No two weeks in a small business look the same. This week, I was focused on making structural preparations to hire someone to care for the shop during a few short absences this year. (The first comes at the end of this month, when I’ll be attending The National Needlework Association Winter Market in Portland. More on this soon.)
And in most weeks, I think to myself that I should be more engaged with social media. It’s a complicated landscape, affected by powerful commercial and political forces that leave me feeling uneasy much of the time, AND, as a card-carrying introvert, it can feel exhausting. But it’s also a place where communities engage, and where real conversation happens.
In the last week, Instagram, in particular, has been a forum for conversations about how black, indigenous, and people of color feel marginalized in the fiber world. As a shop owner, this Instagram highlight from Sukrita, a spinning teacher in Sydney, broke my heart. My sadness, though, is not important. Finding a way forward is important.
I had begun to write about something else entirely for this week’s newsletter. It didn’t feel right. I am going to link to some of the voices in this conversation, instead. I hope you’ll join me in listening to what they have to say.
(Often, you’ll find extended thoughts pinned as highlights, below the Instagram profile information, and above the dynamic feed. On a mobile device, you can tap and hold on a screen if it is advancing too quickly to read.)
(And: this conversation is happening primarily on Instagram, but if that is a platform you don’t interact with, this blog post from Atia, and this one from Heather Zoppetti speak to some of the same issues.)
Grace Anna Farrow is @astitchtowear
Sukrita is @sukrita
Korina is @thecolormustard
Tina Tse is @tina.say.knits
Ocean Rose is @ocean_bythesea
Jeanette Sloan is @jeanettesloan
Lorna Hamilton-Brown is @lhamiltonbrown
Heidi Wang is @booksandcables
Atia is @thebrightblooms
(For context: the blog post that catalyzed these conversations can be found here, along with the author’s apology and acknowledgement of how her words hurt other people.)