spoiler alert to the girl, the boy, family and friends: do not be surprised if one of your christmas/holiday presents from us is a shirt or sweatshirt or hat that says “AS YOU IS”.
we encountered michael at the farmers’ market one beautiful saturday when the sun was warm and the yellow jackets plentiful. i was drawn to the simple stand of breeze-fluttering t-shirts, the saying AS YOU IS on the banner and the byline “big boned or small featured. thick-haired or bald-headed. married or single. A or C student. white or black or in-between. male or female. or in-between.” we stopped to talk. i’m so glad we did.
michael was disarmingly charming and honest and zealous and positive – a breath of fresh air in a world that seems to be full of negativity and judgment these days. he spoke of the origins of his cottage business and his simple philosophy, arrived at through years of painful learning and experience and after a long career outside of this new mission. we could relate to him. he told us the point of AS YOU IS: “As You Is” is a rally cry for anyone and everyone that has a good heart, regardless of race, color, faith, age, gender, nationality, physical or mental limitations, or appearance.
the pull to stay and talk was strong, but that would have precluded michael from introducing others at the market to his new line, his new business. and so, we grabbed business cards, asked him to design some sweatshirts as well and continued on our way. but AS YOU IS has remained in our conversations together. his AS YOU IS. our (sweet momma/beaky-inspired) BE KIND. twinsies.
i suspect we will seek michael out to talk some more. because chatting with someone about acceptance and hope and goodness is, as michael says, one hella gift.
As You Is® was created to start conversations…to cause total strangers to smile…to make people think…to get others to feel so accepted they break out in impromptu dance…and to put a serious chink in the armor of racism.
Our hope is one day children can embrace being uniquely themselves, where they feel safe being different and where old people – like our founder Michael Fornwald – can age gracefully or ungracefully sans self-contempt.
Please join us by infecting others with hope one hella cool t-shirt or cap at a time.
“Be kind to each other. Always.” (my sweet momma/beaky)
BE KIND designs ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson