GRL TRBL Has Been Busy Doing Whaaaat?
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Hello TRBLD GRLS,

Here's a quick roundup of off-site GRL TRBL news. Enjoy!

I wrote about 6 Things My Side-Hustle Is Teaching Me About My Long-Term Career Goals for The Financial Diet. 

GRL TRBL was featured on this amazing list of Latinx pinmakers on Vivala

I was a guest on the Feminist Killjoys, PhD podcast to discuss the commodification of feminism and what it means to sell feminism with hosts Raechel and Melody. 

Speaking of podcasts I was also on the Black Beauty Linkup podcast where we chatted about GRL TRBL, the women's march, and intersectionalism with hosts Ashley Monique and Jade Jones. 

Two of my framed prints will be for sale in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 27th to raise money for Planned Parenthood in collaboration with Boogie Woman, an amazing gathering of PoC artists, vendors, and musicians. Grab your tix here, LA bbs

In New York City, my pins will be auctioned off (how cool is that!) to raise money for Amanda Farias who is running to be councilwoman in District 18 in The Bronx. She is working to unseat Ruben Diaz Sr. an anti-choice, Trump-supporting, homophobic faux-Democrat. Grab tix to the fundraiser here

As always, thanks for keeping the lights on at GRL TRBL!

Emerald Pellot
Which Kind Of Bad Feminist Are You?

There is a lot of talk about feminism and which kind is useful. There's "performative feminism," where someone might put on an ugly pink hat, free a nipple, and tweet a few #GirlPower hashtags but with little interest in helping on a grassroots, organizational level. 

There's the "anything a woman does is empowerment" feminism. The framework being that we should respect all women's choices. It's a nice theory but omits the issue of when a woman's actions directly or even purposefully reproduce the inequalities feminism is supposed to be working against (see your girl, Kellyanne Conway). 

There's the rumored misandrist as feminist, but those "man-hating snowflakes," are more right-wing fantasy than any real feminists in the objective world. 

There's "Beyonce feminism" which equates female empowerment with wealth, power, and status. A duplicitous kind of feminism that games the system designed to oppress women, but also inadvertently reproduces it. It's great to get the paper, girl, but if you don't smash the institutions along the way, you're just Queen of the Damned. It's no one's fault that this is the preferred brand of feminism these days, except Uncle Capitalism's that is. (I am a Beyonce fan, please don't destroy me, Beyhive.) 

Most importantly, there's intersectional feminism. Think of it as the all-inclusive dope, most bang for your buck package. It is one thing to hypothetically believe all women should be equal, it's another to acknowledge that women experience inequality vastly different from one another. That means the fight for women's rights must consider the experiences of women who are trans, who have disabilities,  who are queer, who are sex workers, who come from the vast array of cultures, religions, races, ethnicities, and creeds. It must also consider class, geography, history and status. To get the clearest picture of anything, you need context, other wise you're just looking at pixels until you finally zoom out and see the Pepe meme. Intersectionalism offers the most context, but only if you're willing to adjust your perspective and open your goddamn eyes. 

Every kind of feminism is worthy of your critique, it's the only way feminism will get better. Pick a day of the week and I'm probably one of the above. There is no perfect way to be a feminist, but the best way to be a feminist is to be a nuisance

To be a feminist is to make trouble for the oppressors.

Sometimes that is putting on an ugly pink hat because you know its statement causes palpable discomfort to those who ain't courageous enough to be woke. Sometimes it's getting a steady paycheck to dispel any of the expectations that a woman can't be self-sufficient, capable, and independent. Sometimes it's marching, volunteering, or being the loudest, most insufferable know-it-all who's fact-checking that lame dude's fake news story at the cocktail party. Sometimes it's standing with a friend because you're the one with the privilege at the time and it's the only way anyone else will listen. Sometimes it's biting your tongue and practicing understanding when a woman makes a choice different than you. Feminism comes in many forms and most of them are useful on different occasions. As long as you're not Miss Kellyanne, you're probably just doing your best. 

The only good way to be a feminist is to be a bad girl. Be the trouble that keeps your enemies awake at night. Be GRL TRBL.

 

Emerald Pellot
The Cost Of Shipping & Handling Is Your Soul...

I'd like to keep my business as transparent as possible. Not only because it's ethical, but because for those curious about getting into this whole selling enamel pin game this kind of shit needs to be demystified. 

I released the "Solidarity Pin" for pre-order on March 21st. After the week-long pre-order period was over I had a ton of orders (YAY!). But I have to say: I sort of botched the whole shipping and handling thing. 

I am obsessed with packaging. When you open up a product and the mere process of opening it up is an experience — I am sucker for that kind of materialism. Thus, I really wanted my packaging to be cool and on brand. I can't afford anything fancy so I went with a few cute personal touches. Hot pink envelopes, crinkle paper, stickers, pretty pink cellophane wrap.

Then came the technicalities.

I was sending postcards: how the fuck do I mail them without postal workers bending them in the process? 

How do you even ship something lol? I assumed I would be able to print postage online, but no, you need a third party service. Wah, do I have to pay for a third party service?

How much does it even cost to ship something? It can't be that much, right?!

How much more could international shipping really be? (LOL!)

I was very caught up in how nice everything looked that I forgot how everything would actually work. I am sure you're wondering why I hadn't considered all of this? Sorry, grl, I got no answer. 

Obviously, all of these problems were solved, but the solutions came a little too close to that shipping date. I got foam board to ship the postcards securely. After realizing it would take 90 million years to print out address labels, then weigh each package at the post office kiosk, I got a stamps.com account. After realizing shipping would cost more than I thought, I raised my shipping prices (which are still less than what it actually costs to ship).

International shipping actually costs more than the pin but I ate the costs because that's what you do. I had no idea how much time it would take to wrap all those little pins in pretty pink cellophane, or how much time it would take to cut little squares of foam board, or how much time it would take to weigh each package at a kiosk (I guess that's the handling part, lololol!). It was all learning experience that week, which has since been streamlined. 

Most importantly, I learned that I need help. In fact, I actually had help the entire time. Shout out to my BFF Libby who has regularly volunteered her time (she literally stayed the night and worked the next day to help me get those pre-orders out on time.) without me ever having to ask for help. She's been helping me since I got this crazy idea and has been my hype woman the entire time.

Libby has helped me so much in this process, that I came to rely on her help. So I made it official, my BFF Libby Phillips, is now officially COO of GRL TRBL. I am still the creative voice behind the brand and will be managing most things, but Libby has the left brain that I sorely need. She is the kind of person that asks questions like: "When you price your items do you consider the amount of time and how much it actually costs to make them?" LOL. Duh.

Libby is also a Public Relations boss bitch and has been running her own business since before I took the vowels out of girl trouble. 

As always, thank you for you continued support and be the trbl you want to see in the world.

Oh hai, I was on episode three of Black Beauty Link Up: The Podcast with Ashley Monique and Jade Jones, we talked GRL TRBL, intersectionalism, and not giving a fuck.

You should definitely be following @GRL_TRBL on Instagram.

Emerald Pellot
GRL TRBL's First Week In The Biz

Last week, on March 21, I was invited to sell (as well as raffle off a couple of items) at the Women of Color For Progress launch party. This also happened to be the first day I opened up my online shop for pre-orders. 

The event was amazing. I met so many wonderful women and while it was great to have people interested in buying my pins and prints, the conversations I had were where the real rewards were reaped. 

I realized, at this event, where so many women (and their allies, holler!) were politically engaged and supportive, that this is the true reason I started GRL TRBL. 

Let's be real, having a staff position as a writer in NYC is nothing to gawk at. I am very lucky to have been able to become socially mobile, as a working writer no less. But writers aren't really the social type. It's kind of a you and your keyboard situation. Without realizing, I started this project  to find a sense of community, and you all's response has proven I was right. 

Without further ado, I can say that this first week of sales at GRL TRBL has been a success both at the event and online. The solidarity pin hasn't just financially broken even, it is profitable. I am not saying this to be braggadocios, rather, I want to be transparent. 

I want others to feel motivated to take the leap and start their own stores, own communities, own whatevers... you know? Imposter syndrome is real. It is difficult to put your ideas out there. The fear of being mediocre or worse — asking people to give you money for something you've made — that shit is real.

However, the older I get, the more I realize the world is a heaping pile of trash (lol, I'm serious) and most people are just looking for relief for whichever existential crisis they've been dealt with at the moment. That means, whatever "weird" hobby you have, whatever "strange" thing you're into or have to say, whatever your values are, there are people out there who want to hear about it.

Fuck, bruh, there are white supremacists out there spreading literal hate and they have followings. You think your ideas aren't good enough? Really? When we are subjected to other people's bad ideas everyday? Hover boards? Those new Apple wireless earbuds? Segregation? Genocide? Voting for 45? Bad ideas, but successful ideas... ?

If you build it, they will come. A disgustingly unqualified, barely human puppet of Russia is our President. Why are you wasting time thinking you're not good enough? Literally, anyone is good enough — apparently! Go out. Start trbl, grl!

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

I am giddy with excitement but don't worry, I still look soulless and stoic on the outside. If anyone wants to sell enamel pins and wants more info on it, holler at emerald @ grltrbl dot com. 

P. S. My new pins are here and they are soooooo dope. I can't wait to show them to you. 

You should definitely be following @GRL_TRBL on Instagram.

Emerald Pellot
The TRBL Begins...

Welcome to GRL TRBL. How did I get here? 

Since before I was literate, I remember taking a box of crayons and scribbling lines that resembled my mother's cursive handwriting. If you'd asked me in kindergarten, seventh grade, in high school or as an undergrad at NYU, I'd tell you the same thing: I am a writer.

Writing has always been my passion, today it's my career. What keeps the lights on at GRL TRBL aka my apartment in New York City, is my day job as a writer. So how'd I end up making pins?

To be frank, I am dissatisfied with words. I was always aware of the limitless power of words. They shape the fabric and framework in which we perceive the world, they can be weaponized to hurt others, and boy, can they get ourselves in trouble. 

Then came 2015 - 2016. Words became toxic. Words have always constructed our reality and it is no surprise that they were used to undermine our democracy: fake news, memes, slurs, deception, manipulation, social engineering, misinformation. Present someone with an article that disproves the hot nonsense they believe today and they don't even consider those words, they say "fake news," they cry, "conspiracy," they regress to ad hominem attacks.

Words no longer worked for me. I could not use them any longer to express my anger, sadness, and grief during this political climate. Words are too easily manipulated, and for all the power they have, I think we have rendered them ineffective right now.

So I started to illustrate. If you'd have asked me at any point in my life what I wanted to be, the answer would never have been: visual artist. It is always something I'd done as a hobby, for fun, for jokes, really.

Suddenly, illustrations were the only way to make myself clear.

This is what I believe, this is how I feel, this is what I see, this is what I know.

There is little room for miscommunication in my art. When I created that image of three women's fists, with nails sharp enough to claw out the eyes of any predator, something inside of me changed. I felt a knew autonomy that I wanted to share. There was a new sense of fight in me that had been snuffed in the storm of this election. 

GRL TRBL is my utopia. It's a place where all women and their allies can gather round to fight. Life is a fight. We don't want it to be, but it is. GRL TRBL isn't just a brand or a side hustle or a small business, it is my fight, my army, stockpile, my arsenal, it's one of the tools in my belt that I have created to fight for my life and yours. So fight with me.

Be the TRBL your oppressors fear the most. 

Emerald Pellot