This is where we draw the line

This is where we draw the line

We have been rather quiet lately. Maybe you have been wondering where we have been. Maybe not. There has been a lot of contemplation and coming to terms with where we are going as a company and where I want to go personally. I have struggled to find the words I wanted to say, to articulate all of the thoughts that have been going through my mind as I decided the direction that I wanted to move in.

I have always felt like I was pretty open about our position on issues affecting our world, but in case I have not made our stance clear yet, let me take this time to clarify where we stand on the issues that are affecting not just those of us in the United States but the issues that affect our entire world. There are wars happening around the world and here within our own country.

I am going to start by saying that our company will ALWAYS support marginalized communities. We choose to give our money ONLY to companies that also align with our personal beliefs and values. For this reason, we refuse to shop at stores, restaurants, online retailers, etc, that will use our money to support people, politics and policies that we oppose. We only use vendors that support the same mission that we do. We will always choose to support BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Religious Freedom, Mental Health and Women’s Rights, because equity matters.

We will actively stand against those that are out to harm others. We will march, we will fight, we will protest, and we will VOTE! We will be your voice when you feel as though you are not being heard. We will listen and we will take action. We will also offer solace and comfort and a safe place should you need it. We will not hide, and we will not be silent and allow for oppression to continue because certain people in power feel as though their beliefs and rights are more important than that of someone else.

As a middle-aged white woman raised in the Pacific Northwest, I am aware that I have certain privilege simply because of the color of my skin and the fact that I am in a heterosexual relationship, and I will use that privilege to stand up for the causes that I believe in with every fiber of my being. You will always find a fierce defender and ally here.

This is part where I get very vulnerable so if I haven’t already made you uncomfortable don’t say you weren’t warned. I am the mother of a child who was involved in a school shooting. My daughter was unable to go back to her high school as her PTSD was too great following that incident and she has never truly felt safe in a school setting again. I watched as she grappled with the fact that someone she considered a friend killed another of her friends and shot several others before taking his own life. This was a kid who most people liked and respected. I believe that our teachers are in place to educate our children, not to protect them from gun violence in our schools. Arming our teachers is NOT the answer. Protecting our children should be one of our biggest concerns as a country. Until we make actual steps to reducing gun violence in this country, no one is safe. Squirming in your seat yet? Well here it comes.

I wasn’t originally planning to tell this story. It has always felt too personal and yet after the Supreme Court made its ridiculous ruling overturning Roe V. Wade I feel as though I must. Several years ago, I had an abortion. I had two small children of my own and my partner at the time also had two small children when we found out we were going to have another. We both had good jobs and we lived in a nice place with plenty of room. It would definitely be a struggle financially, but we were at a place that we would be ok. At 16 weeks, I began cramping…severely. I went to my physician and was put on bed rest. Not something I could really afford at that time since I was hoping that we would be able to save up my meager sick leave balances for after the baby was born. So here I am on bed rest, and did I mention that I had 4 small children and a partner who worked 12 hour night shifts. He was picking up as much overtime as he could since I was no longer able to contribute. At 18 weeks, I began bleeding, heavily! I called my doctor and was rushed to the hospital where I underwent internal ultrasounds (which are exactly as uncomfortable as they sound) and bloodwork and continuous monitoring all as I continued to hemorrhage. The ultrasound tech wouldn’t even look at me and when asked if I could at least have a picture, he very impolitely declined. I was informed that while the baby still technically had a heartbeat my pregnancy was no longer viable. There was nothing that could be done. I either had the procedure that saved my life, or I left my small children without their mother. Obviously, you can see which option I chose. Do not be fooled into believing that every state makes exceptions for cases like mine. Here’s the thing though, my story doesn’t really matter. There are lots of people who will use it as a way to rationalize to themselves whether or not I had justification for making the decision that I did. You see it was my choice to make. That choice wasn’t for anyone else, not even my partner because in the end it wasn’t his life on the line, it was mine. These choices are not made easily. They are grueling and they leave scars every single time. But it is not my place to tell another human being what they get to do with their body. And until people care more about what happens to the child after it comes into this world than they do before it is born in my eyes, they need to stop calling themselves PRO LIFE and just be honest about what they are. They are anti-abortion. They are anti-give shit about anyone else’s rights, so long as you don’t infringe upon theirs.

As a company I have been cautioned against being “too political,” too vocal in my opposition to the beliefs that don’t align with my own. I say to hell with that! As companies we should take a stand! Our customers should know who they are purchasing from and what we stand for and against. Just as I refuse to shop with companies that don't align with my beliefs I think that should be a choice that every consumer has. I am so tired of watching companies try to be everything to everyone. I am sick and tired of giving money to companies only to find out later that they used my money and the money of many others to donate to causes that are out to actively hurt me and people that I love and care about. So here it is, our line in the sand so to speak...If I have values that are different from yours, please do not give us your money. We don’t want it!

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