Earl Grey Fiber Company started out in my tiny Berkeley, CA apartment in 2016 after being inspired by indie dyed yarn at my local yarn shop. Before coming to the fiber world, I worked as a mental health therapist, and had worked in mental health services for 15 years, but after having my daughter I knew I needed a change, and I fell hard and fast for the indie dyed fiber world. Fun fact: the name "Earl Grey Fiber Co." did not come from a love of the tea, in fact, it's my least favorite, but rather, Jean Luc Picard, who does love the tea.
As a white woman operating a small business, I recognize the privilege that I hold, not only in the world, but in this community as well. I actively work to create an inclusive space that everyone feels welcome in. I believe it's important for small businesses to express their values, even if they might ruffle feathers. I regularly engage in anti-racism work, and actively work to better myself through knowledge and experience. I believe that giving back to the community that supports me is important, and to help build up and support others within this little corner of the world we've created for ourselves.
OUR ACTION PLAN
I believe that it's important for you to know what I'm doing to uphold the aforementioned. So here's my ongoing action plan (because transparency is important):
Donations: I support many organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, RAINN, The National Center for Transgender Equality, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, and RAICES - to name a few - through our Goods For Good items, but I also have standing, monthly donations being made outside of these items, as I don't believe that donations to important organizations should be contingent on whether or not I sell yarn.
Education: I believe that anti-racism education is important for all white and non-Black POC, and I believe it's an ongoing process with a steep learning curve. I actively work on educating myself, as a white woman, to help better understand the role and privilege I hold and how I can use those things to help dismantle the systemic oppression of those who are not white.
Offering Support: Inclusivity is important to me, and that extends to both size and income inclusivity as well. I offer yarn support to designers, and offer support to customers struggling with income instability. I offer a "wholesale sale" twice a year, which allows customers to buy yarn at wholesale prices (50% off retail), so that my yarn is accessible to everyone, and not just people with disposable income. Outside of yarn support, I also offer help to those just getting started, or wanting to start yarn dyeing. While I don't offer any formal training, I do offer resources and advice - the only thing I won't share are my recipes, so please feel free to message me if you need help finding a place to start.