Photo by: Marcelle Karp
What do you do for work?
I’m a retailer; I’ve owned a boutique (Diana Kane) in Park Slope for 16 years. I’m a jewelry designer, which is what I did before I opened my store, and the catalyst for my retail venture. On the side, I’m a community organizer and an activist. Those are self-appointed titles – but I think they represent my interest in producing events that bring my larger community together for common actions, whether it’s sign making for a march, gathering to send postcards to our representatives, or creating an event to raise funds and awareness for a specific cause.
Oh Geez, I think I’m pretty boring. I read. I make things with my hands: baking, crafting, building. Dinners with friends (themed, with costume, if I can swing it.) I love visiting art museums and galleries, I’m inspired by what people create. And I play Scrabble online.
How did you get started as a political activist and why is it important to you?
It sounds like a cliche — it IS a cliche, but having kids turned me into an activist. I was pretty clueless before them. The inequities around maternity leave and healthcare quickly lead to being upset by the issues women encounter while parenting very young kids, the hits to career, and the undervalued nature of “women’s work”, which had a direct path to the underfunded state of public schools, and pretty soon I graduated to an overall frustration with the gender imbalance in representation. It seems to me that if we had more equal representation across the spectrum, not only women but more POC and gender non-conforming folk, all my concerns would be better addressed: from healthcare to climate change and pollution; from gun control to safe and equitable working environments for all people. My simple fix, or the place to start, is to get people in office (WOMEN PEOPLE) who know these issues intimately and therefore will address them from a standpoint of actually understanding the true needs.
What scares you?
Mob mentality. Public speaking. Imposter syndrome. Running in high heels. Something awful happening to my kids.. but that’s too scary to contemplate, so let’s not, ok?
What’s your fantasy version of your older self?
Ha! Weirdly I always pictured myself in a cabin in the woods, surrounded by books and art and occasional lovers (there by invite only.) I might have to revise it a little. Now I hope for peace of mind, and the ability to offer wise counsel to my kids… It’s funny, I always thought people somehow changed fundamentally as they aged, but I mostly feel like I’ve just been becoming more me all along. Middle age has let me shed a lot of the “trying to please” or wishing I was somehow different or more or better tendencies I had in my more insecure youth. So I guess I hope that I continue to be fine with what shows up, including the wrinkles and belly.
YA fantasy novels. Sour Patch Kids and Jelly Bellys. Watching Dirty Dancing every time I come across it. Cashmere socks. The stacks and stacks of books I buy but don’t always get to reading. The pleasure of just buying them is real.