Pattern Shift

#73 - Crafting Revolution: A Conversation with Betsy Greer on Craftivism and Intentional Business

November 24, 2023 Betsy Greer Season 4 Episode 73
Pattern Shift
#73 - Crafting Revolution: A Conversation with Betsy Greer on Craftivism and Intentional Business
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What happens when crafting collides with activism? Craftivism. Join Saskia de Vaiter and author Betsy Greer as we unravel this powerful concept and its effect on creative entrepreneurs. We dive into how craftivism is not only transformative for individuals but a vehicle for fostering sustainable connections and growth on both personal and business levels. We share real-life experiences of navigating the discomfort of marketing and selling, emphasizing authenticity as the beacon guiding us through.

A turning point in many creative journeys comes from a place of trauma, self-doubt, or pain. Through the lens of the punk DIY mindset, we discuss the therapeutic power of crafting in overcoming these hurdles. Crafting becomes a pipeline for building confidence, connecting with others, and ultimately, making a difference. Here, we explore the significance of valuing your own work and expertise, sharing our personal approaches towards income generation, branding, and marketing within the crafting community.

The art of making is revolutionary—an act that disrupts systems and creates change. We delve into how making intentional, value-aligned decisions can bring about this revolution. As we discuss sustainable decision-making strategies, we reflect on the demands of conforming to marketing strategies and the need to carve your path. Lastly, we look at craftivism through the lens of wardrobe creation, the power of small actions, and how crafting can revolutionize not only your life but your connections with others. Join us in this enriching conversation that's sure to leave you inspired and empowered.

If you want to build or grow your business in textile crafts, why don't you join our online community for a small, monthly contribution of only 10 euros, which is $10 ish. You get to hang out, learn from and share your business. And your craft journey with all the lovely people there, support the podcast at the same time and you get everything wrapped into one loving package. I would love to welcome you there.

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Speaker 1:

Making is a revolutionary act in a world where everything is made for you. Hi, my name is Saskia de Vaiter and this is PatentShift. Day-to-day life as a creative business owner can be very lonely and overwhelming, leaving no time to actually grow your business. The PatentShift podcast gives you business insights and actionable tips to help you rise out of the day-to-day swamp and start to become more visible and move your business forward. Find out how you can be part of helping crafters move away from fast fashion and become a value-based business owner who's on top of things, running a business that's more sustainable for themselves and our planet.

Speaker 1:

In this episode, I talk to Betsy Greer, writer of the books Knitting for Good and Craftivism the Art of Craft and Activism. I heard Betsy speak in Rotterdam at School for the City, a platform where urban professionals can meet to informally discuss the challenges facing the modern city. Today, I want to widen the area and talk about craftivism for you, whether you are in a city or in the country, anywhere in the world. Ps, I'd love to know where you are in the world. So why don't you sign up for PatentShift Males and just reply to an email to start a conversation with me? I'd love to hear from you. Find the link in the show notes and on patentshiftfm. So, betsy, tell me, what has your short day been like so far? Ps.

Speaker 2:

It's still early. I've been up about 45 minutes. I'm drinking coffee, I have fed all the animals, I have taken a shower. It's still dark. Outside we have three. We have a cat, who's 17, named Bobbin, and then two dogs Rico, who is a stray found in Puerto Rico, and Sadie, who is a stray that I adopted here in North Carolina.

Speaker 1:

PS. So I have this sentence for you that helps us to figure out who you are. I mean, we can hear a lot about you and other interviews and stuff, and I did do an intro and you have an amazing book, so I have this magical sentence that gives us an idea of who you are Quickly, Okay. Okay, Can you describe what you do by finishing this sentence? I help people. Dot, dot, dot.

Speaker 2:

I help people connect with themselves and with other people so that they can be empowered, so that they can feel more present in the world and in their bodies and in themselves. I think that connection is the most important thing in the world and it's something that we are not always thinking about. We're trying to get more followers, we're trying to get more, more, more, more, more, more, more money, more, whatever, and to me, connection is the key, because if you have connection, you it's okay to not have more, because you're you're going deeper rather than, rather than than just an increase in numbers, and that's that's important. That's important, and I think that's important whether it comes to something that you're making by yourself, that you're seeing the meaning and how you show up when you're making, or whether when you're with other people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we all have a certain amount of space that we can fill up, and we can fill it up with lots of different small, undep, undep, shallow things.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I feel like when you want more all the time, it becomes a race for so many shallow things, or can be Because you don't have room to have anything deep because there's so much, and so it's important to me to talk about how making can help us in in big and in small ways.

Speaker 1:

I've been thinking about this particular topic a lot lately because I'm growing the community, but growth is not always done by adding more. You can grow by going deeper or further, and the community is quite small but it's very active and people are very engaged with each other. So I have to be honest at the beginning I thought I need to have more and more and more people and of course, you need a certain amount to be able to to run the show. But I'm also part of some communities that are so large that it's really hard to to really connect. People tend to become I was always going to say Fyours Like they're, they're watching and not engaging.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think it also depends on what you like, right. Like for me, I love one-on-one conversation. I love small group conversations, like I've given talks to small groups, I've given talks to big groups that both are fine, right, but I love having big conversations with small groups and not everybody does so. I think that when you have a more and more and more kind of thing, you can hide a little bit, you can, you don't have to share if you don't want to, which is very comforting. And I think it just depends on what kind of what you're, what you're drawn to.

Speaker 2:

Personally and don't get me wrong, I think sometimes my ego gets in the way of wanting to sell X number of books or whatever, x number of clicks or whatever, and then that always feels shallow and feels gross and the only thing I really have to compare it to, which is in no way related, is like a one, like something like a one-night stand or something where it's like it just feels like icky. And I guess that feels icky because it's like something that is just like intensive than nothing on that and that feels that doesn't feel good to me and it feels good to other people but that doesn't feel right for me to have large groups where I don't get to know everybody, where that's hard. That can be hard, but I also, so I guess what I'm saying is it depends on what feels good to you.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely yeah, and I think it's really interesting that you're using the word icky, because that comes up a lot on this podcast, because we talk about branding and marketing and selling to people that work in crafts and those words are really icky to most of them, or a lot of them. And I kind of want to start this conversation where it's about you can be your own person and you can have your own values and do the ethical marketing and do it your way, but still be successful and still look at yourself as a business, which is different from having a hobby. So what is your take on that? Do you feel like, because you're a writer, you do talks. Do you look at yourself as somebody that is a?

Speaker 2:

business owner. Almost always have I had like a full-time job in conjunction of what I've been doing, to give myself that space, like I took. To be perfectly honest, I in 2017, I remember being assaulted in my 20s and which was not a great thing, so I took like six years, maybe five years, to just deal with that and to focus on my job. During that period I actually I fell in love, I bought a house, I did like all these other things and so, and then over the past year it's been like okay, like I'm in a different place, so for me it's been kind of a side business in some times. But then I've taken time off and I mentioned all that because sometimes we need that, sometimes we need to take time away, and so, for me, having a full-time job gave me that freedom, and that's not everyone has that right. So, but the point being is that, like, because I'm doing it on the side, then I I've given myself the freedom to let it grow as I want, and sometimes that has been hard because I'm like can I do both at the same time? Like how do I grow up? Like there has been some tension there, and but it's also given me the freedom to do what I want when I want.

Speaker 2:

I mentioned it because I think it's great if you have your own business and that's awesome and that's like Rockstar awesome. But I also think that there is a train of thought that you can't have a full-time job and have your own thing as well, and that is success. And I want to poke a pin in that, because if you're doing your work 10% and you're a full-time job 90% and that makes you happy, you're still creative, you still have a business that is still worthy. And I think that there is also tension between people having to turn everything into a full-time job, even if it doesn't feel right. So if it feels right, that's awesome, you should do it.

Speaker 2:

But if it doesn't feel right, don't let any kind of other Maybe it's caregiving that you're taking time out for, maybe it's taking time out to heal, maybe whatever. Don't let that dictate that you are not creative, that you are not worthy of making the money that you want to make or whatever it is, because I see a lot of people, especially people that have gone to art school. It's very like I'm not successful if I don't do this 100%, and maybe everybody in your community does do it 100%. I don't know, but I just want to say that no no, it's.

Speaker 2:

I get frustrated when everyone's hustle and grind, whatever, and then you see all these mental health issues. Oh, definitely.

Speaker 2:

People that are like I'm exhausted, I'm a failure, I'm whatever and I'm like. And so to link it back, that small, deep community can sometimes feel bad Because when you put it next to what other people are doing and then that takes away from the actual joy of what you're creating. Because the real truth is, if you're creating a community and it's small and you can have deep conversations and show up fully, that is something that is very important and something that we are not allowed to do enough in the world of social media and rushing around and hustle and grind, and so I guess I just want to make space for that.

Speaker 1:

I love that you put a pin in it, and I just want to put the pin in deeper. I think it's so important that we look at all these different makers that turn into businesses or are not businesses or dream about becoming a business, and offer them a realistic view of what that could look like. It doesn't have to be full on. It can, in reality, most of these people either do it on the side, have a partner with an income. That's just a reality of things.

Speaker 2:

That's a huge one, Like the whole partner with an income is something that is not talked about enough. And then I've interviewed so many people and then you're like thinking, you know, and then all of a sudden it comes out or somehow that they have a partner, that or whatever right, or maybe they are a stay at home mom with a partner and then they make art on the side and then they feel shame or whatever in some way around that. And so I don't want to be shaming anyone for any of those circumstances, because it's life. And then you know we're 48. Sorry to out you there, Selskiya, but and then you have like you know like everyone's getting older, and then you have like caregiving, Like there's like a lot of things in life and taking care of yourself.

Speaker 1:

like you said, just taking out time if you need it and being in the fortunate position to be able to do that is amazing. That's not something to feel shame about. That's an amazing place to be at.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, it was. I'm very fortunate, right, I wasn't able to deal with that and to take time out, and I was making a doing an affirmation project during that time and it became very important to stitch things, like you know. Yeah, so it did. So I believe that if there's resistance in yourself or you feel like you're alone about something, it is a great like source of creative thought Like I always say right or creative work, because I was doing this app and it was like a gratitude app and it was like every morning it was like you know, like what are three things you're going to do today to make your day good, or whatever.

Speaker 2:

And then there was like this the last one was you had to come up with an affirmation and I couldn't come up with anything and I hated it and I thought it was stupid and I was like this is dumb. And I was like, wait, like why am I so resistant to this? Why is this so hard? Because it was hard and I was like well, I was like because I don't feel connected to a lot of those words that would first come up, right, I come up with, like I am kind, like a thousand times, and I was like this sucks. So I started thinking why are other things like worthy or loved or beautiful or whatever, why like? Why is there so much resistance? Just saying that to myself on my phone, and so I thought I could stitch them. That would make them sink in.

Speaker 2:

And then I thought it can't be just me that feels this way, and so I started sharing it and people. I made these things and sometimes I left them outside for people to find, and then the project was recreated by people all over the world and still is like six years later, which is fantastic. The project is called you Just Are Very Beautiful, with the initials hashtag YASVB, which is the first letter of every word. There's maybe 500, something close now, which is like you know it's more than just me, which is pretty cool, and you know it's a huge number, but it's like I still get contacted by people that are like can I do this in a workshop?

Speaker 1:

That goes back to the whole thing of. It doesn't have to be a huge number If you change only one person's life and they will bring that into their community and this is so important, right.

Speaker 2:

And we say that like it's kind of a trope or an adage or whatever, but like when you really think about it. And what helps to me to really think about it is to go back and think about the one person, like when you say, if I only change one person, like that sounds great, right, but I don't think we internalize what that means. And if you go back and you think about the one person that had belief in you, then it becomes clear of why it's important, at least for me.

Speaker 1:

I immediately have two people in my head when you say that. Yeah, by dense teacher and my art teacher in high school.

Speaker 2:

And then that becomes more meaningful. I think Right now I'm doing mantras for about making, but like I want to make more pieces about shame and mental health and and healing after assault and all these things that I've had so much shame about. I tried to make it like a project around just shame, and then every time I and everyone was like this is great, but like every time I started thinking about it it put me into my own shame spiral and I was like this is no good. But I think also like if you have a project that resonates with you and feels good and feels important, it can. There's another like. There's the process of making, which is important, there's the product and there's also, to put it with another P, there's also the photograph, which can be used in many ways, whether online or mainly.

Speaker 2:

It could be social media, it could be on your website, it could be wherever to share what you've, what you've done, and that is a another way to connect with, or maybe you text your friend or whatever, or your group or whatever, and so sharing is an important part of the process, because we live in such a world that we do, because then you can find like minded people, and one of the first emails I ever got on my own website in 2004 was somebody from I can't remember if it was Zimbabwe or South Africa, to be honest, but a country I'd never been to and was like you have empowered me to think about my craft, and that email has stuck with me for 20 years because that's the crux of what I want to do, and that is both an internal and an external thing, because I realized through all my trauma therapy that I had disconnected from myself and I was numb.

Speaker 2:

So the act of working with something that I could touch and feel and feel safe with was really important to me. So that is one avenue that's important to me, as well as connecting to other people like you. And I reached out, like when I was in Rotterdam I think I googled knitting Rotterdam and then I found you and sent you an email and was like what you're doing is really cool, I'll be in Rotterdam and then we met and you're awesome, and you're awesome too.

Speaker 1:

I know, Okay, hearts, hearts hearts.

Speaker 2:

We're just friends, yay, so. And then you? But you would never really meet people you know and like, if you don't do stuff like that, and it wasn't social media because you're not, you know that I met you through it right, I was just realizing that it wasn't social media.

Speaker 2:

And I think that there's so many like minded people out there that are so cool to find and talk to you and we don't always think that they're there and it feels really good Like I met you and gave you like this giant hug, like right after we met. It was like goodbye, my person, sorry, mine, yes. And then you had to go home and I had to go back to my hotel and I was kind of sad because I was like could have hung out with you longer, like that is. But the point being like that's awesome, right, it is so awesome.

Speaker 1:

And I gave a talk and then I sat down and you're like we have so much in common and I was like, yeah, and I felt so awkward saying that because I Usually I really actively stay away from things that look or seem like some kind of a fan kind of girl thing. But I didn't even really know you before.

Speaker 2:

I know, but we had this but, also that probably comes from the whole punk history, right, the punk DIY history of like. And there are two things that I'm finding really interesting from that legacy of punk. There is that instant connection usually of like you're like there's no hierarchy and you're like you're my friend now, and so that kind of happens because you're not like, oh, that person has done X, y or Z. You're just like we have a lot in common, we should hang out, and so that feels really good.

Speaker 1:

And the whole punk thing also. If it brings a lot of brings more confidence, then sometimes there's so much lack of confidence everywhere. But if you come from that kind of way of thinking, I can do it myself. I don't need all of the status quo stuff. I just think, think it up and do it and that comes with a bunch of confidence and a little bit of bravery, even though you are still afraid. You still have fear.

Speaker 1:

That doesn't isn't not the same thing, but that kind of connects and then the extra thing of connecting over crafts, which also is the kind of the same vibe but a little bit different. That is so, so special. And yeah, I really I'm interested in that part of confidence and the lack of confidence that so many, specifically women or women identifying people struggle with. And I remember being on a plane with somebody years ago and he was working in. He was working for a more sustainable fashion brand and it was years ago. So I was very interested. I'm like wow, tell me more.

Speaker 1:

And we got into this really immersive conversation quickly and I think it took us from London back to Amsterdam to figure out how everything in the world should be sold. We nailed it, but we I mean completely, dave, obviously, but I get back to that a lot and it is that everybody would feel a little bit more confident about their abilities, about themselves as a person, about how they can the things that they do and they have to share make a difference. Then that would solve so many problems and issues.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think, and it's funny like that is very true, that is, I think confidence is huge, right, and I think that, like I also have a lot of anxiety at the same time, so like that kind of doesn't always help the confidence, because I have confidence in connection. But then it's like, you know, do things and you're like is anyone going to show up or whatever, and then like my anxiety is like 9000. Is that like level sometimes, but I, which again is ego, right, like which is, and like also, I think one of the problems that I've run across at WU with punk, like there's this book, there's a woman named Beth Pickens and she's written some books about fun, like art and showing up with your art and stuff like that. But there's a section in her most recent book called Punk Damage and about how the conversation around money and how it's like we don't need money, we can do it ourselves, we can, you know, whatever, but how sometimes there is damage around earning our worth or asking for our worth.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thank you for bringing it up. I was. I was clenching my butt, cheeks, thinking where's she going to go with this, but thanks for bringing this up, okay.

Speaker 2:

I had a coaching session with somebody years ago and she brought it up and she's like I work with a lot of women who were, you know, in the punk scene or whatever, and the that are like I don't need a lot of money, I don't whatever, and then you're also not earning your worth. So I think there's like this weird dichotomy, right, like we put stuff out, we want to share it, but then it is hard to come back and then say I am worth X, I am worth whatever, because in the punk community money isn't talked about, or it's a totally different thing. It's not like we're following Taylor Swift in the Ares tour Do you know what I mean? Where it's like we're going to give a million dollars to our truck drivers because we have so much money. It's like you know, like Fugazi would have shows for like five bucks.

Speaker 2:

You know that was maybe 20 years ago, but, like I remember, like they're like five bucks all ages. That's totally different than like you know, and I'm sure if they played shows now it would probably be the same. Maybe it'd be 10 bucks because it was been 20 years. But I mean I think Ian McKay has been doing discord records like, I think as a full-time job, but I don't think everyone on the label has. I actually met him like 30 years ago and then he was like I talked to him about it and I think at the time like he was storing things in his parents' house.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean a full-time job doesn't necessarily mean I mean we have images and ideas of what that is. Specifically in the knitting world, there are some designers that make millions. It's easy to calculate from the patterns they sell on revelry. It's just times that many people that actually made a page on it and then more, because not everybody does. But there's also people that come across as the most professional, like designing patterns, writing books, and really don't have a lot to live off and going back to earning your worth, and that is then again connected to kind of selling yourself and branding yourself. Yeah, so, to make clear that you are an expert and that you have these years of experience and the specific talent and the combination of talent, experience, insight, all of that, the courses you took I don't know everything years and years of gathering information and honing your craft is not seen as worthy enough.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's hard. And then we have. For me personally, I thought about how I wanted to make money a long time ago and how I wanted to do it, and for me what felt right was if I wrote books or whatever to sell them. I'd have some zine projects and they cost money to print, but I think I'm going to send out electronic versions if I do anything and then that's free, and then I'm going to send out what I wanted to charge for, what I wanted to give away for free, who I wanted to get money from, and for me personally, it feels better to get money from institutions that are going to pay me to do a workshop or talk, so that things can be either free or low cost for people to join. Other people may be like I want to create a community and do a Patreon or some Kickstarter or something like that, but I think it was important for me to look at what type of flow felt good for me.

Speaker 2:

And, being ADHD, I also realized that, like I just mentioned zines like if I have a stack of zines at my house and I'm supposed to mail them to people, I am going to have an executive dysfunction, meltdown. I'm just going to meltdown because that's too many things to do. That's not just. You know, mailing your zines sounds easy, but that's like I have to get your address, I have to get your money, I have to like put it in the mail, like there's put a stamp on it, like there's like a million things, and my brain cannot handle all those things. So I think when you talk about money, it's important to think about what feels sustainable and what feels good, because the ways that people are doing it may not always feel good, and so what can your brain handle? What feels good.

Speaker 1:

And also, if I may be so bold, it is where can I learn about tools and processes that help me do these things with my special situation? No, that's a weird special situation. I'm always thinking about how should we call this, this monkey brain-ness? I mean, yeah, same here.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, and so there's so many things to think about what feels right, and I think what you're doing and not being on social media, that feels right for you and that's so important to figure out, and, with the branding or marketing piece, that also has to come down to what feels right to you. Like maybe it's a podcast, maybe it's a website, maybe it is social media, whatever, what feels right, like I am only on Instagram, and I was like because I'm like, well, twitter X is a dumpster fire. And then I was like Facebook didn't feel good, like I was, and I was like you know, I'm just going to delete them. And so Instagram was the one that felt good.

Speaker 1:

It's so important to connect to your needs and your values and then collect information so you can make a decision. So first know what it is that you actually need, place it extra time, flexibility, processes and systems, organization of sorts. What's important to you Is it the connection? Can somebody else do the mailings? Is it just you making it? All those kinds of things are worth spending some time on thinking about, so that you can bring it so close to yourself that it is sustainable in the long run to do what you do.

Speaker 2:

Right, because then we people are. I see people all the time. They're like not charging enough money, they're burning out. They are trying to do everything themselves, they're burning out, and so I think it's great that you're working with people to help things be more sustainable, because it's not in a lot of ways, and then we also all feel this kind of pressure.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I have these values and I think it's important to make a change. How will it matter? Because I'm just one person, I'm just one small business. How does what I do make a difference? Anyway, and in your dark and low moments I go deep in there Sometimes. I think I don't know.

Speaker 1:

With the social media, I go back to that all the time. Right now, I'm in the middle of this thinking process. Should I go back? Should I just have like a shop front there? No, I don't want to. And then I look at the documentaries again and I read the books again and then I'm like, no, I want to stay away from it. It's a sinking ship. I left it for a reason. And then people talk to me and they say, no, but the people that you're looking for are there and you're in marketing, so you should go there. And I'm like, yeah, there's other ways and I've had success with other ways and being creative and it's not fast. But remember that building these huge amount of followers is not fast either. It depends on who is actually going to end up connecting to you for real and how many people are there and all those kinds of things.

Speaker 2:

And what is your conversion rate of people that if you're selling something, buy what you sell? And is it like I get all these clicks on social media? But if 0.1% of people buy something, buy stuff versus, you may have a?

Speaker 1:

It's important that you make your own decisions about it, what feels right to you. That's important. Don't do what I do. The only thing that you need to do. What I say is think about it. That's what you need to do. Think about it and believe in yourself.

Speaker 2:

And I mentioned things like conversion rate and stuff like that, because there's so many different points along the way to look at. How do you feel what is more successful? It depends If you look at people there are going to be. I think there's so many points to look at and it's all about what feels good, and I think that everyone's like social media, social media, social media but if you look at all your little points, graphs and it feels bad, number one you shouldn't do it. That's across the board.

Speaker 2:

I think that, although there are some things, you get a shot or something to protect your house and you may feel bad afterwards that's important but if something that you're doing for your business feels bad, then it's hurting you in the process. So maybe you want to need to rethink something, and marketing is such a. There's so many ways to do it. But I think that if you are only looking at one source, it will only tell you there's one way, because everybody wants to sell ads, everyone wants to boost things or whatever. But when you look at things like newsletters or whatever, they have a much higher rate of engagement or conversion or whatever you're looking at. Newsletters are usually much better because you own them and their website because it's something that you own and it's not anything anyone can take away from you. And that's cool, right, that's cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that speaks to my punk heart as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I also think that when you look at craft, there are many ways to do it. Like I knew for me, I didn't want to make like a thousand stuffed owls or something. They're great, don't get me wrong, they're great, but I knew that for me personally. I'm just saying that I didn't want to make a whole bunch of things and take them to a market, and so that was what I didn't want to. I think also within craft there is room. I know a lot of people that are going for their PhDs because they want to be academics.

Speaker 2:

I know in craft, I know people that are talking about craft, that are doing workshops, that are doing all these things. So I think that there is room to move within craft based on just making craft. If that also doesn't feel right, if the community feels right or whatever. Or maybe it's you look at more putting stuff on walls versus selling stuff, because it frustrates me too when I see things that somebody put hours and hours and hours into and they sell it for very cheap and then that also leads to burnout. So I think that there is room to move with it. Or maybe you want to write about and I say write. You could write on your own website and then pitch articles. You could do whatever. You could pitch books. There's also there's so many different ways to expand in craft.

Speaker 1:

Something that stuck with me that somebody said on the happy startup summer camp that I attended it's like a hippie business thing. I think it was Vanessa Bello who said her talk was about building communities with belonging at the core, and I think it was her that said mention other people's names in spaces where they would normally not be heard. That still gives me goosebumps, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it's important to share where you learn something. It's important to share who inspired you. It's important because then somebody else may learn something and make a connection, and it's all about connection.

Speaker 1:

Yes, but especially in spaces where they would normally not be heard, like if you're in a predominantly white community and you've learned something or heard about or you want to boost somebody from the Black and Brown community, then that is a good thing to do. And it's the same thing with people that just have started their business and you're at some business event. You kind of think about those things.

Speaker 2:

I think that that leads back to connection, right. I think that also in businesses, we're thinking about like. I think there's so much maybe this is me, my anxiety, self-speaking that there's so much contraction that happens, can't happen in business out of fear of scarcity, out of fear of like I only need to, I only can, you know, can talk about myself or whatever, or only like I'm trying to sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. But I think when things start to contract and feel gross and scary, then you sometimes have to look at what you're not doing right and maybe you're not talking about other people, you're not reaching out, and one of my favorite things to do like I did, do like you know, which is like reaching out to people that I find and just being like I really like what you do, yes, exactly so.

Speaker 1:

We're basically lining on small actions, connecting, going deeper, deeper. Those things all matter and make a difference. And then tying that back to the statement that I shared in the beginning of the episode is that we first need to answer another question before we can get there, Because I'll repeat the statement why is making a revolutionary act in a world where everything is made for you?

Speaker 2:

Where we started and then we went on many trails. It is a revolutionary act and I think I go on all those little different things because I think they're all connected. How many times have I said the word connected Millions? It's revolutionary because, okay, we'll take sewing, for example. I learned to sew a couple of years ago, so not great, but it also happened when I learned to knit with textiles. They're everywhere and I think that you start learning. This is how long it takes me to make a sweater. And then you go and you buy something in the store and it's like $5. And then you're like wait, it took me a couple of weeks to make this sweater.

Speaker 2:

And then I'm looking at a sweater and maybe it was, like you know, mass producing some ways, but someone had to put it together. And you look at everything around you and then it becomes revolutionary and disrupting to make and learn about those systems and learn about you know and think or I guess and learn and think about how so many things are handmade that we don't even think about, to think about how I can make. I don't like you go to a shop and you don't like any of the colors, the sweaters or whatever. I can make it myself. So these we're starting to make choices then, based on how we show up in the world, what resources we use, who we're paying for that work. And then it becomes kind of mind blowing that we have choices, because we don't always think we have choices. Again, that comes in business, that comes in life, that comes in what we wear, what comes in all the things. And so to I think again and also as important to me, it's connection is choice, because we have choice and we don't always think we have it.

Speaker 2:

And when we don't think we have, it is when we need to explore. And for me, that also became like when I became vegetarian many years ago learning or thinking about how did this meat product get here, how did this happen? Which again, can it be then taken back to punk as well, like how did this music get to me? Why am I hearing what I'm hearing on the radio? So what are the forces to make all that happen?

Speaker 2:

And so you learn all these things. Learn that you have choice, learning you have choice to support and what you buy, learning you have to, and that there are people looking for alternatives as well. Who is looking for alternatives? Where are they looking for alternatives? Where are they not looking for alternatives for yard or apparel or whatever? And then everything in the world, I don't know, kind of opens up a little bit when you realize that everything is connected and that you have choice. Those two things are kind of cool to me, because you can explore and you can create the world that you want to see out of just those two things.

Speaker 1:

And would you say that creating your own wardrobe, like intentionally creating your own wardrobe, is an act of craftivism?

Speaker 2:

I think so. I think that activism, there's a lot of, you know, activism. There are a lot of things you could do, big and small, but I think that once you start to think about intentional things, there is an activism component to that and, most importantly, that is does that little action then turn you to think about bigger things? Like, I think that does it? Where does it lead you to think about and investigate? Or maybe that's around injustice, maybe that's around sharing awareness for something, some kind of issue in your life or whatever, and then that leads to showing up more fully in the world. So I think that the activist component I think, whether you call it activism or not, is going to be personal, Like people have very personal definitions.

Speaker 2:

So I think that making can be a revolutionary act. This is why I'm talking about that now, because I think activism can look like a lot of things, but it can be revolutionary because it can change your whole life. It can change how you show up in the world and who you connect with. And again, if it feels right, like you know, like it, and that to me, has been very exciting. I think people a lot of times will say follow your passion, but I also think it's. For me, following your curiosity has always been more important, and that has led to all these roads of exploring. I mean, am I wearing a?

Speaker 1:

shirt. Yeah, that's kind of a mind-blowing moment for me, because I think you're right there. It's been more curiosity than passion, I think. Oh, I have to think about this. This is very interesting.

Speaker 2:

I think passion can, for some people, burn you out, especially if you're trying to hustle on all these fronts. I think and maybe that's my ADHD brain too, because the curiosity piece I'm always asking a thousand questions, so I'm always very curious, but you know, I also think you've got to pick. You know your battles. Like am I wearing a shirt that I bought at Target? Yes, I am. I'm also wearing the shirt that I bought from a more sustainable clothing manufacturer. So I think that you're also not going to get to where you want to go instantly.

Speaker 2:

Do I have a goal to make everything? Yes, but I'm not going to throw everything out that I already have. I'm going to because the things that I did buy from a shop I was like I like you, you're my friend and I'm going to take you home and I'm going to put you in my closet and I'm going to wear you until I can't wear you anymore and I'm going to mend you and I'm going to, you know, and versus buying something that I want to plan to wear once, there are different conversations to be had, but I guess I also want to say that, like you have all these choices right, but it's not like I mean, making all your own clothes takes a long time.

Speaker 1:

And all the skills you need to learn over time. So that's why my kind of goals sorry, it's so I just didn't talk about this. I'm trying, but it's a slow process on my own, but in this community I'm trying to offer different lessons to teach people the basics. So knit socks, sew your underwear you know the basics so that you can do those things. And when you do those things, you learn the techniques that you need to know to do other things.

Speaker 2:

What I'm hearing is that we need to do, we need to have some sort of craft punk, workshoppy thing, that, yes, that someone needs to invite us to do. That's what I'm hearing.

Speaker 1:

That. Yeah, Going that back to you, that's so fun, because I love that. You say that someone needs to invite us to do you really make me think about. You don't necessarily have to do it all yourself. There's a thought process there that can be so smart to find the right institutions that can do that. That's amazing.

Speaker 1:

One last thing, though, because, oh my gosh, I could do this for hours. Let's say this again next week and just not record it. But the last question I have is all the things we were talking about connection, small things that make a difference, empowering the kind of hunk vibe, being a business and trying to lean into making the right choices for you as a person, feeling confident in owning where you are as a business, whether or not you're doing it all yourself or you are being supported by your partner or something else, and not a bank, which is always great, or a bank for that matter. It's up to you. All of that together makes me wonder what does a craftivist in business look like? What kind of overlap can we find here? Is it everybody that really wants to change the world, or does it go deeper?

Speaker 2:

I think that if you had told me 20 years ago when I started doing this, it would be changing the world.

Speaker 2:

But I think now it's more, as I have done so much deep work on myself or whatever to heal, and so that personally, that has affected a lot of what I talk about now, and so I think that now it's more like wearing you in alignment with how you feel, and I think that is the more driving force to me right now and where the whole craftivism kind of thing fits into.

Speaker 2:

That is, are you also in alignment in a way that wakes you up to systems that are unfair, and are you working either on a personal level or a bigger level to solve them, to talk about them, to maybe just change them in your own life? And so it's a way of thinking about. There's so many things we can't solve everything, and so is it you finding something that you can work on and talk about and share that changes the world in your own way. That is in alignment with yourself, because I think if you try to create change in everything, that it's going to be not unsustainable. So I think that the first process is kind of getting. It may happen. I guess it can happen in different directions, I guess. But the craftivism, how I make things, can have empowering things for me and other people, and then also thinking about what systems you're working within.

Speaker 1:

This was awesome. This was amazing. Thank you so much. Yay, Tell us where can people find your work?

Speaker 2:

I am on social media, just Instagram, though, because I like I don't know I like, but I also use it a little sparingly. So, but at craftivist staff, and actually if you just Google my name, you'll it should show up. I have a website in a newsletter that I had been bad about sharing things on. I've also realized that, like I can use it how I want. It's not like I need to do it every week. It's like I can use it when I want to.

Speaker 2:

And that was also a revelation. I was like, oh, because I think there's a time where it's like you must do this every week and I was like that is exhausting. And I said that's hellobetseygreercom and you can find out if you do want to work with me in some capacity. You can find about all those ways. Thank you, this has been such a joy and I hope we meet and talk again.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed this. Thank you, I would love to hear about your thoughts and ideas around this episode. Please go to patentshiftfm and leave me a voice message or comments below the show notes. Do you want more actionable business tips and insights that speak your language? None of that icky, businessy lingo? But, coming from a slow fashion business expert, embide size chunks. Stay a bit longer on patentshiftfm while you're there and sign up for our bi-weekly emails and information about the platform I've built so that makers and sellers can connect and build a solid base against fast fashion, because f**k fast fashion right. Until next time, and remember every stitch counts as we work together and create a patent shift for you, your business, the crafters and the fashion industry. Bye.

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Exploring Art, Connection, and Confidence
Navigating Money and Personal Values
Sustainable Decision Making With Needs and Values
Craftivism and Making Revolutionary Choices