3/20/17 The Pink Interviews: Grace Bonney

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The Pink Interview Series: Grace Bonney

Today we are celebrating the launch of our PINK (as hell) glassware. These glasses represent the concept of craft as a positive form of protest. We are proud to be donating 15% of sales to the ACLU, to support the fight for human civil rights.

Pink has been a complicated color for me. I have hated it, honestly. I have always felt it pigeonholed women into a soft-spoken, frilly corner. But now through the evolution of our political climate, and seeing women band together wearing pink, knitting pussy hats, painting pink mantras, posting pink images…I see now it is truly an empowering color.

My partner, Kerry, found this quote…and I now consider it to be the basis of our Pink Glass Collection:
“A combination of red and white, pink contains the need for action of red, helping it to achieve the potential for success and insight offered by white. It is the passion and power of red softened with the purity, openness, and completeness of white. The deeper the pink, the more passion and energy it exhibits. Pink is feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring. It tones down the physical passion of red replacing it with a gentle loving energy.” http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-pink.html

As we worked through the development of this glassware, I began to wonder what the color meant to women who inspire me. The first person who came to mind was the ever powerful Grace Bonney. Grace has been sharing her thoughts, knowledge, and points of inspiration on her blog, Design*Sponge, since 2004. Design*Sponge is an anchor point for creative women to check in on what is happening in design, as well as a community for women to seek support in finding your own voice. She publishes beautiful representations of what is happening in craft, interiors, and in kitchens across the country…but most importantly (to me), she really tells the truth about what it means to be an entrepreneur. This is effectively demonstrated in the 107 interviews she published in her new book, In The Company of Women. A refuge of stories where you can be comforted knowing that it isn’t always what a perfect Instagram feed may lead you to believe…a lot of mistakes and imperfections go into these super-charged women owned businesses.

As politics have put many of us on edge…I have looked to Grace to see how she is handling it. She speaks from her heart. She dives in with her entire being to fight for what she stands for. She is our ultimate role model in business, and in never being afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

Here are her thoughts on the color pink, and how craft can have a true effect on our culture and ourselves.

Image credit: Christopher Sturman

Image credit: Christopher Sturman

Do you like the color pink?
Yes, it is my favorite color to have around me (but not to wear).

Does the color pink bring up any particular emotion?
It makes me feel light and happy. It’s a smile in color form.

Do you enjoy making or buying crafted goods?
These days I tend to save up and buy mostly handmade things, when and if I can afford them. But I’m trying to focus on buying less and using more of what I have, more efficiently.

Does “craft” feel like a feminine activity to you?
Not at all. I don’t think craft is gendered. I think craft is about the time and skill that goes into any activity, from woodworking and pottery to weaving.

Do you have any crafts that have been handed down amongst the women (or men) in your family?
Both sides of my family have visual artists, from painters and singers, to set designers. So creativity was always encouraged – with a healthy dose of “be sure to get a degree and a real job just in case….”

How do you see craft as a viable, or even powerful, form of protest?
Craft is one of the most powerful forms of activism, from people protesting with craft-ins like Tanya Aguiniga, to people using craft to support themselves and raise the voices of people who have been marginalized in society.

Through this time of tension, uncertainty, surreal political environment (all understatements), how do you use your creativity to impact, or to cope?
I’m trying to find ways to combine those two worlds, but it’s not always the easiest transition. For me, the concept of “home” is inextricably linked to civil rights and every other issue on the table right now- because if you can’t make it home safely to be with your family and enjoy the furniture or food you work hard on, what else is there? Right now I’m trying to use our platform to raise money, supplies, and support for pre-existing groups (like the ACLU, Citizen Action, and IRAP) who are doing the daily hard work to make sure everyone has the rights they deserve.

How does craft really impact your life/community/the world?
The community of crafters, makers, designers, etc.- this community is my family, my friends, and my world. There’s no separation for me. So they are the people I work with, for, and alongside for all forms of activism and support.

I believe there is a connection between craft and optimism. Whether or not you are creating from a place of deep sadness or anger, or creating from a place of joy…the act of creating itself, bringing forth a new perspective, is a positive thing.

Could you expand on the connection between creativity and positivity?
I agree – I think making something, especially with your hands, has a way of turning any emotion into action- and that in and of itself is beautiful. Craft can be a way we communicate with each other, with children, and with anyone who doesn’t necessarily share our language, etc. So for me it is one of the most helpful activities you can practice.

The lovely couple...Juila Turshen and Grace in a power pink dress! Image Credit:Lauren Volo