The inexcusable and horrific killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others has sparked justified outrage and momentum for change. Our team at We Are Stellar Designs wants you to know that we are committed to modeling values of justice and equity in our day-to-day operations, as well as in our design practices. To our community members who are hurting, angry and scared - we stand with you.
We Are Stellar Designs recently launched our newest design vibe: Afrika. Although we were inspired by the rich textures and spirit the African culture offers, the creation of the Afrika vibe was in response to a racist experience shared by the Stellar team during our visit to the New York Now trade show back in February, the annual show we attend to source new products for our collections. As I write this, I hesitate to share the details of that day because as a biracial woman, silence seems easier - somehow more professional than exercising my voice. But with the current climate of unified voices, I have come to know silence is part of our country's collective problem. For my colleagues, they were less aware of the looks of disdain, dismissive comments or complete rejection I faced while talking with vendors about buying their wares. Throughout the day, as my resolve to rise above ignorance waned, my co-workers began to notice. When they realized what was happening, I instinctively minimized the incidents because, quite honestly, it's embarrassing to be treated that way. Although I'm a leader in the company, that day I felt invisible. Lovingly and swiftly, they stepped in, supported me and together we made the decision not work with those vendors. Without my knowing, Afrika was born that day because as designers, that is the way they chose to process their experience. To celebrate the beauty of African American people through products, textures, and patterns made by a diverse group of vendors.
Our creative team is charged with creating interiors of the highest quality without regard to race, gender, socioeconomic status, or background of the people we serve. Although we all deserve to live with these fundamental design values, we know that doesn't always happen. Designers are responsible for putting people first. Now more than ever, our community craves grace, civility, compassion, healing, and hope.
Collectively, We Are Stellar Designs will keep learning, sharing, and improving solutions, while empowering our team to intentionally be better. We continue to embrace a kind of thinking that focuses on accountability and activism - opening our minds to a broader range of possibilities.
“Design is by nature an optimistic endeavor.” -Sascha Wagner