We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Thomishia Booker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Thomishia, how does your business help the community?
My name is Dr. Thomishia Booker and I am the CEO and Owner of Hey Carter! Books (HCB). I started HCB, which is inspired by my son Carter after being disappointed in the lack of representation in children’s books for Black boys. While pregnant, I felt the heaviness of what it meant to bring a Black child into this world and I wanted to do something to shift negative stereotypes that exist for Black children, specifically Black boys. The research shows that Black boys are seen as more mature and aggressive than other children. Black children as young as 2 and 3 years have been suspended from preschool due to their age appropriate behavior being misjudged and seen as problematic. HCB exists to ensure Black boys see positive reflections of themselves and to elevate Black joy. Although HCB was created for Black children, it is important for all children to be exposed to realties that differ from their own. HCB puts Black boys front and center and sends them a message that they are loved, cherished, and valued.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Hey Carter! Books started as a passion project during a painful time in my life as I was navigating motherhood. I wanted the world to see my son the way I did and for as many Black boys to see a positive reflection of themselves through my books. I am most proud of my recent feature on the Netflix original series Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. My book “Brown Boy Joy” was chosen to be a part of the series because it aligned with the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards and I also stood to be the only self-published author a part of the show. Being a part of the Netflix series helped me to accomplish the goal of elevating Black joy on a bigger platform. The show Bookmarks is not only worldwide but is also translated in over five different languages, making representation for Black boys a reality across the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start the week off at my favorite Black owned spa in Pleasant Hill, Spavia. After enjoying an 80 minute signature massage we would head over to Pure Juice and Smoothie Lounge, which is also Black owned in Concord, CA, for some freshly squeezed juice. Later, we would head to the Flamingo Nail Salon in Walnut Creek for a manicure and pedicure. We head to San Francisco for some shopping, sightseeing and rent bikes to tour the city. I’d be sure to go on a few hikes throughout the Bay Area (Little Yosemite and Mission Peak) to enjoy the beautiful weather. We would definitely have to stop in Napa at the amazing Black owned Brown Estate for some wine.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely! I’d like to thank and dedicate my shoutout to my husband, Chris Booker who has supported me throughout my journey in so many ways including motherhood, becoming an Author and as an Entrepreneur. His love and encouragement has meant everything to me. I am thankful to have a partner who supports my dreams.
Dorean Raye Photography Nicole Barton Photography