Parenthood is one of the greatest gifts from the Universe. The responsibility of raising a well-versed, respectable human being to be an active and contributing member of society is no easy task. Now that we are more aware of past traumas and how they’re handed down through generations, parents work hard at dismantling problematic behaviors. The conversations that mothers have with their daughters have slightly evolved. Rooted in self-love, parents are tasked with reinforcing the beauty of their child’s inner and outer appearance, ethnic features, and hair textures. For some this is an obvious responsibility, but for others it was something they learned while navigating through life. Throughout our history, society taught us to hate all the characteristics that make us beautiful. As we unlearn those warped ideologies, we get to affirm the truth to our babies.
For entrepreneur and mother of two Paulette Bonneur, the conversations around loving your body started pretty early. After her inquisitive daughter showed interest in learning more about the human body, Bonneur decided it was time to channel that energy into a profitable business. The mommy daughter duo came together to create Everybody Love Your Body, a children’s book that focuses on self-love and body positivity.
Paulette and Harper’s book is part of the family business, Harper and Hunter, LLC. The brand also makes and sells handmade hair bows.
“Growing up with a single mother who immigrated to the United Stated from Liberia, I witnessed the hustle first hand. My mom was an entrepreneur and owning my own business was always something I aspired to do. I couldn’t pinpoint what I wanted to focus on because I had so many ideas. Having children was certainly something that changed my perspective on life. As a parent, you are raising tiny humans who will grow up to be their own person and make their own contributions to the world. When Harper was about 2-years-old, she started singing this silly “naked song” with the dance moves to match. Having a toddler strut throughout the house naked before bath time was cute but it also made me realize that it was time to have conversations about our bodies, ownership and self-love of the bodies we occupy. When she was three, and I was very pregnant, we also talked about the changes of my growing body which sparked the idea for the book. The conversations we had coupled with the “naked song” were turned into a body- positive self-love book that we decided to share with the world during the pandemic,” Paulette tells HelloBeautiful.
At just 4-years-old, Harper knows a thing or two about running a business. She plays an active role in the Harper and Hunter LLC family business. For Paulette, it’s important to have her daughter be part of the process. “First, I need to acknowledge the lessons I have learned from working with my toddler. My 4-year-old “co-worker” as I affectionately call her, has taught me to exercise and extend more patience. It usually takes double the time to process orders with her, but I make sure we can do those things together as a team so she can see what it means to work hard,” she said.
“We talk about how special it is when people order from us and support our business so she knows that there are other things that someone can spend their earnings on but when they’re sharing that with us we want to show appreciation always, no matter how small or large the sale. I also want her to be more equipped with the financial knowledge than many of us didn’t grow up with and if we start now, she will be unstoppable when she takes over the business or starts her very own,” she continued.
When Paulette thinks about what’s next for her company, she takes an optimistic approach. “The possibilities are limitless. We will continue to create hand-made hair bows and expand our children’s offerings. We want to expand our books and include Hunter in the author journey when he gets a little older. We are currently working on Harper’s second book because the need for diverse children’s literature is high and I want my children to know that nothing they want in this life is unattainable if they work hard. We would love to spread our body-positive message on a national scale as well as empowering other kids to see that they can do whatever they desire no matter how young they are. We will also continue to give back and use our platform to bless others which is very dear to our hearts especially when it comes to helping children,” she said
Paulette and her daughter a part of the growing number of Black women entrepreneurs dominating the market. More and more, women are seeking financial independence by starting their own businesses. “I am so honored to be part of a trailblazing group of intelligent, strong, beautiful business-savvy women. It fuels me to work harder for our business and push the limits. For those who came before me, and those who come after me, like Harper and many others,” Paulette said.