In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to dedicate this blog to the mother who runs elea blake cosmetics, Darin Wright. It feels surreal to be working for someone who I respect as a business woman, person, and parent. Growing up I watched my mother overcome a lot in pursuit of her passion. I know that my sister and I are extremely lucky. We have two amazing parents that worked together as a team to raise twins (which is no easy task) and help my mom run a business in a time when Girls weren’t bosses or ran the world. Here is a list of things my mother taught me. They are also values reflected in the way she runs and operates elea blake. They are the values behind this company.
NEVER DO ANYTHING HALFWAY
Whether it was supporting my sister and I when we dreamt up possibilities for our future, or helping us pursue some sort of unusual interest that had seized our imagination, my mom would encourage us to explore the idea until we were exhausted with it. When it came to school projects my mother would cheer us into going beyond the minimum requirements, to look at the instructions and ask how can we put a twist on this to make it unique. She would encourage our ideas and sit up with us, often late into the night helping us and learning about the material along with us. She never let us take shortcuts in the way we approached something, but we never thought of it as a possibility simply because we’d never seen her take that approach. My mom would work long hours, and when she’d come home she’d often be problem solving something. Frustration was a first step to making something better. It's why she created ebhues and why she uses mineral makeup she can customize per person. No shortcuts or 'close enough' here.
NEVER PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE YOU AREN’T
As I’ve gotten older, I realize there is no normal. I’ve also learned that attractiveness is a state of mind. The standards of normalcy and beauty were not something I was taught in my own home. My mother would sing silly songs without shame. When she read books to us, she would completely embody the characters she read. She volunteered at one point helping my father with the church puppet show they regularly had for the kids our age. When I look back, I know my parents were completely ridiculous, and while sometimes I would turn bright red from embarrassment at their comfort being foolish in public, most of the time I just assumed that was what people did.
This is my mom at her wedding with my father
Ultimately, I think that my mom was so distracted by her own quest for information and entertainment that she simply couldn’t be bothered to try to be anyone except her own self. This mindset is something that we encourage at elea blake. We want everyone to feel confident in their own skin. To be the best version of themselves. We aren’t putting a celebrities face on your own, we are making your face and fashion on par with the trendsetters. In art, you borrow from others in an effort to create something uniquely yours, at elea blake, you have your own unique palette, formulas, and persona. Tools that help you become your own icon.
ALWAYS BE HONEST
Honesty was prioritized in my home, to the point that when I went off to university I had to learn how to give my honest thoughts in a more diplomatic way (art school). My mother would never tell me something looked good if she didn’t think that it looked good. She would let me know if she thought I could do better. While she was always kind, loving and sometimes blind to the objective skill of something due to her love, she was never disingenuous. Criticism was never meant as cruelty, instead it was because she cared about me being able to do something better, and expected that I was capable of doing so. She taught me to be honest with my thoughts to others, to believe in people’s abilities to improve, and to take criticism in stride. When she works with clients, she tells them the truth. She never encourages people to buy things she doesn’t think will work, or that make them look bad. She never uses things that she discovers aren’t good for people’s skin or appearance, even if it will make a product cheaper. She truly cares about others aspirations. Which brings me to my last point.
It is exhausting to always care. You aren’t always rewarded for caring, and sometimes it is actively harmful to do so. I’ve never seen my mom not care. Whether it is a person going through rough times (I cannot list all the different causes she has helped let alone individuals) or an animal in need (we adopted so many animals growing up). It is true that Darin has a feisty side to her, but that side is a protective side. It is one that comes up when she feels that others are threatened. Growing up as a child in her presence, I have seen my parents in very public and private moments. I cannot name a single time my parents did something mean spirited. They were often secretive about their concern for others, or their actions to help others. Neither of them would publicly brag on how amazing they are, which is why I felt the need to write this.
Darin (left) with one of Blake's friends she met at University (right)
I think all good moms do things not only for their children but for others that they don’t advertise. I know this because I hear about it with the countless women I work with. Either subtly from the moms themselves, or from their daughters. Mothers give a lot for their families and children, and they don’t ask for much in return. What all good mothers want is for their children to be happy, healthy, and to live their best life. Make sure you spend some time with that wonderful woman in your life. Tell her how much you love her and how much you appreciate what she has done for you. Remember that she is a person. Someone with hopes and dreams just like you. Someone with flaws and perfections too. Your mother gave you the gift of life, and the good ones give their children the gift of love. Today let’s remember to share that gift with them.