You can thank Shonda Rhimes for the birth of the Fierce Mama Mother’s Day cards. Well, kinda. Kammy Ahuja, a designer at a Toronto ad agency, was listening to a podcast with the prolific producer when the topic turned to the cards we give mom once a year and how they just might have it all wrong.
“Shonda said something that really stuck in my head,” says Ahuja, who has a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. “She said so many of the cards are centered around sacrifice—‘Mother, you gave up so much for me; you worked so hard for me; you were always so wonderful and selfless.’ Then she asked, where are all the cards that say, ‘You taught me to be a powerful woman; you taught me how to earn a living; you taught me how to speak up for myself and not back down.’ So I just made a decision in that moment that I was going to create a line of greeting cards that I hope that my daughter one day will be inspired to give me.”
Ahuja teamed up with a handful of Toronto-based designers and writers, who are also moms, and together they worked for months on evenings and weekends on writing and designing the cards. There are six on offer and they have sayings like “You don’t have to put me to bed to shape my dreams” and “Every time you get on a plane you show me the sky’s the limit.”
Here’s the kicker: the cards are free to download and even come in colouring-page format for kids. (You can, however, donate money to the Canadian Women’s Foundation through their website.) “It wasn’t some grand marketing scheme. I really just wanted people to talk about it,” says Ahuja. “I wanted my colleagues, my fellow working moms, to feel the camaraderie of our shared experiences. That working does set a good example, that’s it’s possible to chase your dreams because it inspires your kids to chase theirs.”
This is part of the really honest conversations moms need to be having with one another, says Ahuja. “[When I spoke with my friends] I felt less alone in my struggles with trying to cope with everything. The reality of it is is that I love kids and also I love to work. When you become a mother you don’t stop being your own person, you have your own dreams too.”
Shonda would certainly agree.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter