We are committed to the daily work of actively and intentionally creating a healthy, supportive, welcoming working environment where individual employees or all orientations, races, nationalities, and denominations feel comfortable and valued being themselves, speaking their mind, and are proud to contribute their individual backgrounds, ideas, and expertise towards the overall goals and work of the studio. Though the studio carries an individual name, our goal is to use the model of decentralized organizations to spread the decision making power, and create an organism that is self-sustaining and fueled by the empowerment and expertise of each individual team member. We value work-life balance, maintenance of physical, mental and emotional health, and time to travel and experiment, all of which we strive to encourage and remove financial barriers in achieving.
We are only interested in collaborating with designers, artists, publications, and platforms who take their voice and their influence seriously and use it not only as a means to speak about their own work, but to uplift the voices and work of those in less privileged positions and to question inequitable and oppressive systems. Before we are a business, we are a collective of individual humans living in relation to each other, the earth, and the systems we have set up or were set up for us. We commit to never putting the exposure of our work before our commitments to equity and sustainability, and to always having conversations that may seem uncomfortable now so that, in time, these conversations and accountability between potential partners and collaborators is normalized and integral to businesses and creative practices of all sizes.
As we re-commit to existing retail partnerships, and begin conversations with new interest, we are having conversations with our stockists about bipoc and non-binary representation and inclusivity across the designers they represent, the employees they support, and if relevant, the models they hire. This feels like an especially important conversation when considering signing on with larger platforms who have larger influence, capital, and ability to provide opportunities. In light of the Movement for Black Lives, we are encouraging our retail partners to commit to the 15% Pledge, and offering specific recommendations of black artists and designers that would compliment and elevate the existing curation and vision of each retailer. Signing on to work with larger retailers was a pivotal moment for us and allowed SBT, when she was working on her own, to commit to creative work full time, move into private studio space, and hire and support a growing team. Our hope that by passing these suggestions along to our retail partners, that we are able to assist in this kind of growth for emerging designers of color in some small way.