Hello, it’s nice to meet you! My name is Brittni T, the face behind Deep Valley Crafts, and I sell hand embroidered patches, pins, wall art, and other goodies. I embroider some patches that make people happy just because they’re cute, and other patches that make people think about themselves and consider what they stand for. If you look at my shop now you’ll see topics like feminism and LGBTQ rights mixed in with less political themes, but it hasn’t always been that way.
When I started embroidering, I was doing it completely as a way to relieve stress and manage my anxiety. I am able to release my creativity in a way that feels productive to me, meaning I don’t have to worry needlessly about wasting time and money on crafts that will just sit around my apartment. I was scared to put myself out there at first, but I am slowly becoming more comfortable selling my work as people continue to support me. I know now that there is value in what I produce.
Once I was able to accept that, I started realizing that my work had power, too. People wearing patches were choosing to display a part of themselves to anyone who looked at them. People hanging my embroidery hoops in their house were owning something they cared about. Personal identity is something I struggle with, and I admire people who are brave enough to put a piece of themselves on display. I wanted to offer those people another way to express their feelings about more difficult topics than the “I like cats” patches that I had been focusing on.
So I started making little heart patches that say “feminist”. I got a lot of “I think women should be equal but I’m not a feminist” vibes in return, which surprised me. How do people still not know that those mean the same thing? So I started making hoops that said “Feminism Means Equality”, but I keep hearing about how trans ladies and people on the spectrum are often not included in this sentiment.
So I started making personal pronoun ribbon patches. I find myself explaining what “They/Them” means at every show I am involved in, which takes me by surprise as well. I guess having friends on the spectrum and watching news about human rights made me assume that everyone knew about this concept.
So I explain as best I can, but I am a heterosexual woman and I was born as such. Sometimes I feel as if I am crossing a line by explaining what a non-binary person goes through or why they need to express this identity. I am made to doubt my convictions and wonder if the demographic of a show is right to even display those pieces. Then I realize how petty my struggle is compared to the struggle of people who are on the spectrum, who do have to explain intimate parts of themselves on the daily, and I keep going.
My goal in selling these items is awareness and respect. I will continue to produce goods that make people learn and think, because there is a lack of compassion in the world right now that I feel is unacceptable. I am one person who has a slew of personal faults and struggles, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try and make it just a little bit easier for someone else. The pieces I sell that take a stand mean just as much to me now as the cat patches that got me started, and I am proud to say that my “They/Them” patches are my all-time best seller! I think that it is everyone’s responsibility to educate themselves and to stand up for human rights, and that it’s not a question of “am I doing enough” but “am I doing something?”