Headshot of the co-founders of EPIC Everyday, Cara Johnson-Graves and Jenae Johnson-Carr.
EPIC Everyday Co-Founders Cara Johnson-Graves and Jenae Johnson-Carr aim to create a more inclusive world for children of color and multicultural kids with their products. — EPIC Everyday

Lifestyle brand EPIC Everyday was created with a clear vision in mind: to amplify self-love through inclusivity.

After witnessing a lack of diverse representation available for their children (and remembering this issue from their own childhoods), founders Cara Johnson-Graves, CEO and Creative Visionary, and Jenae Johnson-Carr, the company’s Vice President and Operations Lead, set out to create a brand for underrepresented kids.

“Our motto, ‘Never Ordinary, Always EPIC,’ serves as an affirmation as we consistently strive to exceed expectations with bright and bold representation,” said Johnson-Graves.

With an emphasis on empowerment, the women set out to create a campaign that would inspire action.

“Our purpose is to cultivate products and partnerships that reflect, represent, and inspire underrepresented children while combating colorism and hair discrimination,” said Johnson-Carr. “We strive to empower children across the globe to love their skin color, embrace their hair, and celebrate their own inherent cultural style.”

[Read More: 6 Small Business Owners on Making Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Part of Their Business Plan]

Staying motivated by your ‘why’

EPIC Everyday was designed for children from Black, multicultural, and transracial adoptive backgrounds, and is meant to inspire them to be “Empowered, Positive, Innovative, and Creative.”

The “mocha-hued movement” is a global campaign by EPIC Everyday in which the brand collaborates with like-minded startups, retail partners, corporations, and future entrepreneurs to promote diversity. Their products depict children with a variety of melanin skin shades and tones, ethnic hair textures, and styles.

According to the founders, the goal is for children to see authentic and relatable imagery and think to themselves, “It looks just like me!”

Entrepreneurship is an ever-evolving journey — embrace every win and learn from mistakes.

Jenae Johnson-Carr, Vice President and Operations Lead, EPIC Everyday

“In 2019, there were 46.8 million people who self-identified as Black, making up 14% of the country’s population,” said Johnson-Carr. “However, less than 2% of products online, or in-store, represented Black and brown children.

”The founders have learned working toward a clear purpose like this can keep you motivated in business, even on your most trying days.

“Know your ‘why,’” said Johnson-Graves. “Why are you creating this business, service, or product? What is your motivation for following the entrepreneurial journey? Your ‘why’ becomes your motivation on those tough days when things don’t go according to plan, when you’re discouraged or have self-doubt.”

While it won’t always be easy, they recommend using the challenges as a learning experience.

“Entrepreneurship is an ever-evolving journey — embrace every win and learn from mistakes,” said Johnson-Carr.

Finding a balance to put your well-being first

As a family-owned business, Johnson-Carr and Johnson-Graves wear many hats. They are not only successful entrepreneurs, but Historically Black College and University (HBCU) graduates, advanced STEM degree professionals, and mothers.

“We are truly a family-owned and operated company with totally different backgrounds that complement each other,” said Johnson-Graves.

Over time, they’ve learned the importance of prioritizing self-love and care to avoid burnout from the hectic day-to-day that comes with running a business.

“This year, we have made a conscientious effort to add self-care and take time to recharge monthly,” said Johnson-Graves. “Whether a mid-day dance break or a well-deserved spa day, hot bath with relaxing music, or a cup of tea in a quiet room, it is super important to ground yourself with grace.”

[Read More: 6 Practical Work-Life Balance Tips for Parent Entrepreneurs]

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Published June 29, 2022