We applied for Pridefest today. They asked us 2 questions, we have them below to check out if you’d like. It may help you get a better idea of who we are and how we think. Enjoy…
What are your group’s major accomplishments?
i.e., are you the longest running, oldest, largest of any kind?
A major accomplishment, well starting a business in January of this year for one. Secondly, people really loving our raw attempt at different types of art forms than we’re used to working with. Maria Emilia, being more of a painter, sculptor and I, a film major who fixes computers and builds websites. Nevertheless, people love our jewelry, which we design from a force beyond our own brains into our capable hands, magic felt dolls made out of recycled plastic bottles, 100% organic cotton tees with fantastical original designs like Binary Queer, which is Queer spelled out in binary code (check it out here http://www.etsy.com/listing/150007505/binary-queer-organic-cotton-t) and whatever else our maniacal minds may come up with. We didn’t really think of the selling part so much, but jumped right in after opening our Etsy store, www.mushpamensa.com. Markets we have done thus far are, The Market NYC, Fulton Flea, Astoria Market and we are doing Saint Anthony’s Market over on Sullivan and Houston this weekend. Maria Emilia and I really like being mobile. We also like meeting the people who buy our art. We tend to strike up conversations about their career choices, life choices, they laugh, relate, appreciate our shirts and generally are really good, interesting people themselves. These good people are drawn to our stuff (and us). That gives us hope in humanity. It sounds dramatic, but riding the New York City subway during rush hour, well that changes a person, people are at their worst then. People on a Saturday or Sunday walking in the sun, well they’re alright.
Give us a brief description of your main goals, functions, and/or mission.
We are a small eco-boutique that moves around the city’s outdoor (and at times indoor) markets, advocating for local, eco-conscious, women-owned, queer-owned, small businesses all over the world, and of course also to sell and spread our art, messages, laughter, love, et cetera! We hope people see we love what we are doing (which is making a living selling our art), and get inspired to make small changes in their lives. Small moments become large movements. It’s true. Mushpa y Mensa is a small team with really big dreams.
Remember in science class we would do random experiments that would ultimately teach us something about our elemental world. Salt crystals, freezing flowers with liquid nitrogen and then shattering them, testing liquids and forming chemical reactions? Well, quite accidentally we did an experiment when dying a shirt this week and it was totally cool!
We dyed a batch of shirts with organic turmeric. Note that this was our first time using this specific natural dye for cotton fabrics. Pretty straight forward dying technique. Hot water + a good amount of turmeric + a natural mordant, like salt, y listo, we had yellow shirts. We rinsed them with water until no more dye came out, like three times. Perfect!
Then we wanted to double test the fabric so we warmed up some water with soap, dipped the shirts in the water….and…sayyy whaaaaaaaat? The water and shirts immediately turned red!!!! We had no idea what had just happened. Magic!?!? : ) It brought us back to doing those experiments in science class.
After a quick research we found out the following
“Turmeric has a pigment known as xanthophylls, which lends the yellow color to it. It also has a pigment called as carotene, which is reddish orange in color. When turmeric comes in contact with detergent, it reacts with the fatty acids present in the detergent and hence the carotene pigment gets more active than the xanthophylls and turmeric turns red. When turmeric is combined with any base liquid like soap it turns red in color while when turmeric comes in contact with any substance like that of vinegar, that is acidic in nature, it turns yellow.”
We had no idea, so for those of you who have bought our amazing turmeric shirts I would say make sure you wash them by hand, separately, just in case of any bleeding.
On to future discoveries.
– Mushpa y Mensa
p.s. – Come check out these amazing turmeric shirts today at The Fulton Flea (located at 650 Fulton Street between Fort Greene Place and South Elliott Place (near the intersection of Lafayette Avenue) in Brooklyn, NY.). We will be there from noon to 8PM. The market is right next to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) http://www.bam.org/, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens http://www.bbg.org/, the Brooklyn Public Library http://www.bklynpubliclibrary.org/, good food and many other amazing Brooklyn sites! Make it a great day.
Summer is here and we at Mushpa y Mensa were ready to get out into the sun. We decided to give Fulton Flea a try and loved it. Keith the market manager was cool, well cool sounds so what you’d say. Let me try again, Keith didn’t suck. That is even better than cool. :] The other vendors, shout out to Harry and Queenie, were fantabulous as well! The customers were real and engaging, but it’s Fort Greene Brooklyn we’d expect no less.
It’s every Saturday at 650 Fulton Street between Fort Greene Place and South Elliott Place (near the intersection of Lafayette Avenue) in Brooklyn from 10-6PMish sometimes later. We are going to do it again next Saturday, so stop by and see us.
Alright, we have to run to the Astoria Market in Queens to sell our art in the garden at Bohemian Hall (aka an outdoor beer garden) from 1-6PM. Everyone should come down and grab a beer and some Mushpa y Mensa organic, original, hand printed, fantastical t-shirts, jewelry, art, stuffed animals and more in the sun!!!