The What, the Why, the Who of the Journey-Journal
Brave Sis Journey-Journal — a planner, journal, a history book, coloring book (!), and more, centering Women of Color but welcoming all.
Have you ever experienced looking at a planner or journal online and being thrilled by its promise, only to open it up and find it entirely boring, dull, and generic inside? What a letdown. Brave Sis Journey-Journal is the anti-that.
This is not a generic planner, with a lavish cover and then predictable, repetitive, gray-scaled pages inside. This 7x9", 320-page, full-color book has beautiful 100g offset white paper, and a gorgeous green-gray linen cover with embossed logo.
Color and story are interspersed throughout the book, and surprises pop up unexpectedly, to delight and inspire. Gorgeous hand-designed interior pages have the touch of the hand that designed them as opposed to a machine.
Finally, there is the Brave Sis Birthday Party. Every two weeks, a set of biographical and illustrated portraits of amazing (and many, little-known) Women of Color throughout history, delightfully hand-rendered with care and reverence, ready for your personal interaction and embellishment.
After reading about the Brave Sis Foremothers, there is a prompt to encourage you to think about what element of their life you can incorporate into your story—and space for personal, meditative reflection about what you would ask them (were you able to time travel), and more importantly, what they would tell you. It's a fun and purposeful way to build a practice of reflection, self-care, and growth, all from the comfort of your own space. And with the rest of the book being open-ended and unassuming, (washi tape, colored pens, etc., that's your call, no demand!) it truly is "The Planner Without the Pressure."
Much work and deliberate effort has been put into making this a beautiful art book, where the user can put themselves in the center of the display. You deserve no less!
Brave Sis Project was inspired by the foremothers and is WoC-owned.
At the cusp of a new decade, I (a Black woman seeking a new commitment to wellness) was finding the "planner" market pretty dispiriting. All the samples on the market were for someone else. Some were cheerfully intended for white moms in the suburbs, and I am an internationally minded, urban empty-nester (or at least the nest was empty at the end of 2019...)
On the other hand, the “Black girl” products were working too hard — or worse, felt like someone had taken the most basic book and stuck some "you go, girls" onto it as a selling tool. Puh-lease! Others were terse; were their users even human? The new-agey ones seemed to require course study to even operate. The “success” planners had a disappointing testosterone-drive to them — no thanks. And how about the book I saw at the big box store: so blank and morose and cheap, I got both angry and sad at the same time.
You know what they say; if you can’t find it, build it.
This "planner without the pressure" is a conjuring and celebration of brave and inspiring Women of Color through history. It's a place to discover, explore, and expand our shared magnificence. It's a way to be a little more of your own best friend.
It's a way to Write and Love Yourself into History. And scribble, and tape stuff into, and cross stuff out of, and color and draw, and dawdle and dream.
I know, everyone (including me) uses apps on their phone and computer to manage daily meetings and appointments, the "outside world" stuff. But apps can't do everything; the physicality of writing and drawing, the value of looking both back and forward over time, the joy of bringing color into your life, the playful creativity of doodling, the fun of sticky-noting and coloring, and above all, the practice of making yourself your priority for even five or ten minutes a day is something we all deserve.
Two decades into extreme digitality, there is something ritually significant and pleasurable in the act of analog correspondence. It's healing and fun to Journey and Journal.
Important: this book centers Women of Color but is accessible to all.
It is June 2020 and we have to address the context of our time and how this relates to this Project.
This Project started out before the pandemic, and indeed, we delayed the launch in deference to all of us who were affected and suffering in one way or another. But the Foremothers told us that we should not silence them(!) so we are pushing on now, as so many of them did.
I (the Founder) am a Black woman. I have friends and people dear to me across all the cultures, all the genders, all the lifestyles, all the countries. We have had a very interesting and fulfilling journey of friendship and growth over the years, and in the times we are moving through, we have had to batten down our hatches very mindfully in order to weather the storms of worldchanging that we are all a part of in mid-2020.
Inclusion (with de-centering) of White women is a deliberate component of the Project. We feel it is important to build a broader circle of awareness and unity. "Allyship" is a troublesome word in many ways, because it implies one group has and bestows out of their largesse; we wanted to explore a world where one group (or groups: Woc/ Brown and Black/ BIPOC—choose your preferred set of nomenclatures) invite others (both white women and other "PoC") into their house, and host them lovingly to share a beautiful visit and make a better world.
In this moment, when many have been embarked on an accelerated journey in unpacking privilege, and authentically committing to de-centering a "default" Whiteness Narrative, we hope Brave Sis will feel like a helpful resource, for listening, learning, and growing.
And for us Women of Color (whether we are Black, of the vastly diverse categories called "Asian," "Latina/Latinx/Hispanic", Native/Indigenous, Mixed-Race, a womxn, or however we identify — the nomenclatures are in constant evolution)... We will learn important stories about other WoC in different cultures. And we will feel Proud and Amazed.
And tbh, dudes who want to really go down the wellness and learning road with the foremothers are also welcome (though you will be asked to be especially committed to listen-and-learn mode!) :)
So much winning!