Where have you been? That’s probably what you’ve been wondering over this past year. It has been a wild ride, but I’ve learned many lessons along the way. I’ve shared with some of you that my previous manufacturer let me down and I never received my doll Aaliyah as a result. However, last Fall with the amazing support I decided to start all over again with a new manufacturer and I was determined to get my doll by any means possible.
So began a new plan with the due diligence to make sure that how Aaliyah moved, looked, and stood would be different and you would see that she looked like kids of today. While that process was going on, simultaneously I also decided to pack my bags and car from Massachusetts and move to a mysterious land of lakes called Minneapolis, Minnesota. Of course, I moved there for work and joined a pretty well-known retailer to do multicultural marketing. Now I won’t lie that it became a struggle adjusting to an area that not only did I rarely see someone who looked like me, but if you were coming from out of state then you quickly learned that finding a community was hard.
Earlier this year, I along with my work team was switched to another and soon after that’s when I got very stressed. I allowed my job to seriously get me down, I often felt very tired, was taking more time away from Corage Dolls, and I was losing a ton of weight. I went to the doctor and eventually found out that I have hyperthyroidism (which is manageable) aka an overacted thyroid that in my case was brought on by stress. All while this was happening I was still working through getting the doll logistics worked through and finalizing the children’s book. By summer I realized that I could not allow this to deter me for wanting to be better and making sure I was managing my health, my mind, and my spirit.
I began practicing daily meditation, working on getting right with my faith, working out more, and changing up my eating. Through the summer into September, the results were on track and my thyroid was going down. Also during the summer, I received my doll and my book to which I basically cried because it was a milestone that was a win. Now, the real fun begins as this is the year you’ll finally be able to bring Aaliyah home through my upcoming Indiegogo campaign next week and hopefully you’ll feel empowered when you and your family get a chance to read through her entrepreneurial story of perseverance and courage. Thank you so much for reading this and I’m excited for you to come along on this next journey. #BecauseRepresentationMatters
Flora Ekpe-Idang, Founder & CEO