Cat is a NC native and the founder of Steer Queer zine and retail store. Their favorite shop items to make are the Golden Girls Friendship rings, THEY THEM hoop earrings, and wooden pronoun necklaces. Check out their IG meme page @steerqueeryall and download the Steer Queer zine archive for free!
What made you want to start creating or selling?
I have always been interested in writing and that was how the zine started. After a couple of years I really wanted to dig into visual art, and jewelry felt like a natural first step.
What do you wish someone would have told you when you started? Did you have experience or did you learn as you went along?
In terms of craft, I had a lot of great mentors around me because I was working in a communal workshop. I do wish someone would have told me that I don’t need to learn how to do everything all at once. It’s hard to launch as an artist and a business owner simultaneously and you should give yourself space to grow at your own pace.
What do you love most about your brand? Or the work you produce?
I love making expressive statement pieces that represent the LGBTQ community, and I like that Steer Queer has been able to change and evolve but still pursue the same mission of queer visibility.
What kind of challenges have you had to overcome as a small business owner? As an LGBTQIA+ artist or entrepreneur?
For a variety of reasons, I transitioned from an arts publication to a retail store over the course of two years, only to lose my workshop when it closed in November 2017. Outsourcing my manufacturing to other independent artists has enabled me to devote more time to design, e-commerce, and product photography.
How have you pivoted or evolved your business because of Covid-19? // How has Covid-19 affected your creation process?
Not much has changed for Steer Queer specifically because of Covid. I lost my retail job in March but it has turned out to be a good thing for me and my shop. Years ago I knew online selling was where I ultimately wanted to focus so I was in a unique position to adapt to quarantine and I am very grateful for that.
What does a typical day look like for you?
On days when my partner has our car for work, I am hanging out with our dog, Willie Nelson, listening to podcasts, taking photos, packing orders, and posting on social media for Steer Queer. Other days I am all over the city running errands, listening to podcasts in the car, and sometimes Willie Nelson joins me. I lead a very exciting life.
Is this your fulltime job?
Who are some of your favorite queer artists or creators? Queer owned businesses?
Bearded Iris Floral, Etna Print Circus, Oh! Candles, Reb’s Rainbow Haus, Brittney Chantele, Garden of Artificial Delights, Bloom and Plume, Keep It Podcast, artxamarachi, Pizza Donkey, Make Good Choices, Firme Arte, Shooglet, Sherenté Mishitashin Harris
What is something you’re looking forward to in 2021?
Any organizations you love and would like folks to hear about?
Dreams of Hope, SisTers, Soldiers of Pole, Break the Binary, House of Tulip, NC Safety Alliance, Alaska Art Alliance, META Center, Casa Ruby, Reel Q Film Festival, Black Unicorn Project, NYC Trans Oral History Project, We Are the Seeds
One last random thing about you! Can be totally random!
I have always wanted to learn to play spoons and I’m finally doing it! It’s going very loudly.
shop and learn more @ Steer Queer's Virtual Booth