I’m going to be honest, it’s hard for me to do ANYTHING right now. This wave of anti-choice legislation has me terrified, and just feeling completely defeated. (Which is why I dedicated an entire line of shirts to raising money to fight that shit).
ANYWAY, Given how dark things feel right now, I wanted to reflect on some positive moments from the past two weekends. We’re in “market season” so I’ll be doing lots of pop ups over the next few months. This month I had my first ever outdoor events and I’ll be honest I was STRESSED. Thankfully even when the weather didn’t fully want to cooperate (why was it forty degrees in May?!), things still went well and I had some of my favorite interactions I’ve EVER had with people at events.
Here are some of the highlights (that I remember):
- A mom was buying a rainbow sticker for herself - her daughter (probably about six years old) said “mom, I want one too” and she immediately grabbed another and said “well, I’m not going to say no to buying you a feminist sticker!”
- A woman bought a “Make America Equal Already” shirt to wear at the gym because a man who goes to the same gym always works out in his MAGA hat.
- A mom was with her two daughters looking through our buttons. The daughter (probably around age 9?) asked the mom why one said “Don’t Tell Me To Smile” and the mom said “Because a lot of times boys will tell girls they look prettier when they smile” and the daughter rolled her eyes and said “RIDICULOUS!"
- After leaving my booth, the same girl from #3 came back to buy a button with her own money (cue tears). I told her to pick out a second one for free and she said “REALLY?!” and then called her sister over so she could pick one out for herself. In case you’re wondering, they both picked Make America Equal Already buttons
- We have a new shirt for events “Love Every Body Especially Yours” and three different women said it was exactly the message they needed to hear. One woman actually said she had tried on clothes that morning and was feeling really bad about herself. She said she doesn’t have a full length mirror at home. It broke my heart, but I hope that small dose of body positivity helped counteract some of the negative messages that were going through her head.
- SO MANY PUPPIES, Y’ALL. I got to pet so many but a standout is the 10 week old shiba inu puppy I pet. HEART EYES.
- Two women were hilarious and so kind, they asked if I made everything in the shop and I responded yes. They said “so you’re a graphic designer?” and of course I was like “ummm well I don’t know about that” and they were like “UMM YOU DID ALL THIS YOU’RE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER” and it seriously warmed my heart. That kind of validation is so powerful.
- It was Mother’s Day and not one but TWO little boys bought buttons from me for their moms. Cue the tears.
- Our very own model, Sarah, popped by and got to see her own photos printed and displayed on our table! Also her kiddos were SO excited to see mommy in a photo - it was PRECIOUS.
- I talked a lot about the abortion bans and one customer even gave me a hug. I work from home so I don’t get a lot of human interaction (besides my husband of course), and sometimes you forget how necessary it is to just connect with people.
- A little girl (maybe 9 years old?) said my stuff reminded her of the United Nations. Then she went on to tell me about how she had recently gone to the UN (what?!) to talk about ensuring affordable sustainable energy for all. I told her I was really proud and that we needed more people like her in the world. Then I cried a little.
Honestly, I could go on for AGES but this is probably enough. I'm not going to lie, doing these events on weekends is really tough. I still have a day job (and spend most of my weekday hours when I'm not working my day job working on Fiercely stuff) so giving up my weekends completely is brutal. BUT then stuff like the above happens and I'm reminded of why I do this.
So thank you for being my why. Thank you for keeping me going.
If you want to shop IRL (or just come say hello!) Fiercely will have a little setup at this popup. Fair warning, my space is VERY limited so it will mostly be stickers, mugs and small things with 1 or 2 shirt styles. See you there!