Thank you for being here! I'm Hannah, the artist behind Inclusive Pegs. I was born and raised in the UK and moved the to states as a teenager. I'm married to the love of my life and we have two wonderful children. I've always had a passion for art and find living a creative life to be my most authentic way to be in this world. This small business journey has been a surprising gift (and challenge) to me. I've had to push myself with the business side of things but have learned so much along the way. We can do hard things!
Inclusive Pegs started out selling nativities in 2018. Since then, it has grown to be so much more. At its core, though, Inclusive Pegs is about Hope, Imagination, and Radical Welcome. These pegs may be small but they are mighty, and they tell a story of abundant and inclusive LOVE. Here's how it all began...
This venture grew out of an exasperated search for a nativity for my own children several years ago. I vividly remember scouring the internet a few days before advent, desperately trying to find a non-fragile and more importantly, non-white Mary and Joseph.
Needless to say I wasn’t very successful and that’s when I decided to order a set of blank peg dolls and try my hand at painting my very own brown Jesus.
While I did see one or two “diverse nativities”, where perhaps a couple of wise men had a darker skin tone, or maybe a shepherd if you were really lucky, whiteness was always front and center.
There were a couple of sellers who would change the skin tone upon request, but whiteness was always the default, always the norm. What really struck me was the monotony in EVERY SINGLE depiction of an angel I came across. Long, flowing blonde hair and light blue eyes were synonymous with Holy, it seemed.
I thought back to all of the picture books I had read as a child about the birth of Jesus and the same was true. The subliminal messaging was everywhere.
Inclusive Pegs has never been just about cute pegs. It is a reimagining of the very image of Jesus that has been whitewashed and forced upon us. Every brush stroke of brown paint is my small act of resistance against a world that centers my skin color.
I painted brown Jesus for my white children to start a conscious conversation around that subliminal messaging that I know I won’t be able to completely shield them from but I will teach them how to challenge.
Jesus the refugee reminds us to question what Holiness looks like and black angels proclaim the Good news of Christ! Oh, that we would truly hear it.
I wrote these words two years ago after painting my first peg doll nativity and they are still so reflective of the mission behind Inclusive Pegs:
"I spent many hours painting these little figures. I had a lot of time to think about the story of Jesus; the story of an immigrant child, born into an empire of Power. Born into a world that said there wasn’t enough room, a world of scarcity. A world of Us and Them, of Walls and divisions, of hate and fear. But God broke all of that open with Jesus. This Christmas we celebrate an abundant love, a love that welcomes the other, and a world in which there is *always* more room."