By Sarah Essex
You will be hard pressed to pull up a BDSM video and not find a TAZapper. That annoying little device was the brainchild of Ms Toy (Sarah Essex) and for years she took it and a lot of other great items on the road to events under the TOY’s TOYS business name. The TOY’s TOYS roadshow is no more. Things change….
I thought when I began working on this article a week or so before IMsL that I would do a cheery little bit of news-release fluff about the our new business and the GoFundMe campaign, and we could all smile and be happy. But it didn’t take long and I was pretty much done being cheery and I decided to tell a more serious tale about two things – Getting Older and Starting Up A New Business.
PART ONE – GETTING OLDER
No, that was just too mild.
IT REALLY SUCKS SWEATY GREASY DONKEY BALLS! Better.
Aside from all the mileage on your body starting to catch up with you and the warranty running out work gets hard to find – REAL HARD. The jobs that are out there are pathetic and involve long hours for crap wages. Employers have no respect for seniors. It is okay to give a job to an older person then cut their hours, fire them, do away with the job all together or any combination of the above because everybody knows that there are lots of jobs out there that pay a living wage and if you are old you really do not need to eat or pay your bills. If you believe that, I have some stock certificates I can sell you.
Making a living is tough on anybody – I know, but making a living as a graphic artist who is getting older is just real, real tough. I know, wa wa wa.
PART TWO – STARTING UP A G A I N
We need a self-sustainable source of making our own living. So we decided to take a look at getting back into vending. We have equipment and I know how to make it sing! But to what end? Everybody and their dog (and cats) makes floggers and paddles and whips and stingy thangs. Besides, that limits you to just lifestyle events. There is no money in the t-shirt market any more. So what can I do that I am really good at that I can start selling at events, that people haven’t seen from coast to coast, that I have a chance of making a living at, that I can cross community lines and do various festivals?
Our answer, which we are launching at Tribal Fire ( tribalfireokc.com ) on May 1st, is really, really cool. We are doing a whole new line of patches. PATCHES! Yes, I know there are a few vendors out there selling some patches but nothing like what we’re selling. Yes, patches! Pig patches holding hankies, (in color) PRIDE patches like you have never seen, AND fantastic, beautiful airbrushed 3-dimensional art patches.
This will take wearable art to a whole new level. We will be introducing back pieces with embroidery AND airbrushed color. Imagine a MASTER patch with red and orange flames running though the lettering or a slave patch with purples and blues laced into it. Both will be available at Tribal as well as 3D skulls, dragons and much more.
The concept has tested very well. I have done club and event patches for years. I’m doing all the DNA event patches as well as the rockers for the Mr. Benson movie, so this is an easy step up within the lifestyle. Then you have PRIDE events, biker rallies, pirate events and art festivals, just to name a few. I KNOW how to do these patches and I know how to make these things beautiful. The people I have pitched the idea to were positive and excited to see the new products and so we moved forward. We even designed the new Mr. Route 66 LEATHER Patch ( OKC KINK WEEKEND – kinkweekendokc.com ) using our new process.
We decided. We made the jump. Start up is VERY difficult and vending is not easy or cheap. You need to be booking into hotels and into events months in advance and you need to be buying supplies and building up inventory. “No Problem” says I, “we can do a crowd sourcing campaign and make this happen. I mean, c’mon. We crowd source getting people to IMsL and we even crowd source $800,000.00 to that horrible pizza place that refused to cater a gay wedding. Our community will help us get this venture off the ground, won’t it?
PONK PONK PONK (That’s the sound of me tapping on the inside your monitor. Hello out there!
Here’s where things get a little tilted for me. COMMUNITY!!!!! It seems I may have been mistaken about community.
A (corporate) friend of mine tells me that people simply do not see the value in what we are doing yet and that is why we have raised a paltry $200 in our GoFundMe campaign ( www.gofundme.com/IZART1 ) but I don’t know. It has been shared out over and over, talked about and posted around and nobody seems to care. I hope that is not the case. The truth is I’m sad but more so I’m angry. That pizza woman raised $800,000.00 because she discriminated against my community, and my community raised $200 to help get a business going. Really?
A different friend says to me “Go get a job,” which means go to the big store a mile away and work for minimum and apply for food stamps. Sigh. No, I haven’t given up on my life or my community or hope yet. We still need that GoFundMe to get moving to make IZART1 work. We need our community to step up and help and we are asking.
We are going to be at Tribal Fire with whatever we can put on the table and we are going to stand proud and hope for the best. Hope to see you there!