To our Community,
As the female founder of a small business, the focus required to get that company of the ground and keep it growing is often incredibly narrow.
But last week, we took a pause as a company. We took time to reflect, listen, learn, and most importantly, to confront the sometimes uncomfortable questions and truths that are, in my opinion, essential to this moment in history.
While we are still a small but mighty team (you can often find me packing some of your orders and chasing down our favorite UPS driver myself), we are growing quickly. And with growth comes an IMMENSE opportunity to examine the kind of culture we want to create. One with a message of unequivocal inclusion and anti-racism.
I am someone who was raised to be aware of the systemic inequities and biases ingrained in our institutions and in the everyday lives of black American’s. But what has become painfully clear in the wake of the last few weeks is how much there is left to learn. How being a white woman in America affords me a privilege that I often, even with the best of intentions, overlook. How this is an education that must and should continue for the rest of my life. And it is the responsibility of no one but myself to ensure that I remain on that path of education and complete allyship.
Some people might find that last paragraph too personal for a company statement. But guess what - companies are just systems of people. And if the person at the top of that system does not have the moral integrity to transparently represents bare the standards which they hold themselves personally accountable to or leaves any room for interpretation as to where they stand regarding the fact that Black Lives Matter, guess what we leave room to create - more systemic racism.
Shifting into long term action, the question I’ve been asking myself is - what now? I am accountable to all of you to ensure that Helena Quinn creates and holds a space for the Black community and all people of color.
I will ensure that as we grow we continue diverse and transparent hiring practices that foster a mentally and physically safe environment. I will ensure that there is a more inclusive representation of our customers in our imagery and advertisements. That the companies we choose to partner with, work with, and have any external affiliations with, embrace these same values. And finally, that we will listen. To your corrections, and to your questions, and to your lived experiences. And that we will use this to help better inform our road to allyship.
With hope and commitment,