The Story of Friends Who Earring
Cate and Claire were in the same orientation group at the beginning of our freshman year of college. Claire's first impression of Cate was "she has great earrings. I want to be her friend" (Cate says the same thing about Claire, so it was a match made in heaven). Over Christmas break our freshman year, Claire started making polymer clay earrings and knew Cate would love to make them too. In the spring of our freshman year, Claire showed her how to make them, and we spent the rest of the school year making them with friends on Friday and Saturday nights. Often, when we were planning what we wanted to do over a weekend, one of us would text the other "do you want to earring this weekend?" And "earring" as a verb was born.
We started an Instagram account for our earrings, but we hadn't even considered selling them yet. We were still working out lots of kinks, they broke easily and we hadn't perfected any of our earring processes. We were very silly on the Instagram and it was mostly just a way for us to connect with our friends. However, in June (Pride Month in the United States), many of Cate's LGBTQ+ friends reached out to her and said that they would buy pride-themed earrings from her to wear to Chicago's Pride Parade (one of the biggest in the country!). She was excited by the idea, but didn't like the thought of making something to celebrate Pride and pocketing the money for herself, so she and Claire both made pride-themed earrings and we donated all the profits to the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, an incredible organization based in Oakland, CA, that works to increase mental heath support and care access for queer and trans folks of color. In July, sales were still going well and we loved making them, so Claire texted Cate and said "what if we chose a different organization every month to donate our profits to?"
The rest, as they say, is history!
In those first few months, we donated 100% of the money we received -- we didn't even cover our costs! These days, we cover our costs to sustain this business, but after that, every dollar we make goes straight to our amazing organizations.
This has been such a labor of love for both of us -- it is a space of relaxation, community, creativity, and activism. Know how thankful we are for your presence and support in this community.
All of the love,