This International Women’s Day, Luminary is excited to have collaborated with London Block By Block to create a very special celebratory card. The illustrated design features 11 women who have championed women’s empowerment throughout history, as selected by the Luminary team. Whittling this list down was no easy task but Cierra, the creative force behind Block by Block, was able to bring our vision to life to help us mark the occasion.
“I’m hoping as people see this they will go and do a little bit of research and learn more about these incredible women,” says Cierra, who enjoyed the process of learning more about some of the people as she worked through the list. “I love illustrating when it’s something I’m really excited about, and I was extra excited about this,” she says: “I loved that it is International Women’s Day, and it really is an international group of women. A diverse group of really amazing women.” And if she had to pick just one favourite from the group? “Amanda Gorman!”
Cierra started Block by Block London in 2018, and since then the business has grown into a 10,000-person strong community. What began as a project to focus on during maternity leave became a full-time occupation: “It grew and grew and I decided not to go back,” she says.
Balancing her various roles as a small-business owner, mother, wife and friend is no simple task. “When people say you can have it all, you can - but you can’t do it all yourself!”, a fact that’s become impossible to ignore in the past 12 months as the boundaries between work and home-life have become increasingly blurred.
Cierra says she is lucky to be supported by family members who have empowered her to focus on her work this last year by helping at home, with both her mother and mother-in-law able to come and stay with her family for prolonged periods throughout the pandemic. “My work was suffering and [my mum] knows how much passion I have for this. She sees the potential, and she made it work despite a pandemic.” To Cierra, it was a sign that the women are committed to empowering her as a business-owner, as well as a mother. “It’s them saying, we believe in you, we want you to do this and we have the time to come and support you,” she says.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Choose To Challenge’, a sentiment that resonates strongly with the Luminary team. For Cierra, it’s about challenging stereotypes around motherhood, and finding a balance between the various roles and responsibilities in her life.
Much as Cierra wishes she could be celebrating with her best friends over a celebratory International Women’s Day brunch, this year she’ll be thinking of thoughtful ways to let the women in her life know just how wonderful they are. “I think everyone is struggling at the moment with different things and it’s so nice to hear someone just reach out sometimes and say hey, I love you, here are all the things I think are great about you,” she says. Whether it’s sending a card or making time for an overdue catch up on the phone, we all know how those messages of support and love can make all the distance on a bad day. “One positive thing that’s come out in the last year is people being honest and saying I’m not OK,” she considers: “People are talking about emotions and feelings in a way that wasn’t happening before.”
Take the opportunity to let someone you love and admire know just how brilliant they are this International Women’s Day. Luminary’s limited edition celebratory minis are the perfect postal gift for a friend, family member or colleague to enjoy no matter how far the distance at the moment. All orders placed in March will come with one of the two International Women’s Day cards too!