PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — As we celebrate Pride Month, you’ve probably noticed “pride” displays of merchandise at big retailers.
Those dollars don’t often support companies and creators, so the owner of a small LGBTQ business created a directory to change that.
“Over the last few years, a lot of the bigger corporations have almost swooped in on the community, and they have taken away from small businesses, like myself,” says Esadiva Maven, the CEO of the Brewerytown-based E’s Tees and More.
It’s a practice known as “rainbow washing.”
“This is where large corporations will just print some rainbows and put some sassy sayings on a t-shirt to make a profit,” explains Bryan Buttler, the owner of Bryan Buttler Media Relations. “But none of it is really funneling back into the community.”
This is precisely why Buttler created a shopping guide of local LGBTQ businesses to support, from health care providers to theatrical companies, consultants and makers.
“There is a great vendor locally who makes rugs, really cool rugs,” Buttler explains, “and they offer rug-making classes in their workshop in West Philly.”
Also on the list? The local LGBTQ soccer club, the Philadelphia Falcons.
At Maven’s E’s Tees and More, you’ll find original works. She’s a costume, fashion and graphic designer.
Her best seller is a hat that simply says: “Be Kind.”
She’s all about upcycling, adding rhinestones and paint and feathers to give old items a new look.
Her original graphic designs, are by design, with sayings that mean something special to her.
“I felt like we needed to celebrate the allies too,” she says. “I did a new ally shirt this year which says, ‘You are safe with me.'”
Maven is known for her affirmations of self-acceptance and empowerment.
“Body positivity is really important,” she says. “We make sizes from extra small all the way to 6X, which is rare in retail. We are all about the ultimate freedom to be yourself and be fabulous.”
Click here for a link to Buttler’s directory.