At JoJo, we ensure that the models we use in our campaigns are just everyday, regular children – representative of our diverse communities. We continue to use the children of our customers, friends and teams who are just as beautiful to us as they are to their parents. This year, we recruited Eleanor to model our Autumn/Winter 2020 collection - her mum Helen shares her experience in today's blog.
I first became aware of JoJo Maman Bébé when my friends started having children, it was always my ‘go to’ for presents because of the stunning quality and mix of traditional with modern twists. When I fell pregnant with our daughter, it didn’t take long to discover their maternity range too.
Eleanor was born in April 2018. After receiving a post-natal diagnosis of Down Syndrome, she spent the first few weeks of her life on the Special Care Baby Unit at our local hospital. I turned to social media to learn more about people with DS. It wasn’t long before I changed my own personal Instagram into a space where I too could raise awareness for Eleanor and others like her to show that there is nothing ‘down’ about Down Syndrome.
Every now and again I would tag companies in my posts as I’d often get asked where Eleanor’s beautiful clothes where from. JoJo featured a lot all the way along, especially for special occasions, like Christmas, birthdays and christenings.
Fast forward to June 2020 whilst we were still in strict lockdown. One night, we were busily bathing Eleanor after a BBQ and a day of sunshine in the garden, so I hadn’t had a chance to check my messages. After Eleanor had gone to bed, I finally opened my emails and was surprised to find an message from the lovely team at JoJo who had spotted our photos on Instagram. They asked us if we like to be involved in their Autumn/Winter 2020 modelling campaign, and obviously we jumped at the chance. I’d always known about how inclusive they are as a company and had spotted models before that have DS.
I remember in the early days during a long night-time feed, spotting a little girl on the website and just instantly buying the whole outfit as I couldn’t resist and now, we were being asked to be involved too! Such a dream come true.
In the days that followed we had to submit Eleanor’s sizes and then we waited for the exciting parcel to arrive. We all had so much fun thinking of ideas for locations around the garden and then taking the photos. In the next few weeks our anticipation grew, and we couldn’t wait to see the finished product of Eleanor in the catalogue. During that time a clip of Eleanor learning to walk had gone viral online. We hadn’t realised at the time but there had already been a little media interest in Eleanor that had never amounted to anything.
Then the JoJo catalogue came out, and we were over the moon to discover that Eleanor was launching the ‘created by you’ campaign. I was so incredibly proud that I shared the news instantly on my own social media. The response that I received was crazy and a day or two later we were contacted by the local BBC team asking to feature a story about our gorgeous little girl… things really snowballed from that point and we ended up in so many newspapers around the world and on various TV shows. It was definitely an unexpected few weeks and a family experience we’re sure never to forget and certainly brightened up some dull lockdown days.
We’re so excited to be able to continue working with JoJo in promoting inclusivity in society.