportunity that our past ancestors worked so hard to ensure that we would someday have access to. KAE believes that each of of us has a story. A story that our ancestors worked very hard for us to one day share. May we remember with each interaction, to respect the past of others, understand the beauty in diversity and nullify any belief that suggests we are to measure and add value to those differences. KAE is not something only to be emphasized during awareness months like black history month, disease-specific initiatives, or a celebrity mention of bullying and mental illness, etc. The kindness that KAE encourages is one that is pure, colorless, limitless, and childlike. It is not our job to determine who is worthy to receive kindness, it is our job to give it freely and without reservation. Our example is God. Our example is Jesus. We’ve all messed up—whether it be in action, speech or thought--yet, we are deemed worthy to be given another day for the chance to get it right and make an impact. THAT is kindness.
As you all continue to grow with us, we encourage you to learn your story. Where did kindness begin for you? Why is kindness important? Why do you believe everyone is derserving of kindness? We each play such an intricate part in each other’s journey. May we continue to thank our past for instilling in us the importance of kindness and may we give it away to those we encounter, remembering Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
KAE: where fashion meets philanthropy