clean beauty con, william syndrom awareness

Clean Beauty Con Joins in on WSA Awareness Month

4 More Reasons to Love Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

May is one of our favorite months around here. Williams Syndrome Awareness Month allows us to shine the light on our Director of Joy, my daughter, Morgan. It's also when our incredible community joins us in raising awareness and funds for the Williams Syndrome Association, which has been at our side since Morgan was diagnosed at 22 months old. And this year, the inaugural Clean Beauty Con, hosted by our friend and celebrity makeup artist Cassandra McClure on May 16, was the icing on the cake. I do believe May is now officially my favorite month of the year! Clean Beauty Con was a sold-out event, and limited in attendance, of course, so while all of you couldn't be there in person, you were definitely with Morgan and me in spirit. Hopefully, my takeaways will inspire you, too, to love the differences amongst us all. Here's what's on my mind right now as I reflect on the event and close the chapter on 2021's Williams Syndrome Awareness Month celebration. 

1. Everyone deserves the spotlight

Clean Beauty Con was held in a gorgeous, intimate setting in Menlo Park. In attendance were bloggers, podcasters, content-creators, local business owners and like-minded clean beauties. My nieces and Morgan's cousins were there, too! There was mouth-watering, insta-worthy cuisine (Morgan loves to eat out!) and a beautiful, loving spotlight on Morgan herself. This is what touched me so deeply. Cassandra was a gracious hostess, and everything was so beautifully done (we even had a group ‚ tapping‚ session!). She brought together a dynamic, diverse group of women for one purpose, and that was to allow others to meet Morgan and/or get to know her better. Morgan felt so loved.

2. What connects us, compels us

"When I first discovered Innersense Organic Beauty, our connection was instant and our mutual commitment to 'clean' was evident. Joanne and Greg produce great hair care products and yet it was their appreciation and celebration of Morgans" enthusiasm that I found so endearing. Feeling their love and memories of adventure with this young woman inspired me to learn more and participate in the cause to expand awareness for this rare genetic disorder. What I know for sure is Morgan is an outgoing, industrious and kind young woman and I'm grateful she took the time to celebrate -and inspire ‚all of us."- Cassandra I was truly touched by Cassandra's opening words. When she said "our connection was instant" I was reminded that life is full of tiny sparks, ignition events that occur, either by chance or by purpose, and light a fire within us. And I realized this brand's connection to this incredible clean beauty connoisseur was one of those fires for which I am so very grateful. 

3. Everyone deserves to be a contributor

My friend, Jessica, has a daughter, Ava, who also has Williams Syndrome. She and I talk a great deal about parenting children with special abilities. Ultimately, we just want people to know and love our children for who they are. When Morgan was diagnosed, I intuitively knew I was going to have to push through and support her to be out in the world. Adults with William Syndrome often suffer from anxiety and depression and I understand Morgan could face this challenge as she got older. But I also knew, even then at 22 months old, that Morgan was going to touch many lives positively. Clean Beauty Con was a by-product of that. Cassandra may not have even been aware that she was creating a situation that would enable my daughter to overcome her challenges in some small way. There, Morgan took the lead and connected with other young women who were also taking the lead. Seeing Morgan feel valued and standing proud as a positive contributor to society filled my heart. Again, life is full of little sparks and blessings.

4. Our differences deserve celebration

As a female founder, being surrounded by other women leaders in business was incredibly inspiring. I just felt so in awe. And for Morgan, seeing other young women network and make similar connections was pretty special. She became teary-eyed when she thanked Cassandra for bringing us all together. While we had different backgrounds, careers and purpose in life, we were all connected by one thread, and that thread was Morgan. Every woman at Clean Beauty Con had the opportunity to see, learn and love someone with Williams Syndrome for their special abilities, not their disability. I want to thank Cassandra and all that attended that day but more importantly express my gratitude to the whole clean beauty community. And to you, our beloved Innersense Organic Beauty community, for loving Morgan and opening your hearts to people who are not just like you. Cheers to our differences!  - Joanne Starkman, Founder, Innersense Organic Beauty.