are you accepting custom orders or will you remake pairs?
a: i'm so sorry right now i am not able to take on any custom orders, and in general i do not do any remakes, outside of repairing your purchases if needed! part of the magic for me is creating what comes to my heart. thank you for understanding!
that being said - i am interested in working with fashion designers, creating work for television/movies, special events. please contact me if you're interested! firstname.lastname@example.org
how do i purchase a pair of earrings from you?
a: right now i am sharing sale information via my newsletter. sometimes i do sales notifications via instagram as well, but in general im trying to move away from relying on social media so much. if you're interested in being notified, pls sign up for my newsletter (on front page of my website, at the bottom)
I received a gift card, but i'm having trouble using it because your items sell too fast.
a: for the moment i have stopped selling gift cards for this reason, they are sometimes hard to cash in! i'm so sorry for this. please email me if you have a gift card you haven't been able to use! email@example.com
can non Indigenous people wear your earrings?
a: yes absolutely! we need people to support Indigenous made rather than Indigenous inspired! if for some reason a pair is not appropriate for non Indigenous people i will state that, but otherwise i absolutely encourage all peoples to wear my work!
can you teach me how to bead?
a: no, i am not able to host workshops yet. i hope to someday in the future, for Indigenous folks specifically.
can i ask you Indigenous related questions?
a: no, i am not able to respond to intrusive and insensitive questions or comments. i am not here to educate you or offer free consultations.
can i offer you advice about your business or your life?
a: no. please refrain from sending me any unsolicited advice, including suggestions about how to make more money, how to hire ppl to bead for me, how to solve my chronic pain issues, how to better take care of myself, etc etc. engaging with the general public on my social media has been exhausting over the years.. you'd be surprised how many unbelievable conversations ive had 😅
do you do repairs? or will you remake an earring if i lose one?
a: i will do repairs/remakes of a pair you have purchased as long as i still have the beads (if they are vintage or not accessible for me anymore we can chat about it!). i offer this at the cost of 50% of the earrings you paid for. i hope that you are able to have your pieces for as long as possible so i am happy to accommodate repairs and remakes if you lost one! i will also rehook earrings if they happen to fall off at no charge as long as you pay for the shipping. please email me :-)
and the toughest question..
why is your beadwork so expensive?
a: i understand my beadwork is not always accessible to all budgets. capitalism keeps us from getting what we deserve. i know there are many many places where you can buy incredibly low priced jewellery and beadwork. if that is your priority this might not be the right fit.
i am a small business, this is my sole source of income and i am the primary income earner in my small family unit. i have to account for a large range of expenses that come along with running a small business, including living in an expensive part of the world where cost of living is high. i can't afford to pay myself low, and honestly i really don't want to. i am trying to build a sustainable business and unfortunately that means my pricing needs to stay at a certain scale to get by, and live comfortably like i feel i deserve to.
on top of this, i am an Indigenous woman. we are notoriously under-valued and often seen as disposable in so many ways in colonial patriarchal society. it is very hard to stand up for myself. part of decolonizing and supporting slow fashion movements is being patient, and investing in makers.
i try to keep lower priced pieces in every collection, but beading takes a very long time! the beading alone is not the only thing that factors into the price.
examples of some of the things that cost me money: this website, paypal fees, credit card fees, money conversion fees, postage, pst, gst, income tax, beads, needles, thread, gemstones, crystals, hooks, earring cards, packing supplies, my phone, accountants, my computer, glasses, eye care, lighting, self care for sore wrists and a sore neck!
things that take up my time: designing, studying language, learning how to say words, learning new beading techniques, beading, untangling thread, writing out descriptions, photography, photo editing, uploading to websites, finances, taxes, accounting, social media, promotion, responding to inquiries, educating people about racism and indigenous rights, setting good boundaries for myself, doing therapy, careful thoughtful packaging, walking or bussing to the post office, walking or bussing to the beading supply store.
you get the idea! this all takes time and energy, and i absolutely love to do it. your purchases support my entire life, my learning of my culture and taking good care of myself and my loved ones. you also support me in supporting other Indigenous and People of Colour owned businesses.
i understand that it is frustrating when you can't afford something you want and deserve, i experience this all the time too! but to me the problem isn't the person creating the thing you want, the problem is capitalism. we aren't getting paid what we deserve, and i feel you! this is what i am trying to redirect my life to, to decolonize, to value myself and my skills. i hope you understand.
i also am respecting my right to not respond to any further messages or comments that tell me i don't deserve to be paid well.
thank you for reading this far - i appreciate you giving me the space to explain this! i am so grateful to be able to do this full time right now, and hope that my words help to bring some understanding.
thank you for supporting slow fashion, decolonial living, Indigenous happiness and joy.