An Open Letter from betsy & iya.
Posted on November 23, 2016
It’s Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for as a company. We’re thankful for our health. We’re thankful to have work we’re proud of and fulfilled by. We’re thankful for our customers. We’re thankful for the growth of our company this year and all the amazing work from individuals and teams at betsy & iya. We’re thankful for the buoyancy and perseverance we’ve woven into the DNA of our company.
We’re thankful to live in a country, in a state, in a city, where it’s possible for one woman to start something like betsy & iya from little more than an idea scribbled on a page in a bright red notebook and where it’s possible for that idea, that spark, kindled by sacrifice, dedication, saying ‘yes’, the fervent pursuit of excellence, and doing the right thing, to grow into a warm blaze, into the company we are today.
We’ve always tried to do the right thing–to be fair, honest, welcoming, inclusive, loving. In an industry where the status and concept of beauty is often manipulated into something always-just-out-of-reach, never attainable, a persistent, manufactured void to be filled with another purchase, we’ve endeavored to be different: a bright spot, a company that celebrates the beauty in us all. When you walk into our shop, we hope you feel seen, respected, valued, and beautiful. We hope you feel that without us. We believe that feeling is a basic right; something which should be simultaneously sacred and commonplace. Something which no one else can give you, and which no one should ever take from you through malice or indifference. We all have a right to be seen, respected, and to feel valuable and beautiful.
We see things in the world now, ugly forces that we believe are working in opposition of this basic right. We see them and we reject them. We see them and we will resist them. We reject white supremacy. We reject racism. We reject sexism. We reject violence and we reject oppression of free speech and peaceful protest. We reject xenophobia and the oppression or marginalization of immigrants seeking a better life. We reject anti-Muslim acts and speech. We reject anti-black acts and speech. We reject anti-semitic, anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-differently abled and anti-disabled acts and speech. We reject classism. We reject privilege, hate, and inequality.
Dan Rather recently wrote:
“Now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent. We must all stand up to be counted. History will demand to know which side were you on. This is not a question of politics or party or even policy. This is a question about the very fundamentals of our beautiful experiment in a pluralistic democracy ruled by law.”
We agree with Mr. Rather. Current events compel us to state our position. And while some may feel it’s not the the proper place for a company to assert itself in this way, we respectfully disagree. This is a time to say what we stand for, to declare who we are, what our values are, what we think the status quo should be, and to say out loud that hate and oppression have no place in our company or in our vision of our country.
This is who we are. We are here. We see you. We respect you. We value you. You are beautiful.
From our family to yours, we wish you hope, joy, beauty, and a very happy Thanksgiving.