by Farah Jadran

Photo by Alice G. Patterson


It’s a simple message — a proposition, really.


“Be kind.”


The human ability is one mother of three Annie Taylor lives, breathes and works. It was more than 14 years ago when she started Annie Taylor Design, a company focused on professional and personal stationary and print designs.


While Taylor’s company was growing, so was she. Becoming a mother meant more perspective in her life. Her goals changed. She became inspired and motivated to raise kind and caring children.


“I want my children to care deeply about others, contribute to society in a positive way, and most importantly feel good about themselves and their place in the world,” Taylor said.


Taylor chose to live her passion. A few years ago, she transformed her Dewitt-based business and began a line of kindness-inspired clothing, home decor and stationery. All of these items serve a purpose: spreading kindness.


Wearing one of her favorite T-shirts, “Be Kind. Smile. Pass it on,” Taylor says she loves how it can do the talking for her. It’s so simple, but it can start a conversation or perhaps be a welcoming sign to a stranger to know they can say “hello,” or smile and walk by feeling a sense of positivity.


“A local second grade little girl told me that she made a new friend to eat lunch with at school, on the day she wore her ‘I Will Be Your Friend’ shirt,” Taylor said. “That is what I dreamed of when I created them — that these T-shirts would make being kind super easy!”


Taylor says the response to the designs have been overwhelming. In addition to wearing a message, she also encourages people to use a kindness note. Writing positive messages to a family member, friend, coworker or even a stranger is something Taylor wants everyone to try. The impact a kind note can have on someone could truly be immeasurable.


Taylor’s business and personal mission is just getting started. She will soon be unveiling GratiKids, a new line she hopes will teach kids gratitude through action.


“GratiKids kits include products such as Kindness Notes, kid friendly thank you notes, inspirational prints, and a daily checklist,” Taylor said. “All designed to teach compassion, gratitude and caring, and paired with a coordinating charity or organization to get kids involved in their communities.”


To browse Taylor’s kindness line, visit


Kindness can change someone’s heart. It can help others realize there is a world around them and more to life than possessions and petty arguments. Kindness can be the message you wear and walk with because you choose to live life with genuine gratitude for each day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised. Why not spend today being kind and being positive?


Farah Jadran is the anchor of CBS5 This Morning and CBS5 News at Noon for

CNYCentral in Syracuse. Farah also served as editor of SWM for more than four years

after she helped launch it in January 2011. If you or someone you know is spreading kindness in our community, tweet at her — @FarahJadran using #BeKindSyracuse.