Today we'll be spotlighting--us, your QUEER CRAFT organizers. As this event grows and the support swells for sorely needed spaces like QUEER CRAFT, we wanted to share a little bit more about us, what we're excited about, and our maker wares.
First up is our newest organizer--Raquel. Raquel may be our newest organizer but she's been involved from the start and has been our core volunteer the last two fairs.
Raquel is a queer, fat, white, Jewish femme, who works as a mental health counselor. As a volunteer in past years, she has been inspired and moved by queer community showing up to participate and support one another in their crafts. In her free time she enjoys petting sweet cats, going to shows and doodling. Raquel is still exploring different types of crafting, but especially loves to support the crafts of her community. She is so excited to participate in this year’s event as a core organizer!
QC: Why are queer specific artist, maker, healing spaces important to you?
Raquel: Supporting queer spaces is so important to me! I love being able to witness all the gifts queer community has to offer each other.
Putting money directly into the pockets of queer, trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, bipoc, working class makers and healers is a necessary and crucial way to support our community. QUEER CRAFT feels like a sweet heart-warming retreat from this oppressive capitalist world. I love seeing all the incredible artwork, crafts and goodies that show up at the fair every year! It has been so exciting to see how this fair has grown over the years and continues to grow and bring queer art and community together.
Next up is Jess.
Jess Kealiihoalani Toshie Mease--JKTM is a fat sick and disabled non binary day dreamer and writer. They credit their deep love of the radical healing possibilities of nature to their hapa roots, growing up on a farm, and their moms talk story truths. Jess has been with Queer Craft since it's first iteration three years ago and a core organizer of the fair the last two years.
QC: What's your favorite part about QUEER CRAFT?
What I love about Queer Craft is that it centers queer community building through cultivating an accessible space for folks who are working class, chronically sick and disabled, young people, first time vendors, families, and more! Queer Craft is more than a fair, it’s community in action, and I love getting to see folks make a whole day or weekend of it by swinging by the bake sale fundraiser for a snack, visiting vendors, hanging in the lounge area, and getting some solid sustenance from folks offering up food each day!
This year they will be offering an achey joints and muscles salve, all natural lip balm in cedar, peppermint, lavender mint, and unscented varieties as well as hand poured candles. They will also have copies of their zine documenting their experiences with hearing loss called Speech Sounds available. You can swing by to nab their salve, lip balms, candles, and zines Saturday or Sunday!
Erin is our third organizer and was part of the original crew who initiated the first iteration of QUEER CRAFT in 2015.
Erin is a queer white sick jewitch fat femme craftress and educator. She helped organize the first queer craft fair four years ago and is excited to be back on the organizing team. She comes from a long line of craftspeople and is honored to continue and queer this tradition.
QC: What's your favorite part about QUEER CRAFT?
Erin: My favorite part of QUEER CRAFT is the community vibe we create! It feels really sweet and cozy to be in that space for 2 days together!
QC: What are you most excited about for this year's fair?
Erin: I'm most excited about our mix of vendors this year! With 25+ different vendors each day (including tarot, astro readings, bodywork, and food), along with a good mix of returning vendors and first-time vendors I think we're going to have an awesome variety of offerings available each day.
Erin will be vending as Threadgoode Ritual Co. - handmade goods for self-love. Featuring altar cloths, patches, and lip balm inspired by slow work and the healing power of bees. Threadgoode Ritual Co. started as a way to use the beautiful wax and honey produced by the bees I used to keep, but has since evolved to include my love of embroidery and natural dyes through the creation of one of a kind embroidered altar cloths, dyed and stenciled altar cloths, and magical sigil patches. I also still offer three different luxurious lip balms in tubes and tins: lavender mint, honey mint, and unscented. New this year I will be offering a limited number of hand-embroidered vintage doilies at QUEER CRAFT.
And our last organizer is Cory.
Cory is a queer fat sick xicana femme writer, crafter, cocinera, and plant medicine maker. She believes in reclaiming cultural practices and community self-determined care/offerings/knowledge-sharing as ways to reject white supremacy. She's been involved with Queer Craft since its inception and has been one of the main organizers for the past 3 years.
QC: What do you like about being a QUEER CRAFT organizer?
I love getting to learn about new makers & artists & and healing arts practitioners! And I love supporting new and youth makers who may never have vended before. And the actual fair is so fun and lively and it makes me immensely proud to co-organize such a celebratory space.
QC: What makes QUEER CRAFT so unique?
Queer spaces that are committed to centering bipoc, youth, queer & trans, poor/broke, and sick & disabled communities are not a given and I think we work hard to de-center whiteness and homonormativity. Plus we're the only queer fair I know of that is organized by all fat queers and nearly all femmes and sick & disabled identified folks. I think that lived experiences makes us uniquely organized. And I'm proud that our event is free and has been a vibrant community fundraiser.
For this year's fair she'll be vending as Tierracita and bringing back her fabric pouches, ceramic goods, garland, and other crafty items! She'll also be offering her family recipe pozole on Sunday so come hungry!