A few weeks ago, I was dazzled and moved to tears by a young woman named Grace Key. A video with the headline: Born Different, showed her enjoying makeup, modeling, and designing a clothing line called Candidly Kind. What made it special beyond the clever designs and taglines such as “Go With The Flow,” “Hey, Love Bug,” “Be The Light,” and “I Made Lemonade,” was that Grace was born with Down Syndrome. The last reference was an affirmation that she is surpassing the world’s expectation of what someone with an extra copy of chromosome 21 is capable of accomplishing as she turns what could be perceived as lemons into the sweetest lemonade.
According to her understandably proud mom, Carrie, the catalyst for Candidly Kind was a negative experience in high school. She says,
As I was driving one day crying…very emotional about it, I started thinking about Grace and her art and her heart and her many witty and inspiring ‘Grace phrases’ and literally the idea for her to share her amazing art and phrases came to me. In those few moments when I was in such a desperate emotional state, it just hit me. I truly believe it was from a Higher Power…a sign. I want others to be inspired by the story and to see that Grace and ALL people are worthy to participate, worthy to be respected and deserve to live with dignity. I wanted to show the world that Grace and all people have talents, capabilities, abilities and are worthy.
I reached out to the mother-daughter team and was astounded by the responses they offered.