Betsy and I met in theatre school. An appreciation of people sitting in a room together to experience the same story (laughing, crying, thinking, feeling together) is baked deep into how we think, what we value. It's one reason we've kept our jewelry production studio physically connected to our retail shop. We think it's important that you know the whole story of how your jewelry came to be, that you can see the hands working the metal, feel the heat from the torch blast, see the design sketches, talk to the designer and makers who create things you feel beautiful/confident/bold/strong wearing. We believe it is your right as a customer to know these stories.
We believe stories help build community, and we believe community, respect, and celebration of the beauty in us all is essential. It's part of why we've sponsored Backfence PDX for the last 4+ years. As we said in an open letter last November:
"We've endeavored to be ... 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."
So, when we heard that the existence of a uniquely Portland institution which shares these values was threatened, betsy & iya stepped up. We recently donated $5,000 to the Save Movie Madness Kickstarter campaign and with your help, we'd like to contribute even more.
Movie Madness is a national cultural treasure. With a collection of 80,000+ DVDs, BlueRays, and VHS tapes, they own more than double the number of titles available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix combined. The plan to save this invaluable archive is to fold it into yet another Portland institution, the Hollywood Theater, a 501(c)(3) organization. Under this non-profit umbrella, Movie Madness will contribute to the Hollywood Theater's mission "to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the art of film."
Ever-expanding and consolidating media and technology companies are becoming more and more dominant and inextricable in our daily lives. The power of an individual to make her own choices about what to watch, what voices to hear, what stories are told diminishes as the power and size of media and tech companies grows. It's against this backdrop that a truly independent, autonomous, and local resource like Movie Madness really shines.
Movie Madness owner Mike Clark recently said of his inspiration for the store "I had a little bit of everything for everyone, and I wanted it to be special." He's succeeded and Portland is better off because of his vision and perseverance.
Here's how you can help us make an even bigger impact:
We've just designed a brand new I ❤️ MM pin. From now through November 22, purchase a pin and we'll donate 25% of the total order (not just 25% of the pin price, but of everything you buy in that order) to the Hollywood Theater/Movie Madness in support of their mission.
Please join us in helping to make Mike Clark's and Movie Madness's legacy even more potent, even more accessible, even more strongly tied to the community, an even stronger force to preserve and make heard a variety of voices, experiences, and viewpoints. Buy a pin today, or contribute to the Kickstarter directly.
-Will, and the whole betsy & iya team