Cristina Espinosa, the mastermind behind The Heated (aka those great tea/kitchen towels/napkins at the shop), is an amazing artist, musician and overall just a great person to work with. Her recap on how her interview went really says a lot about her as an artist and a business owner. We love her work (and so do you), so feel free to read on! The actual interview is blockquoted at the end of this post for ease of access and less clicking. :)
Are you familiar with the store Local Take in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco? You should be! They opened up in May of last year but the truth of the matter is that I’ve known and worked with the owners, Jenn and Kyra for years. As you might have gathered from the name, Local Take carries items made by local artists. It’s a great place to shop and I highly recommend dropping in if you’re in the neighborhood.
So when a reporter from a newspaper that covers gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories came in to inquire about which of their makers is an out gay person, my name came up. Raymond Flournoy gave me a call, we did a little phone interview and it came out in this week’s paper. Here’s a link to the story online:
I’ve been interviewed a few times and I’ve got to say that Ray got more quotes correct than any other reporter I’ve worked with. I swear, some reporters just make up quotes but not Ray, darn it. The interview got me thinking about being out and what it means to me. A few years ago, I was taking a business class and the teacher, a woman maybe ten years my senior, admitted towards the end of the semester that she is gay but that she’s always terrified to talk about her wife as freely as I talk about mine.
The thing is, I’m still scared every time I say “my wife” out loud to strangers but I do it anyway because I think it’s important for people to realize that gay people are not a fictional concept, they’re real, regular people. I make it a point not to hide because it’s who I am. To live any other way would be a lie. You may not like it. You may hate it. But I don’t care because I’m not living my life for you. So, now you know your local, lesbian screen printer. Do with that knowledge what you will.
The Heated » Bay Area Reporter.
Local Take’s interview with The Heated is below. :)
“Lighting the entrepreneurial fire
Another San Francisco small business took a major step in the latter half of 2013. Christina Espinosa, the heart behind the brand The Heated , made the former side project her full-time job. Espinosa originally sold her screen-printed kitchen towels as merchandise to promote her musical career, but she soon found that the screen-printing was becoming more successful than the music, so now she is fully concentrated on developing her product line.
The towels are currently sold in specialty boutiques throughout the Bay Area, as well as online in her Etsy store. Espinosa’s top selling designs feature San Francisco icons such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Sutro Tower, and fittingly all of the towels are printed in San Francisco. The towels themselves are made in the U.S.
Espinosa, an out lesbian, noted that she has never hidden her orientation, freely posting photos of her wedding to her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“I wonder if being a lesbian was actually a small advantage for me, because it made me and my products stand out a little,” she mused.
In the coming year, Espinosa is planning to expand The Heated to include a line of screen-printed cards and flour sack napkins to match the kitchen towels.
The path for a single entrepreneur is not simple, but Espinosa encourages others to step out to see what is possible.
“I was just a self-starter with no formal training,” she said. “I didn’t even know how to do the screen-printing, except for the directions on the box. But I took an idea and ran with it, and I think a lot of people could do that. If you want to learn something, just go for it.”
The Heated towels are carried by various boutiques, including Local Take (3979-B 17th Street, San Francisco), Marion and Rose (461 19th Street, Oakland), and Modern Mouse (2223 South Shore Center, Alameda), as well as online atwww.etsy.com/shop/theheated. “