One day, I received an email from a mum from my son's school enquiring about kids' fashion and product photography. So I sent her my standard commercial photography fees and didn't think about it again. A few days later, I read this on facebook, and was reduced to tears:
Jacana Kids was driven out of our dream to be able to help children with learning disabilities.
Our story starts with my son Domenic. He is the twin brother to Chiara and younger brother to Maddox. Before Domenic was born, we were told by the doctors that he had a cyst in his brain, devastation hit hard, you never imagine something to be wrong with your child. The doctors monitored the cyst during the pregnancy and a couple of weeks before the birth, they were pretty confident that Domenic would be born with minimal effect from the cyst.
Domenic and Chiara were born, but from day one, it was obvious that there was something wrong with Domenic. Our hearts were broken once again when we were told that he was blind. Panic set in, what were we to do? what would life be like for him?
Miraculously, at 6 months of age, Domenic's eye sight started to improve. His delayed eye maturation was caused by a condition called Cerebellar Vermain Hypoplasia, which causes a part of the brain not to develop properly. This also led to another condition called Ocular Motor Apraxia (OMA) where he has involuntary eye movement. The major concern from all of this was his balance, speech, IQ and learning ability.
No one could answer our questions. Would Domenic ever walk? Would he ever talk? Would he play and fight with his siblings like other children?
Concerned and worried as we were, we knew that the best thing we could do, was provide support and give him every opportunity to develop.
Now three years on, he is walking, running, jumping AND even talking back, grrr but soo happy. His incredible development which has blown away every doctor, was due to the assistance of Early Childhood Education Services who were able to educate us as parents on everything needed to help his development. Everything from Physical exercises to visual and mental stimulation to help him interact with the outside world.
Domenic is an example of how early learning skills provided to him and to us as parents, is able to give the knowledge and support to be able to allow children with learning disabilities to reach their potential milestone by milestone.
Inspired by our journey, Jacana Kids was formed to make a difference to other children and their families. Along with Ana, my closest friend and someone that has shared every up and down in the journey so far, we wanted to create a business that allowed our passion for kids fashion to be the vehicle to support organisations that are involved in educating children with learning difficulties.
Every Jacana Kids product is a reflection of the fun and funky designs that have been creatively hand drawn by our kids and the very children that we are endeavouring to help. We then print these designs locally in Melbourne onto sustainable materials, using manufacturers with ethical production values, making sure to the best of our ability, that no child labour or inhumane work conditions are used in the process.
It is our dream at Jacana Kids that every child challenged with learning disabilities is given the opportunity to receive the support we did.
WE BELIEVE THERE IS NO GREATER GIFT FOR A CHILD THAN THE GIFT OF EDUCATION
Jacana Kids will be constantly reviewing organisations around the world that are involved in assisting and educating children with learning difficulties. Every year we will select a new organisation to help, with new designs coming straight from the children involved with that organisation.
If you would like to help us make a difference, support Jacana Kids products and we will donate 50% of the profits to Yooralla, our chosen children's charity for 2016."
I contacted Jacqui & Ana straight away to offer my involvement. We've since become friends, and they are sincere, kind, fun, and generous. They showed me that when your heart is in the right place, running a business can truly make a difference.