This is the first post in an ongoing series highlighting each NLCC worker-owner's unique story of what this co-op means to them.
Felix Spencer Krouse is a founding member. He is an androgynous trans man and prefers he/his pronouns.
I believe everyone's narrative is different.
There's no space like No Labels Clothing Cooperative; there certainly wasn't when I was younger, growing up in the southtowns near Buffalo. I never liked myself, really, but I never knew why. I tried so many looks and styles and nothing clicked until I began experimenting with a more masculine appearance, which coincided with my going to more queer-friendly spaces.
Buffalo's got so many people on the queer spectrum and while there's many amazing spaces--art and music venues especially--there's absolutely nothing offered that could have really helped me when I wanted to find men's pants but didn't know how to get them in my size! I have many memories like that. No Labels aims to be a shop where you can really experiment with how you present yourself in a safe, supportive, uniquely queer environment.
It's also important to me that we are a worker-owner co-operative; I dreamed of starting a business that would vitalize a community when I was a child. I never let go of that original dream. The desire to really do something meaningful continued throughout my adolescence. The opportunity to provide the Buffalo queer community with not just a space to find clothing, but the opportunity for employment at a worker-owner co-operative, where individuals are paid a living wage; the opportunity to own a share in a business that will stay local and keep to its cause--helping a growing minority create their own sense of community within western New York. Everyone's narrative is different, and I want to help others define theirs through No Labels Clothing Co-operative.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Saturday, March 19, 2016
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G1-SYMatNc&feature=youtu.be - Own The Change - A short, practical guide for those considering worker owned cooperatives, made by GRITtv & TESA, the Toolbox for Education and Social Action
- https://www.nasco.coop/ NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation) official site
- http://usworker.coop/ US Federation of Worker Cooperatives official site
- http://www.toolboxfored.org/ The Toolbock for Education and Social Action official site
- http://www.dawn.coop/ Democracy At Work Network
- http://cultivate.coop/wiki/Category:Education Cultivate's own educational resources guide
- http://ica.coop/en/whats-co-op/co-operative-identity-values-principles The International Co-operative Alliance: Co-operative Identity, Values, and Principles
- http://www.spectrumwny.org/ The Spectrum Transgender Group of Western New York official site
- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/09/whatbutchlookslike_n_5662724.html - Huffington Post: #WhatButchLooksLike
- http://www.transadvocate.com/trans-etiquette-when-is-a-compliment-not-a-compliment_n_12279.htm - TransAdvocate guide to complimenting trans folks if you are cisgender
- https://community.pflag.org/document.doc?id=904 A crash course for cis folks looking to better understand basic trans issues and become allies
- http://www.autostraddle.com/the-jeans-issue105393/ -Autostraddle: The Jeans Issue - a helpful guide to finding jeans for gender variant bodies
- http://www.autostraddle.com/so-youre-a-trans-woman-looking-for-a-bra-226325/ AutoStraddle: So You're a Trans Woman Looking for a Bra - a great resource guide for those looking to find bras and inserts
- http://www.mookychick.co.uk/indie-fashion/alternative-style/androgynous-fashion-guide.php Mookychick's androstyle guide - gets bonus points for including feminine androgynous fashion
- https://www.ecofashionsewing.com/ - Eco Fashion Sewing is a great resource for those looking to upcycle existing garments (note: some of these tutorials do require access to a sewing machine and basic to moderate sewing skills)