Sharing stories of our Peekaboo Beans Play Stylists Paying it Forward
Taking some inspiration from the 'Keepin it Real' event that was hosted at the Peekaboo Beans Playground in August, on Saturday September 15th, I had the pleasure of hosting my own Keeping it Real - an event for tweens in Ottawa. I could not have imagined a better response or turnout for the event. A friend who owns her own home organization company, Heather or Smart Space Organizing, offered her office space for the event. With Heather's many business contacts, we were able to get some donations for swag bags, including Dove shampoo and deodorant, 3M post it notes and biodegradable pens, and even personalized Mabels Labels tween packs, which were a HUGE hit with the girls. I included some mini CiCi Bean catalogs as well.
The event was advertised on Facebook, Twitter and Eventbrite. Both Heather and I also sent out the information through our newsletter lists. I had 25 RSVPs, and more than 20 tweens (ages 8-14) and their moms arrived for an afternoon event! I was so happy with the response! Almost everyone arrived early, hoping to be one of the first to get a swag bag (I had advertised that there was a limited amount). By 1:00pm the room was buzzing with conversation about real beauty!
Another friend who owns her own photography business, Julie, offered to come and take photos of the tweens and their moms. We had motivational signs for the girls to hold with messages like:
I love you because.
When I see you I see.
I hope you can see how amazing you are.
The best part of me is...
Let your heart be your guide.
Happiness is the secret to all beauty.
A smile is the best kind of makeup a girl can wear.
One mom/tween pair chose to write their own message and not show each other. It will be a surprise once they see the photos. We had moms tearing up as they were touched by the power of the motivational signs.
Around the office walls I had posted large sheets of paper with a question prompt on each one. The girls were given markers and crayons and invited to answer the questions. What happened was a personal and intimate conversation between moms and daughters as they answered each questions. I overheard a lot of tweens asking their moms of their opinions, and moms redirecting the questions to their daughters, prompting them to think deeper and come up with their own opinions. It was beautiful to see this bonding experience, in a safe environment, where moms could really connect with their daughters and think about some hard questions that tweens are facing.
Heather provided some organizational activities in the boardroom. One activity involved asking the tweens and their moms to empty the contents of a bag and organize them. The objective was to show how we all think differently about organizing, and that to a tween her room may be untidy but organized in a way that works for her. It was an eye opening activity for sure!
We also had snacks and punch in the kitchen, and invited everyone to help themselves.
At the back of the space I had my rack of Peekaboo Beans and CiCi Beans samples to try on. I invited the girls to give me their feedback about the line, without any pressure to buy. The focus of the event was really on making a connection between tweens and moms, and raising awareness of how important it is to talk to our kids about hard questions like: "Do you find some people easier or harder to talk with? Why do you think this is? How important is it to be able to express yourself effectively?" The energy in the room was vibrant, and just by looking around at the pairs of moms and daughters, I could tell there were moments of connecting. One tween answered the prompt "Why did you decide to come to Keeping it Real" with the answer "to spend quality time with my mom."
I was honestly so inspired by the answers the girls gave to the questions about beauty. As a parent of young children, but also as a teacher who often teaches tweens, I realized that this age group has far strong opinions and knowledge about self and beauty than I ever realized.
Heather and I are already teaming up to host a 2nd Keepin it Real event in November, which will include a tween yoga session and also a talk about budgeting and finances for tweens. I can't wait to share with you how it goes, I know it will be even better than the first one!
In love and play, Vicky Bisson
Peekaboo Beans Play Stylist, Ottawa