If you want to hear a story about determination, here it is. Jasmine Williams, a mother of two in Santee, is the founder of SUNNY&TED, a holiday shop focused on diversifying home goods by providing items in a variety of shades to include people of all ethnic backgrounds.
Williams, who previously worked in social services, said she was compelled to create a company of inclusive holiday products after having her first son in 2018.
“I wanted a Black Santa mug that I could use with my growing family year after year,” Williams said. “When I couldn’t find one, I decided to take matters into my own hands. SUNNY&TED officially launched in November of 2020 with our bestselling Cocoa Santa Mug in three shades of brown — honey, caramel, and chocolate.”
From there, Williams’ vision of providing inclusive holiday products took off. Today, she oversees a team of employees who create products ranging from mugs to plates to ornaments, and even kid-focused activities.
“From reviewing product mockups to creating marketing plans with SUNNY&TED partners and email campaigns, we give our all to bring you and your families as much holiday magic as we can,” Williams said. “I’m grateful not only to have an amazing team behind the scenes, but also a supportive and loving family who inspire every goal I could ever have for SUNNY&TED.”
More importantly, she is grateful that her children — and all children — can now find holiday products that include all ethnic backgrounds.
“As a Black woman and a mother to two young Black boys, I must be intentional about the role models we are exposed to,” Williams said. “I want to give myself, my children, and the Black and Brown community every opportunity to see the magic and joy that we inherently possess. While the spirit of Christmas is alive through beloved characters like Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and the Nutcracker, Black and Brown people deserve to see these characters in shades of brown and to know that we too can embody holiday magic. These characters represent whimsy, cheer, joy, giving, love, and fun – all things that everyone should feel that they can have during the holiday season.”
Williams also noted that it’s important to support diverse business owners as a whole.
“It is also important that Black business owners are given the opportunity to take up shelf space,” Williams said. “I hope Black business owners are given the opportunity to create exclusive products for big box retailers so that more people have access to home goods they can see themselves in.
“I hope customers are more readily able to get in the holiday spirit and create Christmas magic that feels tangible because they can relate to the characters. That’s what makes the Christmas season so special.”
For more information about SUNNY&TED, go to sunnyandted.com.
San Diego Moms is published every Saturday. Have a story idea? Email [email protected] and follow her on Instagram at @hoawritessd.