We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlin Johnstone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaitlin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Kailtin and Kevin Johnstone are partners in life and business. As children, our fondest memories revolve around stories. Kaitlin’s mom & dad would tuck her in, give her a kiss goodnight, & share the adventures of Goofy, Donald, & Mickey. The Disney collection was her favorite. Kevin remembers insisting that his mom read the same baseball book to him every night, religiously. Kaitlin became a Kindergarten teacher & realized the importance of children reading books that interest them and having these books at home. Often times, she found herself buying books for her students to bring home and stocking her classroom library with titles her students could keep. She began passionately looking into the inequities of literacy access and wanted to do something more. Kevin knew he could help out. We created Kind Cotton to allow people to provide the magical experience of books to as many children as possible, all through our kindness-spreading clothing. Every purchase provides a book directly to a child.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Kind Cotton was started 5 years ago now, simply because I wanted my students to have access to books in their homes. When we first started the company I can remember running to the mailbox to ship one package a day and knowing that if zi could ship one package each day for the entire month then I could fund the reading program I started, in which every child got to take home a copy of the book I read to them. We are now putting thousands of books into the hands of kids in one month and along with that has come many challenges. If it weren’t for those challenges, however we would not be where we are.
We also believe very passionately about provining inclusive books to children and with the highly political climate we all find ourseleves in, we absolutely receive backlash for that. With that being said, it is our firm belief that every single child deserves to feel seen, loved, and valued when opening a book and we will never change that mission.
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?
When it comes to the success of Kind Cotton, I have to give the BIGGEST shoutout to my husband, Kevin. I am often the face of Kind Cotton. The one on social media and at the book events. The one featured in articles like this. However, my partner is the one who keeps Kind Cotton running. He builds the website, helps ship the packages, manages ALL of our marketing, etc. He is a beautiful part of our company, that often does not get recognized. So, here’s to my rock, Kevin.