|Luciana Gilmore: Founder of Gilmore Girls Greetings with her daughters|
By Kanisha Parks
Some mother-daughter relationships form relatively easily and only grow more resilient over time into an unbreakable bond of understanding, love, and respect for one another. But the more common truth is that mother-daughter relationships can be difficult—and that’s an understatement. From infancy to adulthood, entire complicated histories are formed between a mother and her daughter and the truth is: navigating those waters can prove difficult.
At the heart of almost every mother-daughter issue can be found a lack of healthy communication, often birthed from the false idea that telling a child too much will cause them to become curious and therefore make mistakes. Some mothers simply never learned the delicate art of communicating with their children. Other times, mothers have shame regarding the decisions they’ve made in the past, which prevents them from having the courage to really talk to their daughters. This results in a shared fear of communication that only debilitates the bond between mother and daughter.
These are truths that Luciana Gilmore, founder of Gilmore Girls Greetings, knows all too well. But she has responded with a unique approach by creating greeting cards that seek to bridge the gap of communication that many mothers encounter with their daughters. “Unlike other greeting cards,” Luciana says, “These are more personal and the message isn’t generic. My cards are written from real circumstances I’ve experienced with my daughter or one of my students. They come from a place where a daughter will want to hold on to it.”
Gilmore Girls Greetings was inspired both by Luciana’s role as an educator for over 15 years and her own experiences as a daughter and mother. Growing up, Luciana admits that she definitely struggled to communicate with her own mother.
“My mother was not very open or transparent about anything she went through as a young girl. Usually when my mother and I ‘talked,’ it was yelling. I didn’t feel like I could come to her. For example, when it comes to friends, my mother’s philosophy was, ‘Nobody’s a friend.’ She didn’t talk me through the qualities I should look for in a friend. It would’ve been helpful to know that I could talk to my mom so that I didn’t have to learn a lot of things on my own.”
After becoming a mother herself, Luciana was determined to change that. She has three children: Asiya (17), Jada (9), and Demetrius (4). After having Asiya, Luciana realized that despite being determined not to repeat the mistakes her mother had made, she hadn’t been as open and honest as she could’ve been with her own daughter.
“I noticed this when Asiya was getting ready to enter the teenage years. She was my only child until she was eight years old, so it was easy to cater to her. Once I had my younger daughter, I was trying to balance having two girls and giving them equal time, attention, and affection. I started noticing changes in Asiya, but something about her being my daughter prevented me from being open and transparent. I was scared because in hindsight, I knew I could’ve and should’ve talked more openly with her. When she turned 17, I asked myself, ‘Did I say this? Did I do this? Did I teach her this?’ Reality hit me that I needed to make sure I had given her the right information. I then became very intentional about things I shared with her.”
Gilmore Girls Greetings was truly born as Luciana and her daughter started writing cards to each other. They began communicating things they never got to say, and how it made them feel when there was a lack of communication. Soon they were able to have insight into each other’s thinking, and today, both mother and daughter can talk about anything.
Asiya is now a college student and Luciana even sends her ‘Love Drops,’ which are packages you can order that are custom-made for your daughter’s interests, including all of her favorite sweets and supplies, complete with a message written just for her.
“Even if I don’t talk to Asiya every day, when she receives the package, it assures her that I love her and am thinking about her,” says Luciana.
With these greeting cards, ‘Love Drops,’ and her new book, “Daughter, Have I Told You Lately,” Luciana is giving mothers a way to ensure that encouragement, support, and love are communicated to their daughters. And just like Luciana did with her daughter, know that it’s never too late to try to correct your mistakes or to begin healing.
Learn more about Gilmore Girls Greetings!
How do you maintain a healthy bond with your daughter?