Some of you may have noticed an extended quietness in the Land of Imp & Petal over the last several months. Aside from a few little bursts (namely the brand ambassador search we had going a while back,) I've been largely unengaged. While I have spent countless hours beating myself up for it, I won't apologize. I've needed this time, for a lot of reasons. Y'all know I'm basically the reigning Queen of extreme wordiness, so I'll go ahead and warn you now: I'm not editing this. I'm just rambling, catching you up, letting you know what I've been up to and where this path is headed. It won't be full of shiny graphics or bullet points. Just me. Just words.
For those of you rolling your eyes and groaning right now, I'll summarize real quick so you can get on with your lives: I'm ultimately fine, and Imp & Petal is here to stay, in whatever form it may evolve into. :)
"But Kristina," you ask, "Where have you BEEN?!"
Yes, well. There are a handful of mundane things I could spout off here; Familytime... volunteer work... medical issues, deaths in the family... but at the end of the day the real reason is that I haven't had the energy. The political climates both in general and surrounding the dread communities have simply been bogging me down. I know that a lot of you turn to me for my thoughts when things get messy, and I do feel as though I have let you down to some extent but honestly, I have had so much trouble nailing down both the words and the energy to express them. So much anger. So much sadness. Mind-bending frustration. It's all such a mess, and it is weighing heavily on me.
The tension. The tension that this very thing that I have built my business around and through which my artistry has evolved, the tension it has created in the fashion world is disheartening, and complex, and worthy of it's very own blog. I'm not there yet. I'm still processing my feelings. I'm still trying to listen, and learn. I can say, with absolute conviction, that it is not an issue to be taken lightly or to be brushed aside, for that is the very inherent nature of the problem. I will, however, and perhaps to the chagrin of some of you, say that there are larger issues at the moment that require our attention, our diligence and our voices. Root causes and bigger threats. We all need to pull our beautiful hair back, roll up our sleeves and focus on protecting the idea of basic rights for ALL OF HUMANKIND.
I also deeply love, and depend (financially and emotionally) on what I do. Perhaps that makes me a selfish person. I'll own that. I'll never stop reassessing. I will continue to make and sell my art in the form of dreads until I no longer find that it fits for me. I will create for and with all peoples for whom my work appeals, and with the hope that they will go forth respectfully and that they are treated with the same respect they offer out. I aim only to help people feel beautiful. Feel confident.
I will focus on representation, while knowing that it isn't enough.
I will use my voice, the voice of an olive-skinned, adopted woman of mixed race and lost culture who has most certainly benefitted from the White Privilege machine. I will use it to stand up for the marginalized, the forgotten, the frightened, the beautiful. I welcome the conversation. I recognize that because of my geographical location, despite my many struggles, I was still born with a louder voice and a softer safety net than so very many. I am willing to stand in the street on your behalf, if you want me to. I am willing to call our congressmen on your behalf, if you want me to. I am willing to amplify your voices so that you don't have to consistently listen to someone else speaking for you, if you want me to. Just message me. I'll listen. I will do my best to understand. I am here for you.
I am scared for you.
I am scared for our earth.
I love what I do but every time I pick up that plastic fiber and work it gleefully in my hands I feel distinct pangs of guilt. The manufacturing of synthetic hair contributes significantly to air and water pollution. Each bundle is wrapped in the kinds of plastic-coated cardboard and the specific grades of plastic packaging that cannot be efficiently recycled. I make enormous efforts to reuse as much as I can, but it still weighs on me.
So those of you who are still with me, I need you. I need you to help me boost attention to my wool dreads so that I can move in the direction of a more sustainable fiber. I need you to help me boost attention to my other artistic explorations, so that I may grow, and learn, and create for more than just a small group of people. I need you to help me keep my eyes open, help me pay attention and take care of these precious gifts of humanity and nature. I need you to truly appreciate art and music. Your support is vital. We artists and musicians need you, for our very survival is also at stake.
I am not perfect, maybe not even close. But I am trying. I see you. You matter to me. Please be gentle on me. Gentle on each other. I believe Love Wins. Please keep reminding me of that. Remind yourselves. Remind one another. Remind the world.
Until I officially get my ass back into an upswing, thank you for reading. Thank you for your continued support after all these years. All my best.