In graduate school my topic for my thesis paper was craftivism. Going through this research process, to say the least, was an eye opening and life changing experience. And more importantly, it made me understand that I could use my passion of crafting to be a craftivist and to engage in craftivism. When I use the term craftivism, it is not in the traditional way one would think of activism. Let me explain.
I have never considered myself an activist. I never have, and don’t attend rallies. (Frankly, as an introvert, I find them intimidating) BUT I have always volunteered, and donated handmade items to charitable organizations, and social causes. In doing my research for my paper, Betsy Greer, the founder of Craftivism, made me rethink my ideas of being an activist, and how I could use my crafting of handmade items as my voice to help further these causes.
With that said, I still don’t consider myself an activist; but I do consider myself a craftivist.
Fast foward to today, one of the things I love about craftivism is the small subtle ways crafting lets you have a voice and be heard. As I prepared for my thesis presentation this Summer, I wanted to show my colleagues and cohort, how influential craftivism, can be. The weekend before my presentation, I was a vendor for a Christmas in July Show, the triangle pouches were a huge hit…I made close to 100 of them for the two day show, and when the show ended, I had probably three left. So I thought, why not make them for all my colleagues, and use the presentation as a platform to talk about guerrilla kindness, a social cause that is often forgotten about, and close to my heart. And that is in fact what I did. Fifty people left that day with little triangle pouches, and were hopefully inspired to be kind to others.
As I said in my presentation, “in a world where everyone has an opinion and ‘cancel culture’ seems to be the norm, be different and be kind. Take one of the pouches and keep it for yourself. OR, if you don’t want one, take one anyway and give to someone who might use it. I hope that when you use the pouch you’ll remember the reasons and intentions behind the gift. It takes a lot of effort to be opinionated and mean. It takes less to be kind, but it also makes a bigger impression and impact on the word”.
If you are interested in finding out more about guerrilla kindness and craftivism, Betsy Greer has a great book on Amazon. And as you think about your Holiday shopping, think about these triangle pouches. They make great stocking stuffers, gifts for co-workers and teacher gifts. And they’re the perfect size to put those smaller items in a safe place….thumb drives, medications, kids toys, jewelry, and they even fit babies pacifiers!