Weâ€™re What We See
McNeil: â€œI want to dispel the myths and stereotypes that plague the Black community regarding our women, children and men and to document, embrace and glorify our culture, image and heritage.â€?
Our Entrepreneur Of The Day
Where Sheâ€™s From: Robin McNeil was born and raised by her parents in the middle class suburbs of Southern Maryland right outside of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area with her two sisters.
â€œThe most important things I learned from my parents were to have a relationship with God, to cherish the value of your good name, that ownership was the key to wealth, and that true wealth had little to do with money,â€? she says. â€œMy grandmother in the deep bowels of Eastern North Carolina taught me the love of nature, how hard work strengthens your mind, soul, and character, and to find peace and joy in the simple things in life.â€?
Robin graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophyâ€”little did she know that she would land in a line of business that may not seem directly related to her academic training. â€œTen years ago my brother-in-law gave me an old Nikon FG that he found at a yard sale for five bucks,â€? she says, with a laugh.
â€œI sent for the instruction booklet, loaded it with film, closed one eye and pressed the shutter button; thus, the entirety of my training as a photographer. One day, when I went looking for my husband's first fathers day card, I simply wanted my little girl to see an image, not an illustration, pencil art, or cartoon, of a person that looked like her daddy on a greeting card.â€?
It was a futile search. But Robin made an even better discovery. â€œI never found that card I was seeking; but instead handmade my husband a card with crayons and construction paper. Through my frustration of not finding beautiful, positive images of African-Americans on one of the most intimate forms of communication today and feeling somewhat ignored by a $$7.6 billion a year industry , I created Reflections of Us Greeting Cards---where we reflect the images you want to see when looking for the words you want to say."
Where Sheâ€™s At: Reflections Of Us was founded 10 months ago but has already created major buzz. â€œI aspire to see Reflections of Us greeting cards on the greeting card aisles of major retailers, chic art galleries, your local hair salon, the corner coffee cafe, the quaint flower shop, and your favorite bookstore,â€? she adds. â€œI want people to recognize ROU cards as a symbol of ethnic pride and as a means of paying it forward. I want African-Americans to see their daily stories of strong Black men, beautiful brown women, sweet chocolate children, faithful bronzed grandmothers and a love of life blink back at them when sending a ROU greeting card with a message of love, hope and encouragement to those they love.â€?
Where Sheâ€™s Heading: What are some of the images this stay-at-home mother of two want to share with the world? â€œOur little girls walking in fields of flowers wearing sweet sun hats,â€? she says. â€œOur little boys pulling classic red wagons, wearing timeless overalls. Our men holding their daughter's hands while walking in the park at dusk. Our women wearing skirts swaying in the wind while standing in a field of wheat. Our mothers sitting at lakeside park benches basking in a moment of tranquility. Our children displaying moments of affection with sweet kisses, gentle embraces and toothy smiles that melt your heart. I want to dispel the myths and stereotypes that plague the Black community regarding our women, children and men and to document, embrace and glorify our culture, image and heritage.â€?
Robinâ€™s Words Of Wisdom: â€œLearn how to be content and to find a sense of peace in whatever state you are in.â€?
Robinâ€™s Secrets Of Success: â€œBeing kind and polite to others and always giving others no matter who they are, respect. But the true kicker is to continue to display these attributes no matter the attitude or disposition of your intended recipient.â€?
Robinâ€™s Favorite Movies: â€œTerms of Endearment; Five Heartbeats; and, Romeo and Juliet.â€?
Robinâ€™s Favorite Books: â€œLittle Women; The Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman; and, Charlotte's Web.â€?
Leaders That Have Most Inspired Robin: â€œMartin Luther King Jr.; Steve Erwin, and all of the Black inventors, scientists and educators prior to the civil rights movement. To think that the most significant contributions to science and technology in America were made by men who had to overcame significant adversity and racial barriers. They were denied access to books, colleges, technical training and equipment and funding but managed to not only prevail, but create. Benjamin Banneker, George Washington Carver, Dr. Charles Richard Drew, Lewis Howard Latimer, Garrett A. Morgan. What drive, tenacity, and discipline. I am not worthy.â€?
First Four Things Robin Would Do As President: â€œGet rid of the tax code as we know it today; offer school choice with vouchers in public education; eliminate the welfare system which I believe has crippled the bond of the African-American family; and, strengthen our
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