Big Updates!

It has been over half a year since i’ve updated this blog and so many incredible things have happened to me since!

I participated in Kickstart Disability Arts & Cultures “Murals without Walls” that was a partnership with the Vancouver Mural Festival. It was amazing to be able to paint something on a large scale.

It was painted on a large piece of wood that was displayed during the duration of the mural festival – and it also has been blown up and will be displayed until January 2022 on Main and 7th in Vancouver BC. I named it “Floral Love”.

I also have been participating in many markets. I vended at the Vancouver Mural Festival, Made in the 604 at Heritage Hall, The Nooks Market and VHS Market. It has been a true joy getting out there, meeting people and being able to show people what disabled people are capable of.

Photo of my table by Matt Taylor

One of the biggest things that happened this summer was the inaugural WE BELONG! Market, organized by my sister and I. We held it in Downtown Vancouver and it was all made possible by at Downtown Vancouver BIA Vibrancy grant. Also, Kristina (VHS Markets) was able to help us out by making tables and canopies easily accessible and available for us.

We garnered so much press which you can view here (it’s probably the most updated thing on this site!)

I have so many things coming up and I haven’t missed a beat. I’ll be moderating and presenting BCPF’s panel, Entrepreneurship & Disabled Small Business Owners in BC on September 22nd – https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bcpf-panel-entrepreneurship-disabled-small-business-ownership-in-bc-tickets-412475965717

I’ve introduced many new items and opened up my own standalone store,

www.shopretrophiliac.com

It’s September so i’m running a sale – 15% off for my BIRTHDAYMONTH (which is the code you can use!)

I will be vending at many events in October and December – Still working on trying to book some for November. All this information can be found at facebook.com/retrophiliac and http://www.instagram.com/retrophiliacart

What else? I’m a participating artist at the Vancouver Outsiders Art Festival, i’ll have a big announcement coming soon about one of my items and i’m in 32 retailers between Canada & the USA.

-Margaux

Making waves and making change

I have been incredibly busy these past couple weeks. I spoke at an online advocacy convention on September 26th, reflecting on my experiences in the education system. I wanted to focus on the fact that I, someone who dropped out in 11th grade and ended up getting my GED, was still able to be successful and thrive. I wanted the parents who were participating to understand that their child’s success in the school system will not necessary determine their success in the future. Not everyone thrives in a regimented system.

Then, on September 30th, I spoke at the BC Legislatures Provincial Budget meeting (at the 02:05 – Two hour and five minute mark) https://twitter.com/BCLegislature/status/1443671164690173960 in regards to being a disabled person and a small business owner. I spoke about being self-employed and the lack of support and was asked by one of our MLAs to submit a letter. I just wrote it and emailed it off.

I’m so passionate about highlighting our voices because we are left out of the narrative. The press releases for September’s British Columbia DisabilIty Employment month didn’t include one quote from disabled small business owners or self employed people. It just included quotes from people who hire us. It’s frustrating to know that there are folks out there who didn’t even know we exist and thus, by default, didn’t choose to include us in this very important conversation.

I wrote two articles as well, one here in regards to inclusive employment and being self employed and one here about disability and entrepreneurship.

I also want to share that i’m almost completely sold out of my Neurodiversity Pride Pins in the regular size. At the time of posting this, I only have 11 left. That means i’ve sold nearly 200. I have more on the way in the upcoming weeks but if they do sell out, I also have the mini, 1 inch version available.

Did you know that I released a new style of pin?

This is my “Flower Power” collection! I also have matching stickers and patches will be arriving October 4th. You can find these items at retrophiliac.etsy.com, alongside many other items I have available. Every time a purchase is made, it further ensures that I am able to live my dreams and hopefully be given the chance to help other people who want to be on the same path of independence that I am on.

I also secured my 10th retailer! I am grateful that I reached this amazing milestone, alongside other milestones to celebrate:

-Over 500 sales this year alone

-Over 1000 sales in total

-Over 200 five star reviews

And, I also celebrated my 33rd birthday and felt more accomplished than ever.

Now, to fight the good fight and continue advocating for disabled small business owners and self employed people. I’m not going to stop, i’m just going to keep pushing forward! Thank you for navigating this journey with me.

-Margaux