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SPOTLIGHTING OUR TALENT

TINY BANGS: MEET RIOT

Hey there Riot! I had an absolutely blast at your new book’s launch party. I can tell you it was a very inspirational day and having the book you and @littleguntank created together in my hands was nothing short of amazing. I would love our readers to get to know more about you. First, let’s get down to business, tell us a bit about yourself please.

 

I’m 12 years old I live in Los Angeles, and I’m 5’2. I like to collect Pokemon Cards and create make up looks. My favorite colors are purple and yellow. I am in 7th grade, I have two siblings, and I’m the oldest. I have two pet rats, a dog, and a turtle (we tolerate the turtle).

 

Ah yes, those turtles can be a bit nasty!
You just wrote the book RIOT! And I love how easily accessible it is to everyone, yet very powerful and filled with wisdom. In it you discuss being non-binary and your journey to discovering the right words to express how you felt. How did telling your story feel? Was any of it hard to put down in words?

 

Well, telling my story was really good because we want everyone to know that these genders exist and that we support them. Sometimes I get scared that people will have a negative feeling about my story and that things might get out of hand. But it did feel really good to get it out there. It took two years for the book to be published, but it only took one month to write down my story. Honestly, when I first started writing the book I didn’t know as much as I do now about the subject. I’ve learned a lot through the journey of writing it, and the book helped me a lot in understanding myself. To those who are willing to accept others as they are, (which everybody should), I think the book will be very, very helpful. I hope that someday it’s going to be a normal thing where everyone will use someone’s pronouns respectfully.

 

Where can we find your book for purchase?

 

It’s at tinybangs.com for preorder. For just $19.99 you can get the RIOT! book at tinybangs.com

 

I also know you have a bunch of merchandise that now decorates my daughter’s room, especially the posters that were made from the book art, what is your favorite piece?

 

I really really really like the stickers! You can stick them on backpacks and stuff! 

 

We are currently collaborating on a project with @littleguntank and @tiny.bangs that I can’t wait to work on with you, but in the meantime what other projects do you have lined up?

 

The Bosio family foundation, a non profit to help people. The focus is on queer community, anti racism, victim rights, etc.. Empowering the disempowered. Right now we are building some Trans youth care kits. We are planning to have the foundation all set to start for the fall. We are also working on a swimsuit collaboration that will be gender neutral, and geared towards trans and gender creative youth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Bangs is a fashion empire created by you and your siblings as well as your mother, how did it start?

 

Tiny bangs started in 2017, I was being homeschooled at the time. It was just a fun little creative outlet, but as we started to get attention it snow- balled. It also became about activism and we started a blog as we grew. So we still sell the clothing, but we also focus more of our energy on activism.

 

@tiny.bangs is really more than just fashion, it’s a way of life, how would you describe it?

 

We can’t really say it’s a kid’s clothing brand anymore, because we started creating clothes for adults. So it's for kids and adult kids, we create vintage style with a flair! I think our presents online is about our family, and about activism that is important to us, which serves to create that sense of community.

How does it feel to be a fashion icon at such a young age? 

 

I keep on forgetting that I am a fashion icon. Nobody believes me at school when I talk about my projects. I think I'd rather be a tween scumbag to be honest, but I do like figuring out new fashions. 

 

What is your vision of a perfect world?

 

Everything is free, especially food. No racism, no cops, no transphobia, and so much more. Just everyone being open to others. I wonder what the world would be like if gender didn't exist? I feel like it would be much better in a way. I also wish money literally grew on trees and I think we all need free healthcare.

 

Is there anyone that you look up to, who truly inspires you?

My parents definitely inspire me. My Mom showed me everything and my Dad is just great. I also look up to Cardi B. and Beyonce.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A lot of people say this, but I learned it from my art teacher. If things don’t turn out well, say in a picture if you didn’t draw it well, just keep going. Even if it takes six times to get it right,you are bound to succeed and grow.

 

Who has been your biggest supporter in your life and how have they impacted your journey?

 

My mom and my friends have been I think our presence online is about amazing. Cecilia, Dylan, Liz, Abby, Logan... They are all good friends who are my supporters. I still deal with bullying frequently, and my friends always have my back.

 

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

Hmmmmm. My favorite thing about myself... let’s think. I have a good singing voice. I love rock camp. I like the fact I can become friends with people easily.

And last, but not least, what would you do if you came home and found a penguin hanging out in your refrigerator?

 

I don’t know. I think my turtle would eat it. Ok, well first I’d freak out, then I’d take a picture, just for the receipts. Then I would tell Dad. My Dad would freak out, he would call a zoo. “I’ve got a penguin do you want it? You can have our turtle too.” And I’d cleanup the fridge immediately, 'cause that thing is stinky.

I'm glad your Dad would be there to rescue you from a stinky penguin! Thanks Riot, it was really fun to get to know you more! Can't wait to work together soon.

July 12, 2021

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Photographed by Michael Robles

PRIDE SOCKS: MEET RACHEL

July 12, 2021

Hello Rachel! When I was creating the Skating to My Own Beat editorial I needed the perfect pair of socks, that would highlight the clothing choice, but that would also be a statement in itself. When I discovered your socks it was a very easy choice to make, they were perfect, and shined the positivity that I wanted to bring to this editorial! So, tell me about who is behind Pride Socks! What got you started?

 

My name is Rachel and I am the founder of Pride Socks. I am now a proud mom to Moxie, who is 13 months old. She is my light and love!

Pride Socks came to light while I was teaching high school special education and after asking my brother if I could work for him at his sock company, Skater Socks and him telling me to start my own business (ha ha ha)...so I did. At the time, I knew if I started a business I would end up quitting my career as a teacher and wanted a business that made a difference.

So I looked back on my life. The root of this passion stems from my child- hood. Growing up, I was one of five siblings, born and raised by Deaf parents; therefore, job opportunities were limited as was their income. One way my parents dealt with this adversity was to recycle clothing between siblings. Matching and hole-less socks be- came a commodity and my obsession was born. When I was in high school, I started running cross country. After the first race, I was sure to quit but my coach had other ideas. As I was getting on the bus for my second race, she gave me a card that said "I am proud of you." It was the first time the word proud was introduced in my life. Fast forward 10 years and I started teaching special education at the same high school. These were the kids who sadly were told they can't, they won’t, they never will and believed it. So I’d purposely set up assignments I knew the kids would master, watch their excitement then explain what they were feeling- pride in themselves. I wanted Pride Socks to empower individuals like my coach did for me. At times, we need someone else to be our backbone until we can be that for ourselves. At Pride Socks, our hope is to be that, if needed, or to be the continuous reminder you already have it in you. We name our products so it also creates the connection of empowerment and personalizes it to each person.

That is beautiful! And you can seriously feel all of that just from the socks themselves. When I visited your website everything just made me smile and feel happy and confident, I'm so glad that you are bringing that joy to people!

What is something you wish every child knew?

 

I wish every child knew the power they already have within themselves, simply being who they are as unique individuals, and felt that sense of pride in who they are. Kids have an insight to life I wish I could bottle and drink from daily.

 

If I am correct, socks are a family affair, with your brother selling @skatersocksusa... so do you guys collaborate and discuss designs during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner?

 

HA! We don’t wait that long! Ivan and I talk everyday or we did until Moxie was born and she stole all my thunder! We are always exchanging ideas and bossing each other around!

 

Oh yes, those little ones will take that focus away when they are small! Ok, so you started with socks, which we all love and adore, but you now have a bunch of new products and collaborations! What are you the most excited about?

 

You are asking the golden question. Don’t you know you never tell your kids which one is your favorite?!!

 

Haha! You are totally right, what was I thinking? Your pride boxes are amazing, and such a great gift to send to someone during pride month to let them know they are loved, will you be keeping them stocked throughout the year? I feel that I want to send these on birthdays, Christmas and as "just because" gifts as well!

 

Thank you! YES, we will keep them on and add more to the mix. We’ve been wanting to do boxes for years and we finally did it this year and love it! We will continue to add more! A kids box is next. Then maybe a birthday box. Then maybe an empowerment box....

That is super exciting! I adore watching your collaborations with all the amazing artists in the Artist Series Socks! I felt all the feels when I saw the @jitterbug_art design as I got really into plants during covid! What can we look forward to in that series?

 

Ahhhhh thank you! We LOVE this series as well and it started because of COVID and wanting to connect more of the community and shine light on everyday people doing amazing things. You can look forward to us continuing to add new socks each month, highlighting new artist. What we love most about this series are all the artists are so unique in who they are as individuals which then shines light on their perspective of the world!

What is your vision of a perfect world?

A perfect world is one where everyone truly knows how incredible they are.

 

I couldn't agree more! My absolutely favorite socks of yours are your Brave Knee High Tube socks... the aging goth in me is happy when I see all that black and pride, do you have a personal favorite?

 

Ha ha I love it. Honestly, my favorite always changes. At the moment I have two new favorites, the trailblazer crew and evol-e.I love how the stripes on the evol-e socks get smaller so when you lift up your pants slightly all the colors are shown! It’s the little things that make me happy!!

 

 

Yes! Those details are everything and you can find them everywhere in what you create, which is amazing. Here is a heavier question: how do you think having parents who are deaf, and thus being part of the desk community has shaped your path?

 

I could write a book on this question. It has everything to do with who I am and continues to shape my path. I was raised before there was technology which means I was their voice, literally. Imagine being 3 years old and interpreting for your parents at the doctors office, TV shows, grocery store, mechanic, etc. I was an adult before I was a kid. ASL was my first language so it's how I think, interpret and understand first, then English. People don't realize I am bicultural, but my world and the way I see it is deaf first, then hearing. Having Deaf parents has made me stronger, capable of fitting in most environments, being able to feel people's emotions, being sensitive to people's needs, and being aware when something isn't visibly right. My mom taught me tofight for whats right, never settle for less and always help when you can. Based on first hand experience of being mistreated due to her deafness, she didn't want the same for us. Seeing this kind of treatment towards my parents and their friends, it made me more aware and sensitive to people's actions and to tune in when some- thing isn't right. I am beyond blessed to be raised by my parents and to have an understanding of two worlds. It has made me strong and now that I am a mom. Moxi will get the best of that world too. 

 

Gosh, that's amazing! She is such a lucky kid to be able to have both of those cultures, I see more and more of the children around me wanting to learn ASL and hope that in the future that culture will be one that will be widely shared. Ok, What’s the best advice you’ve in what you create, which is amazing. ever received?

 

Stop and listen. Trust your instincts.

 

And last, but not least, what would you do if you came home and found a penguin hanging out in your refrigerator?

Ahahahahah I would grab Moxie and take some selfies with it. No wait, scratch that. I would put some Pride Socks on it, then grab Moxie and take some selfies!

Can't forget the socks! Those would be the best selfies for sure. Thank you Rachel. Can't wait to see all the future projects!

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Photographed by @Creativesoulphoto

Model @jamiasayeed

LITTLE GUNTANK: MEET LOTTIE

July 12, 2021

Hello there Lottie! You and I have been working on a collaboration this past year, and while it’s not quite ready to be unveiled, I wanted to talk to you during Pride month and tell our readers about you!

 

You are absolutely amazing, not only designing the most stunning clothes, but acting in many voice overs, illustrating the most amazing book that Riot of @tiny.bangs wrote, designing for @sarsparilly, and I know I’m not even scratching the surface. Tell us a little bit about yourself first please.

 

I’m not worthy!! Haha, honestly I feel like my resume looks impressive but I’m a bit of a mess (in a good way!) I usually describe myself as a Labrador, I have a hard time sitting still and focusing so I’m always working on something or thinking of new projects. I just like making people happy and trying to add something good to the world even if it’s just a dorky outfit or a Bobby Hill impression, haha!

A lot of people know you for your epic Disney makes. What attracted you to the world of Disney?

 

I think for a long time Disney was just something simple for me to focus on when everything in my life was a little hectic and unhappy. It was a good starting point to unleash some of my creativity because it was familiar, it was how I spent my childhood. Now a days I’m not much of a Disney per- son; I just enjoy making people happy and seeing strangers go “oh wait I know that character!”, making my clients feel special in their own skin I suppose. Disney means a lot to a lot of people, so it’s nice to witness that connection.

You came out as non binary this last year, but more importantly you came out as Rat Boy. I love that! Tell me more about what those words mean to you if you don’t mind.

 

Haha! The ratboy closet was probably the easiest closet I came out of. Non-binary to me is just an explanation for feelings I’ve always had. I just assumed because I wasn’t a boy, I had to be a girl - even if the word didn’t fit right. It’s like wearing the wrong size shoe your entire life. It’s uncomfortable but manageable. Then suddenly I found the words and realized not only did it make sense but I wasn’t alone! I love femme things, I have a deep appreciation for all things woman/feminism, but I’m not a direct part of that culture and that’s totally okay, because I don’t have to be. I’m a lot happier in my “correct shoe size” haha.

 

Ratboy is just a cute nickname I’ve found to describe who I am as a per- son. I’m weird, I’m very much in touch with my inner child, I’m playful and don’t take things too seriously. It’s just a nice way to remind myself (and others) to loosen up and be silly.

Your Halloween collaborations with @sarawrawrawr just about killed me! I love it so so much. What other collabs can we look forward to in the future?

 

Thank you! She’s actually my sister so it runs in the family! The several collections I’m doing with Sarsparilly is going to have some VERY familiar characters appearing so I can’t wait for the reveals later this year. As for my personal brand - did somebody say vintage toys? cough bittersqueaks cough.

 

Did you just say @bittersqueaks? And that your sister is Sarah Harper? I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear anything, but that is extremely exciting! What other artists and designers inspire you?

 

I’m into authenticity really. My ab-solute favorite musician is Hayley Kiyoko. There’s a lot of vulnerability in her work which makes it so much more relatable, especially in love. It’s genuine and tells a side we as queer people don’t get to see often, but feel deeply. Cut to me listening to her songs on my bedroom floor and crying in lesbian.

 

I have a big admiration for “in your face” drag queens too, like Yvie Oddly, Monet X Change, Vanjie and Symone - especially now that trans and non gender conforming drag queens such as Gottmik, Bimini and Gigi Goode are becoming more accepted. You can see a lot of hints to drag in the eccentricity of my costumes and some of my pop culture references

Tell me about Baby and Chuletas, the new characters that you are adding to your clothing recently. I absolutely adore them and feel like they feed a special place in my soul. What do they represent to you? (P.S.: I need a Chuletas jacket and will be ordering one very soon if you plan on making more!)

 

Well, my experience with love was so up and down I decided to turn it into my version of the classic “shoulder angel and devil” from cartoons. Baby is a love bunny, and my expression for all things love and romance, as I’m a pretty die hard romantic. However a big part of me hides that behind this kind of sarcastic “bite me” attitude which is where Chuletas the demon lamb comes in. (His name means Chops in Spanish, a nice morbid name for a little sheep haha) I think love can be such an innocent but exciting thing, but it can also be scary, fiery and angry, so why not turn those feelings into something I can create/laugh at/adore?of devils, which I’m aware sounds so bad! Haha but I grew up in the church and was basically told from day one I was evil not because of my actions, but because of who I loved. It used to hurt a lot, I questioned if I was truly a bad person, rotten inside. Now I kind of on it, like yes I am a demon - but I'm not the damn nicest, gay demon you'll ever meet!

 

Speaking of clothing... Baby and Chuletas might be on more jackets and things sooner than you think... stay tuned!

 

What is your vision of a perfect world?

 

I don’t believe in perfect anything. If I could change something though, I guess I’d like to just help more and have more help available to those who need it. Stuff like mental health care should be a guarantee for any human who needs it. It’s like going to the dentist, you check your teeth so you should check your mind. I’d also like to formally adopt all LGBTQIA+ children who feel unaccepted - I’m your RatDad now. 

 

Oh also - they need to cancel like 50% of the home renovation shows on tv. That actually WOULD be perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haha, I can't say that I disagree on that one! I love when you find vintage fabric and make adorable dresses or shirts Of course you would! out of them, do you find that nostalgia has a big spot in your design work?

Oh absolutely. I think now more than, ever people need that comfort. A reminder that sometimes things just exist for the sake of being good and making you happy. Not everything needs to have stress or guilt attached. Nostalgia is almost a sugar high and I appreciate that my cute outfits can make people remember something that calms them down or gives them a moment of laughter.


Also there’s something unparalleled about the 80s and 90s age of children’s entertainment - don’t you think? Who doesn’t miss seeing cute toons maim each other on TV and then trying to sell you a lunchbox?

Yes! I miss all my classics! I've tried. watching them with my daughter, but she just rolls her eyes at me.

Ok, on a more serious note, What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

Once when I was a sad and hurting teenager, someone I admired very much wrote me a note that said “Be Brilliant. Be Brave”. I still have it and even got it tattooed on me a year ago. It’s solid words but also a good reminder that what you say (even something simple) can stick with people for years to come. 

Oh I love that! What a wonderful phrase to live by! And last, but not least, what would you do if you came home and found a penguin hanging out in your refrigerator?

 

Apologize for not knocking first.

Thank you again Lottie, can't wait to share our design projects with everyone.

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Photographed by @vnrphoto

Model @yaniesworld_