TO SAY 2020 has been a difficult year for us all, would be an understatement, but for every devastating situation we may find ourselves in, a blessing can be born from it.
This was the case for Catherine Boakye, like many people across the country she was made redundant from her job with British Airways which she had held for over 20 years.
Losing the security of her job was frightening but at the same time, it was the catalyst she needed to push herself to focus on her other passion, designing and supplying beautiful multicultural toys and dolls to help teach children about their history and culture.
She said: ”I remember when I was growing up in the 70’s, there were very few books or black dolls that I could identify with and there definitely weren’t any black super heroes to captivate my young imagination.
”However, I was lucky my wonderful mother provided me with a daily connection to my history through the stories she would tell me about her childhood growing up in Ghana and the rich culture of the Ashanti tribe which I come from.
”Fast forward 25 years when I become a mother myself, I wanted to impart the same love for culture and strong sense of self pride in my own children.
”Sadly, there was still a lack of good quality toys and books that could help me and other parents to empower our children.” Catherine set about starting her own business Mangotree Kids providing these much needed resources, however juggling a very demanding job with being a mother meant she was never truly able to fully grow the business until now. After 20 years she now has big plans for Mangotree Kids she explained: “I am very optimistic for the future, although we are in a pandemic, I believe that now is the perfect climate for my products.
”There has been a conscious awakening within our community which is very powerful.”
With this in mind, Catherine has spent the last 6 months sourcing an amazing new range of books that will ignite children natural curiosity and imagination, dolls that will help children to see the undeniable beauty of their hair and skin.
She has also been busy with her own designs a range of cultural superhero capes made from vibrant Kente prints in celebration of the resilience that children have shown this year.
The capes are also symbol of the greatness that lies within all children. Catherine hopes her products will help make this a cultural Christmas with gifts to fill children’s childhood memory bank with fun and laughter.
To see the full range of products visit www.mangotreekids.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram @mangotreekids