When her daughter, Liberty, was only three weeks old, Jenelle Wexler came up with the idea of crafting a costume for her that would resemble one of her favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. A picture of the elaborate outfit, which featured a colorful headpiece made of flowers, was posted on the Instagram account Wexler set up for Liberty, along with a brief bio of who Kahlo was and her impact on Mexican society and beyond.
But the photo gave Wexler an idea — why stop at Kahlo when she can continue to pay tribute to other prominent women as well?
“I just kept thinking of all different influential women that I wanted to dress her up as,” Wexler, 36, from McHenry, Illinois, tells PEOPLE. “There were so many I could have her portray and help tell their stories.”
From there, Wexler has made baby Liberty roughly 20 costumes (not all of them have been posted to Instagram yet), that are as adorable as they are informational.
“We come up with the idea and then I research the woman that I’m portraying. Then, I figure out their bio and what outfit I can come up with that is best going to portray the reference picture that I’m using,” Wexler explains. “Then, my mind gets busy figuring out what kind of costume I can make her.”
Wexler, who is a hairstylist but sews as a hobby, says she tried to find time to make the costumes when she finds a little child-free downtime from keeping up with Liberty and her 2-year-old son, River.
“I try to make as much as I can during nap time or when the kids go to bed,” she says. “Then, it’s usually ready first thing in the morning that I take the photos of her.”
Luckily, Liberty is “pretty chill” during the shoots, Wexler says, which makes it easy to capture the smiling newborn with her iPhone.
The photos have since received a lot of attention over social media, and many followers have reached out for their own suggestions of what women the mother-daughter duo should do next.
While Wexler says she is happy the photos are bringing smiles to others on social media, she is proud that the pictures are serving an educational purpose as well.
“It’s really awesome to know that something that’s just a hobby of mine is bringing a lot of people joy,” Wexler says. “But I’m having a lot of other people say, ‘I’m learning. You’re teaching me something. I just learned something today,’ and that, for me, is really neat.”