The U.S. version of RealHomes.com (a leading media brand in the UK since the 1990s) that you’re reading now launched earlier this week, in tandem with a global racial equality movement. As the U.S. editor responsible for this site, I’ve spent this week – our first week together – thinking about the message we want to send our new audience about where we stand, and how that ties into our bigger goals as a brand.
I’ve thought about creating a list of BIPOC-owned home decor businesses for you to support, or interviewing black leaders in the interior design community, or sharing a list of resources for learning more information about anti-racism. Don't get me wrong, all of these things are important to highlight, and we plan to add more topics like this to our editorial calendar. But for this moment, for our very first time addressing race on this website in our very first week in the U.S., they felt like we were addressing the issue without actually addressing the issue.
And I think that’s because our real work is bigger than a one-time post about BIPOC designers and makers. Our work, as a publication with millions of readers around the globe, is to drive change by example, through our content. And not just now but in the coming months and years.
The broader homes sector has long struggled with inclusivity. As an industry we seem calibrated to the white, upper middle class, and in that way, the home industry reflects the issues that affect society more widely. There’s no doubt that we have fallen too easily into the rhythm of sameness. We must reflect you, our audience, much better, by celebrating people around the country, regardless of your background, where you live, your sexuality, gender, politics or race.
So here’s what we’ve decided. For right now, instead of telling you what you can do, we’re going to tell you what we can do. Our website is called Real Homes, and we’re going to work harder to deliver on the promise of that name. We want to create a place where all feel welcome in our corner of the internet – our home – and that starts with small but simple steps.
A few of the initiatives we’ll be taking as a site:
- Hiring more black writers
- Featuring more black experts, designers, and influencers in our stories
- Launching Real Home stories, and when we do it, making sure we feature spaces from all over the country and from all people of all backgrounds.
- Featuring more black-owned businesses in our product roundups and buying guides.
- Pushing ourselves as individual content creators to think beyond our own experiences
Because without doing these things, we can’t call ourselves Real at all.
We’ll be learning as we go, but we’re committed to educating ourselves and excited to contribute to equality in our industry, instead of exclusivity. Here’s where we’d love your help: if you’re an awesome freelance writer, or you know of a great product or brand, or you have a home of any variety which has been transformed into something special that you think might inspire others, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org for us to consider (email@example.com if you are outside the US). Our industry has promoted its own for too long, and as a result we’d especially like to hear from you if you feel under-represented in the rest of the homes industry. Skilled interior designers, smart owners and marketeers of cool brands, homeowners or renters with an amazing talent – you come from all backgrounds. We shouldn’t have to make that clear, but it’s worth saying.
I’m happy to be the first to welcome you to our new home here in the U.S. We hope you’ll find helpful, fun, relatable content here no matter who you just so happen to be.