Meet Crafty Contraceptives
Chelsea Wagner Founder, Crafty Contraceptives
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I’m a visual artist and designer with a penchant for sarcasm and one-liner jokes. A lot of my work has a tongue-in-cheekness to it. I have some roots in activism and what I quickly realized when I first entered that world was that no one likes to be told what they should or shouldn’t be doing. So I started incorporating things I care about into my art work as well as a focus on whimsy and play. I really like to get people to drop their guard and get silly. I think that’s the best way to start a conversation about something serious.
We love your tumblr page Crafty Contraceptives- can you tell us what motivated you to start the tumblr page?
My partner and I were both getting pretty upset while listening to the news coverage of the Hobby Lobby decision. I initially wanted to crochet a bunch of condoms and send them to Hobby Lobby’s corporate HQ. He suggested a broader variety of crafts. I’m a crafty person and it emerged pretty naturally in our conversation that this could be a funny way to open a dialogue about a really serious sociopolitical issue. I also knew I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. I wanted to get other people involved with it, crafters and non-crafters alike, and include their work. I wound up creating Crafty Contraceptives.
We saw a fabulous looking craft night on your instagram page- are you a crafty person? and do you throw these nights often to promote the cause?
I’m a very crafty person, yes. I almost always have a ball of yarn or stitching supplies in my bag. It has been pointed out to me that I also almost always have glitter on myself. That craft night was the first one I held. It was amazing. I put an event listing on Nonsense NYC and had a bunch of folks I’d never met before and a bunch of old friends come over and craft the night away. Most of the people who came hadn’t really crafted before and it was incredible to watch them just go nuts. A Crafty Contraceptives craft night was also independently organized in Buffalo, NY last week. I received an email full of amazing creations, from crochet parsley (nature’s contraceptive) to pipe cleaner and pussy willow cycle beads. I’m hoping to organize another craft night here in Brooklyn and I hope people keep organizing them elsewhere. They’re really fun!
What do you think the most challenging/reward part of starting the tumblr page has been so far? Is there any advice you would give activists looking to start their own pages?
The biggest challenge has been getting folks to craft. I’ve found it can be really intimidating for a lot of people. But I’m posting a variety of crafts with a variety of materials and skill levels involved. I hope that encourages more people to contribute. I’ve been getting more submissions so hopefully it’s working! The most rewarding thing is seeing people share it on their pages and seeing their comments. People are really digging it and finding it pretty funny. I get really excited when people craft something and send it to me for the blog.
My advice to others is to create a project that you love and that you are willing to put a lot of time into up front. You have to do something you’re passionate about because it takes a lot of work to get something off the ground. It’s your passion, enthusiasm, and dedication that will inspire and motivate others to contribute, whatever that looks like for your project.
What would you like Feminist Wednesday readers to know about Crafty Contraceptives ?
You can find us a few places and we would love for you all to visit us! We’re on Instagram @crafty_contraceptives, on Twitter @@CraftContracept, and on Tumblr at craftycontraceptives-us.tumblr.com. We’ve also been using #hobbylobbyfamilyplanning. I really want people to keep crafting and sending in their DIY birth control options! People can post photos of their creations and use our handles to send them to us or email us directly firstname.lastname@example.org. We can wait to see what Feminist Wednesday’s readers come up with!