Reflections By Zana is launching a unique line of workplace accessories for underrepresented front line health care professionals required to work during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Creator Aneesha Smith, a nurse with 19 years of experience, says the badges are necessary because hospital workers are repeatedly questioned by patients to clarify their titles, and are often mistaken with one another—even more now during a face-covering pandemic.
“We are one of the few disciplines that have to work during this crisis,” Smith says. “We don’t have a choice when it comes to working from home, but these badges do provide the opportunity for us to choose how we’re being represented, seen, and acknowledged on the job.”
Her distinctive ID badge reels include hand-painted wooden, enamel, and PVC badges featuring images and titles of Black professionals.
Smith’s two daughters inspired her to create these ID badges. Both are digital artists, who are in love with the anime art style. However, in showcasing their creations, Smith noticed their digital art pieces didn’t usually depict characters that mirrored them.
She comments, “I set out to show them how we could be our own muses—which is something that our generation grew up watching on TV and seeing in movies. The positive representation now seems to be limited or even recycled imagery, rather than regular, mainstream depictions of our creative, cultural, and career-minded diversity.
“When I created the first set of wooden badges mostly for nurses, I discovered that meaningful, personalized representation of us in the workplace was missing. My creations were welcomed with open arms and I’ve personally hand-painted over 12K wooden badges covering a myriad of professions—the largest one being healthcare workers.”
Learn more or place an order today at http://reflectionsbyzana.etsy.com.
Reflections By Zana got its start on Etsy in 2016 and has since expanded to a second online store, RBZExpressions.com. Smith operates the business with her husband of over 15 years. Their goal is simple: become known as the go-to provider of numerous and much-needed items representative of professionals of color.
Their growing line of badges feature images for all careers, ranging from health care to activism, and have expanded into other professions including social work and law.
The full work-related product line features melanin-inspired items, such as retractable badge ID holders, stethoscopes and stethoscope charms, work bags, face coverings, and classy compression socks. Travel items include passport covers, luggage straps/tags, and travel bags. Reflections By Zana also offers umbrellas, cell phone cases, and items inspired by Greek fraternities and sororities.
Collections include Queens Stand Up! Loc’d Goddess, #blackout, Mommy & Me, BNR (Black Nurses Rock!), Graduation Station, and Throwback—an homage to movie culture.
Smith says sales of her products are already growing organically. “Customers are buying badges and then leveling up with new badges when they receive new degrees,” she says. “This has really become a badge of honor for professionals, something I’m so proud to be a part of.”
This article was originally written by BlackBusiness.com.