The Start-Up

‘Can’t angels be black?’: How March Muses is bringing diversity to your Christmas tree

Alison Burton and Natalie Duvall speak to Andy Martin about March Muses – their company aimed at adding diversity to Christmas

Thursday 18 November 2021 17:55
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<p>March Muses is ‘celebrating diversity and diversifying celebrations’ </p>

March Muses is ‘celebrating diversity and diversifying celebrations’

Tragic headline of the day: “Covid killed the elves.” So say Alison Burton and Natalie Duvall. Fortunately, they recovered from this setback – Alison and Natalie, that is – to create March Muses and decorate Christmas trees with ornaments of colour, a Black Santa and Afro Angels.

Alison and Natalie are both south Londoners with Jamaican heritage. They knew one another as kids, then went their different ways, but re-connected eleven years ago when they were both pregnant. After giving birth to daughters only two weeks apart, they went on meeting at Nando’s because it had a convenient spot for buggies. It was while having lunch and putting the world to rights that they started comparing notes on what they ought to do next. And wondering if they could do something together.

Alison had moved from HR into recruitment, predominantly for the pharmaceutical industry; Natalie had trained at the British School of Performing Arts and was giving drama workshops in schools. They put that all together and came up with “Career Challenge” workshops, initiating youngsters into the mysteries of money management and CVs, but injecting fun and games into it too. Then five years ago they came to the realisation that the one thing people were still missing from their lives was elves.

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