Women's Month Feature - Colour Me Kids

Posted by Reese Baglione on

Welcome to FJ's special feature on local women-owned businesses! We are thrilled to have joined hands with some inspirational brands and we are so excited to share their stories with you.
1. What is the name of your business and how long has it been around?
We first incorporated Colour Me (Pty) Ltd in November 2018, with our official launch being in May 2020, during lock-down (crazy . . . haha). We actually started working on Colour Me crayons before incorporating the company in 2018 so looooooots of back and forth until we were happy!

2. How did the idea for your business come about?
My husband would say like most things it all started with a complaint from me! :-) I am an early-childhood teacher and I am extremely passionate about representing diversity in the classroom. We have worked so hard to get resources that are more representative of people across the world yet we lag behind when it comes to the basic tools we use for our children in the classroom. I have always felt that children couldn't accurately represent themselves or their friends and family when it came to artistic expression.
Whilst I always mixed my own paints for skin colours, a huge part of childhood development and self-awareness is drawing, but children were being limited with how they could express who they are!
We are more than just 'peach' or 'brown' - the limited colours available in any standard box of crayons or felt-tip markers.
After an incredible amount of research, we stumbled across some items that were available overseas that we couldn't get in South Africa, which is an overwhelming shock when considering the abundance of beautiful diversity in our country. Nonetheless, these options were expensive, not child-friendly and all sounded like house-paint swatches.
So after one-too-many complaints from myself, my husband said LET'S DO THIS!!! Progressing from wanting to make a difference in my own classroom, to wanting to make a difference in classrooms around South Africa. Over a YEAR later, we finally created stationery for the skin you're in, and proudly named Colour Me Kids.

3. Can you provide us with a description of your business?

We provide stationery for the skin you’re in! We aim to inspire children to celebrate the colour of their skin. We encourage expression of individuality, uniqueness and self-love, while cultivating an awareness and respect for others.

4. Who is the person(s) behind your business and what is your background (ie education, work experience, life experience)?
We are a husband and wife team. I am Kylee, my husband is Justin and together we created Colour Me Kids. I am a Grade R teacher with many years’ experience in early childhood education. As I mentioned above, one of my greatest drives as an educator is ensuring my classroom environment is representative of our beautifully diverse country and I have been involved in extensive training around this very topic. Justin is an attorney/engineering insurance underwriter by day and a crayon packer/distribution manager by night. 😊

5. Do you have a team behind the scenes or are you a one woman show? If you have a team, please share a little with us about them?
Enter Connie and ChiChi! Colour Me Kids’ dynamic mother-daughter duo. Connie and ChiChi have been part of the Colour Me team since we launched and by now, know the crayons better than we do! 😊 These two incredible ladies manage everything from quality control to order fulfillment and always bring loads of laughs and entertainment to the team.

6. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? How do you balance work and family?
Well seeing as my business partner is my husband, let’s just say ‘date night’ has changed somewhat! We do not have kids yet and we both work full time in jobs that we love, so all our work for Colour Me Kids is done after hours or on the weekends. This has meant less ‘free’ time but not less shared time together. It has actually been so enriching for us as we are really enjoying building something of our own, together. The only down side is there is no time to ‘turn off’ but while Colour Me Kids is still in its infancy, we really can’t complain!

7. What motivates you?
I find that I am most motivated by progress and people. When something is still really abstract, I struggle to remain motivated and that’s where Justin comes in! People in general motivate me. Collaborating and gaining insight from others definitely triggers something in me that drives me.

8. How do you define success?
I don’t interpret success in the stereotypical sense. I am not a typically ‘ambitious’ person who measures success financially or even looks at growth as something linear. For me success is happiness and fulfillment. I am constantly striving to be fulfilled in every area of my life, be it personal or professional, for me it’s all about being happy and fulfilled!
9. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Without a doubt, it has been the feedback we have received. So many people have reached out and shared personal stories of how much our crayons have meant to them. Adults who have never felt represented have been thanking us for what these crayons really mean. Those have been the most satisfying and meaningful experiences to us.

10. What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Growing and building something of our own is incredibly rewarding. This brand is our baby and I think its pretty hard to top doing it all with your life partner.

11. What are your future aspirations for this business?
In the near future it would be growing our product line – which is already in the works! Long term our biggest goal is to grow to the point where we can self-manufacture, which means creating more jobs.

12. If you had a magic wand, which are the three things you would change in the world?

At the risk of sounding like a Miss America hopeful I genuinely wish for equality, no more poverty and for everyone to treat each other with kindness. As cheesy as it sounds, those 3 things would solve all the problems in the world.
Disclaimer: please note that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the above text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the owner of this platform and associated brand.

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