Small Business Spotlight | Sumer Strawbree
Hi! I’m Sumer Strawbree - a 13 year old author, speaker and digital artist with a mission to save and improve girls’ self-esteem.
I was inspired to start SumerStrawbree Publishing after being bullied at school relentlessly by a group of kids.
They would say my two front teeth were crooked and laugh at me every other day. It was true, one grew back in straight and the other crooked. Furthermore, they would say that my fingers were long and skinny. I became self-conscious and that was the beginning of my normal self-esteem going downhill.
One day my dad realized that I wasn’t smiling while showing my teeth for pictures anymore. Which I used to always do. He asked me why I stopped and I explained to him that I was being bullied at school by my “friends”.
My dad said that he would contact the school, however, real bullies may not care about getting detention. His solution was to focus on building my self-esteem back by having me write positive “I am affirmations” that I could read before and after school. He was teaching me the power of reprogramming my subconscious mind to rebuild my positive self-image.
After some time I didn’t care what the kids would say about me, because I was more confident than ever!
We decided it would be a great idea to share this in a coloring book format for girls struggling with self-esteem issues. I drew pictures of girls that looked like me with positive affirmations and ‘Black, Brown & Beautiful’ was born.
To date, we’ve independently sold over 5,000 copies in a short amount of time. Furthermore, I’ve released two more coloring books with affirmations, ‘Glow Up’ and ‘My Career Glow Up’.
The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a small business owner so far is keeping my books in stock for those that want to order. It is a balance between predicting when we should order more books from the printing company and how long it will take for them to ship the books to us. We are working on finding a solution between the three books. The more products that you offer the more issues that can arise.
However, I love it when I connect face-to-face with young girls like myself or women and they share their stories of being bullied or experiencing low-self esteem and how they overcame it. Inspiring my generation is something that I did not expect to be apart of so quickly.
Self-care for me begins with turning off my technology, including my iPad that I use to illustrate my books. Really, just taking time to relax. Self-care is about aligning your mental, physical and spiritual self for peace.
I host vision board workshops which I have done several times between the downtown Orlando Public Library and The Orlando Science Center. Furthermore, I am booked to speak to groups about entrepreneurship or using affirmations to build self-esteem.
Anyone interested in learning more about my mission to save and improve girls drowning self-esteem can find me on the following platforms by searching Sumer Strawbree: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and www.SumerStrawbree.com. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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