For two years, Latoya Nicole, through his company Entrepreneurs also color, worked hard to fill a diversity gap. She has created a series of coloring books that celebrate women of color and their diversity. With titles such as “80s Ladies”, “24 Shades of Business” and “Alma Mater”, inspired by HBCU, she seeks to offer all women the opportunity to be inspired and be creative. “Since 2018, she has sold thousands of copies of her coloring books.“ 24 Shades of Business ”was even endorsed in“ O, The Oprah Magazine ”.
The mom and me coloring book celebrates the joy of motherhood with illustrations of moms and daughters making, braiding natural hair, and traveling. It also contains crossword puzzles, activities, and motivational quotes. The Mom and Teen Diary features activities and coloring pages, guided prompts, and plenty of free space to write about whatever comes to mind, says Nicole, who lives in Raleigh. .
In addition to being an author and working in marketing and social media, Nicole is also a mental health consultant and works for a large healthcare company. I checked with Nicole to find out more about her coloring books and journal. Here is a Q&A.
Go Ask Mom: You launched your coloring book series in 2018. What was your aha moment for the series? Why did you want to create it?
Latoya Nicole: It all started because of a series of events. I was frustrated and overwhelmed at work, I prayed and then I got the idea. So I started to do some research. But when I looked at the other books already available, I couldn’t find any that looked like me, so I knew I had to create it. I wanted my community, including friends and family, to be able to see a reflection of itself. And with that, 24 Shades of Business was born, and then it became a series.
GAM: You recently released a coloring book for moms and daughters and a quick diary for moms and their teens. What was the inspiration for these?
LN: A lot of my social media followers are moms, especially moms of daughters. During their forties, they needed something creative and fun to do with their children. I decided to help by creating the mom and me series. The coloring book is intended for young children and mom to color together. The journal is intended for tweens / teens and their moms. I also wanted to pay tribute to mothers by including things that I did with my mom growing up, so I used parts of my life as inspiration for the books.
GAM: Studies show that very few books and activities feature children and families of color. Why is it so important for children to see people like them doing things they do with their families in the books and activities they participate in? For example, your books include a photo of natural hair braiding. Could you see pictures like this in books when you were a kid?
LN: When I was young, one of the few books I remember that had pictures of a young girl I could relate to was Corduroy. It’s pretty easy to remember because there weren’t many. This is why it was and is so important for me to be sure that the illustrations in my books are realistic and diverse.
In 1990 Rudine Sims Bishop, Emeritus Professor of Education at Ohio State University, said, “When children can’t relate to the books they read, or when the pictures they see are distorted, negative or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson. on how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part. Children develop a sense of self at a very young age, so seeing yourself in books and on book covers is imperative.
GAM: Life is tough right now, to put it mildly. How did creativity help you through these times? How do you hope your coloring book and journal will help families?
LN: Life is definitely different right now, and adults and children alike are discovering the power of creativity to help distract from negative issues. Coloring books and journals are great ways to stimulate creativity, calm the mind, exercise motor skills, and create a sense of accomplishment and accomplishment. I want families to be empowered and to bond even more than ever.
GAM: What are you working on next?
LN: I continue to work on creating other coloring books, mostly for adults, but I’m also working on producing a line of colored pencils, hopefully by the end of the year.