Meet Sais, the Author and Illustrator behind Brilliant Beautiful Me!, a child’s coloring and workbook business that is quickly gaining recognition for its dedication to provide African- American girls and boys with content they can resonate with. Seven years ago, Sais started her business with the inspiration coming from her oldest daughter. Primarily, Sais’ intent was to create coloring books for little African American girls to encourage confidence, high self-esteem, and the importance of education! The Author-Illustrator expressed that this was her main goal because she felt as though younger girls of color were not, and still are not, represented enough on the mainstream level.
Sais revealed that the initial birthing process of Brilliant Beautiful Me! was rushed. A pre-scheduled Writer’s Conference was approaching, while she was in the process of writing a mystery novel she intended to present at the conference. In the middle of her creating her novel, she decided to present her coloring book instead! Sais’ explained that her daughter was transitioning from Pre-school into Kindergarten, hence the books contained content that catered to other children in her age range. Sais’ original intentions were to have the coloring books progress with her daughter as she grew older, but the Brilliant Beautiful Me! CEO decided to add workbooks to the business’s inventory instead!
Obstacles the current mother of five encountered while creating her individualistic coloring books for African American children was learning how to use her building software, "so I had to do a lot of research on how to draw it on paper, and then scan it into the computer, and then bring it into Adobe Illustrator..." The mother explained that she used the help of YouTube tutorials to get the hang of her new craft. Eventually the act of balancing her life became another challenge. Not only is Sais an author and mother of five, but she is also a Teacher! So we can only imagine how busy she gets on a regular basis! Despite this, she proudly mentioned that her children also help her and give her feedback on her work, calling Brilliant Beautiful Me! a Little family business.
Speaking of family helping with her business endeavors, the CEO expressed that her family was incredibly supportive of her while she was pursuing her vision. She stated that her family already knew that she enjoyed drawing and was a natural creative, further elucidating that her family loved her mission of uplifting little Black girls with her work! "I got a lot of support! You know, they shared it with their friends on Facebook, told everyone that they knew about it." Elaborating that her family's advertising strategies led opportunity towards her! She was receiving contract proposals from other businesses, requesting for her artistic services!
In a herd of other coloring books, one of the many things that set Brilliant Beautiful Me! apart from other competitors is the fact that their coloring books focus solely on little African American girls! Sais expressed that the emphasis and focus that is placed on Black girls is not in a means of discrimination, but in an effort to provide Black girls with more representation. "I feel that we are so far behind with representation... I'd like to just keep it for little Black girls." Sais stated. Later going on to explain that she feels like providing these boys and girls with the representation they lack and comfortably in their skin can help shape their future confidence and self-concept.
The gifted mother later made it known that her goal for her brand is to uplift little girls and help them feel good about themselves and help them see themselves as royalty. "It’s a lifelong mission, and I don't think I've reached it yet," but with every smile she has seen blossom because of her work, she knows that she is fulfilling her purpose more and more every day!
Sais elucidated that she sees Brilliant Beautiful Me! expanding into animation and a lot more in the future. The Author and Illustrator explained that as a Teacher and Mother of five, she would just need more time to dedicate towards her brand’s expansion and growth.
Closing out our interview, Sais left a few words of advice for Black boys and girls "I would just say to stay positive. Be aware of your surroundings... plan their future and they can create the life that they want with artwork and perseverance!"
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