Empire State Building, NYC
In honor of the remarkable work and persistence of the frontline workers still taking care of us, and for anyone who is still getting up in the morning despite the extreme challenges of our time, we are in a New York “Resilient” State of Mind, with you, this July.
We have been so incredibly proud of, and grateful for, our resilient maker community. They have spent the last several months retooling their businesses to accommodate the new stay-at-home economy, sewing masks, raising money for and donating food product to local food banks, implementing sliding scale payment arrangements, keeping us entertained and learning with DIY videos, participating in protests, lobbying for change in our judicial system, promoting and supporting people of color...paving a positive path forward through a global pandemic, an uncertain economy, and civil unrest.
This month, we will be featuring stories on the Loveland Foundation based in Newburgh and The Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) based in New York City, the recipient of our charitable contribution from sales in June, which we will be extending through July. The Loveland Foundation was created by Rachel Cargle to meet the mental health needs of Black Americans through access to therapy. We feel strongly about this topic. Having, or working toward, a healthy mental state is so important for yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
Tune in Thursday, July 2, 2020 5 PM-9:30 PM EST/2 PM-6:30 PM PST / Essence Festival of Culture A Virtual Experience: Unstoppable
We will also be sharing stories on a small, independent leather goods workshop called Talouha, run by Christa Santa Maria in Buffalo, and hard-cider entrepreneur Peter Yi, who has been working relentlessly to sustain his business, as well as himself after getting sick with COVID-19 in February. We will explore the politically-, socially-, and economically-inspired artwork of New York’s iconic aesthetic activists as well as get to know Sophie Klafter, an award-winning photographer who documents herself and others who are differently abled. And because we commend our makers for their drive to keep going, we will hear from them on where they find their strength and how they use it to champion their businesses ahead.
From Sophie Klafter's portfolio. Photograph by Sophie Klafter of Andrea, 28. Transverse Myelitis.
"Being a part of this project exposes a beauty that is usually not seen and often is not spoken of. With every click of the shutter, Sophie has exposed the confident woman I am. I feel beautiful in my own skin. For me, confidence took time to grow. Through every stage of adolescence, as well as early adulthood, I learned how to live my life in a wheelchair. I’ve always succeeded in the classroom, which gave me the confidence to excel in my social and leadership skills. Ultimately, I won the title of Ms. Wheelchair New York 2016.
"I’m still asked if I'm okay with showing my scars or the curve of my back. To be honest, I love my scars. They are my reminder that I have lived and conquered what tried to kill me. The curve in my back is a metaphor for how others have supported me as much as I’ve supported them. (Think of the Greek god Atlas supporting the world, just on a smaller scale — and I'm also sitting down.)
"I’ve taken my voice to Capitol Hill, where I’ve spoken to Congress about four bills that need to be signed and pushed through the House and Senate. They drastically affect the living conditions of people with disabilities — including transportation, sidewalk accessibility, and the housing crisis, which forces disabled people to live in nursing homes rather than offering affordable, accessible housing."
As for New York Makers Marketplace, we are excited to announce the newest offering online -- our New York Makers Gift Boxes. We came up with the idea when we were in full quarantine. We loved curating the boxes and think they make really special gifts for those you may be missing, thinking about, or wanting to thank or give love. You can use our selections, or come up with your own! As for in person New York Makers’ experiences, our Catskills Outpost in Mountaindale has just reopened! You can shop a selection of New York Makers’ products at Forage and Gather Market (81 Mountaindale Road) Tuesday through Sunday 9 am - 6 pm. You can also now find our Silda’s Jam in a few shops around the state including Hurleyville General Store, Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, and Fulton Stall Market. We’ll be back in the kitchen next week!
Here’s to fighting for our passions, values, and beliefs. Find your inner strength (it’s there!) and join us this month in a “Resilient” New York State of Mind.