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Reflections and Promises

As with so many small business owners, I have been doing a lot of reflection on how I am a part of the system and how I am knowingly or unknowingly contributing to the system of racism in our country. I take my and Rare Device's role in this seriously. While I am a woman of color and a first-generation immigrant (I am Filipina), I am not Black or Indigenous and do not have the same experience of discrimination that Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people face (I encourage you to read up on the model minority myth).

We have always prided ourselves as a community-focused company. While in the past, we have done some things to ensure that we are representing women of color in our store by doing things like only featuring WOC in our gallery this year, creating a goal to increase our staff diversity, and seeking out and selling work from BIPOC, I believe we can do even more.

As a company, we are committing to the following:
  • We will actively seek out BIPOC artists, designers, and makers and will carry their work consistently at Rare Device.
  • Hiring starts with recruiting so we will be actively looking for candidates through channels that we have not looked into before.
  • We will feature people of color to model products on our website (jewelry, etc.)
  • We will continue to raise money and/or donate to organizations that directly support people of color.
  • We will ensure that our staff makes everyone who comes into the store feel welcome, regardless of their skin color.
Personally, I am committing to the following:
  • I will continuously and consistently educate myself regarding racial issues that plague our country.
  • I will do hard and scary things that advance the conversation about race, even if it means I may be criticized. I tend to put my head down and shy away from these conversations but I promise to put myself out there more than I have been.
  • I will listen carefully and learn from my mistakes. I will be humble and will not be afraid to admit if I am wrong.
  • I will continue to talk to my Asian daughters about race and go even deeper into our conversations as their age and maturity grow. I commit to keeping this conversation going throughout our lives.
Earlier last week, we made public our list of Black-Owned Creative Businesses in the Bay Area. In addition to populating this list with artists that we've had our eye on or whose work we already carry, we solicited our community to add to the list. We ask you now to reach out to us if you know of any Creative businesses that should be added to this list. The goal of this list is to serve as a guide for people who want to use their dollars to support these businesses. We will leave this list up forever so that it can serve as a directory for any of us when we have the need for these goods or services.

Finally, we thank you for reading this newsletter and for supporting us, especially through these last 3 months as we navigate these layers of our new normal as they come. Please be kind to each other and continue to support local small businesses. We appreciate you!

Sincerely,
Giselle
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