I'm Not Lovin' It.

A Fast Food Worker's Thoughts on Racism in Fast Food

Several months ago, before I was hired at my current job, I had an interview at a local Wendy's. It was open interview hours. I filled out the application and after a few minutes I was interviewed by an Assistant Manager. We'll call her 'Amanda' for now. The interview went well. We discussed my work experience and talked about the job.

Then Amanda asked me about my experience in racially diverse workplaces. I explained that most of my workplaces and schools growing up were very diverse and that it isn't a problem for me. She expressed her relief and told me that she asked because the staff at this store were “pretty ghetto” and that it had “been a problem before.” Awkward as her little bit of racial code language was, I smiled and moved on with the interview.

As we came to the end, Amanda told me she was going to recommend me to the store manager. She then put on a just-between-us face and added that because most of the Crew is black, she would really like to get me hired because “we could use some more white people around here.” She went on to tell me, “I think you could really bring some culture to this place.”

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Vendor Spotlight: OnHand Lotions

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Only one more day until the Alternative Fair, can you believe it? This time tomorrow the Alternative Fair will be kicking off, giving shoppers the opportunity to buy hand made, and fair trade items from independent artists and crafts people. Closing out out our Vendor Spotlight is OnHand Lotions in Bristol, NY. OnHand Lotions makes organic lotion and skin care products which also include balms, sprays, and even sunblock. Learn more about On Hand's products and ingredients in this interview with owner Hayna Weems. See you at the Fair tomorrow!

OnHand Lotions is a new company, with a strong focus on sustainability. As Hayna says:

On Hand Lotions was founded on April 9, 2014 after 6 years of making products for my friends and children, who are currently 2, 4, and 6. We are a 100% independent, no-debt, self-started company. I'm thrilled to share that this is my family's full-time job. My dream is to one day support not only ourselves, but other families as well by creating a respectful, professional, healthy work environment for our future employees. 

1. What attracted you to the Alternative Fair?

I first learned of the Alternative Fair from a good friend who attends the First Unitarian Church of Rochester. Personal, social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility and a strong commitment to local living are hugely important to me and she thought the Fair would be a good fit.

 

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Vendor Spotlight: Duck Harbor Design

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Today's Vendor Spotlight is jewelry company Duck Harbor Design, specializing in beaded and found object/antique incorporated designs. Named after Duck Harbor Beach in Wallfleet, MA, where Liz Brown initially conceived the idea of creating a jewelry company after casual discussion on the beach with her brother-in-law. I recently interviewed Liz to learn a little bit about her creative process, and experiences with the Alternative Fair.

1. What attracted you to the Alternative Fair?

Years ago, I heard about the Alternative Fair from a friend who had been attending for the few years prior.  It sounded like something that was right up my alley!  I typically do only the larger, outdoor summer shows, but had been looking for something in the wintertime that was more interesting than the "typical holiday craft fair".  My work incorporates a lot of antique or found objects, and tends to have an earthy feel.  The crowd this fantastic show draws seems to be a perfect fit for me!

 

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Vendor Spotlight: Ghana ba African Beads Gallery

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Today's Vendor Spotlight is Ghana ba African Beads Gallery, run by Yahaya Alhassan. Yahaya sent me some wonderful information about the bead trade in Ghana, and on giving back. You can read Yahaya's words below to learn more.


With many family members in both Ghana and Nigeria, I learned the beads business from my father, who was a beads trader between Ghana and Nigeria, as well as other West African countries. People would line up outside our house when they heard my father was coming back with beads from Nigeria, he was so well respected and talented in finding the best beads for trade and design. From him, my brothers and I learned every aspect of the beads business, including going door-to-door looking to buy ancient trade beads (often trading useful household goods that he brought from the city to these small villages), selling beads door-to-door, selling beads in the market, and sitting down to design special bead jewelry. All of this took place in Koforidua, which is the beads center of Ghana, with the largest bead market in the country. Weekly, people will come from all over Ghana and West Africa to display, trade, and sell their beads at this market.

 

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Vendor Spotlight: Papersaurus Creative

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Greeting card company Papersaurus Creative has been growing in popularity. Run by Sara and Julia, Papersaurus specializes in hand made cards, prints, and journals that focus on everything from LGBT weddings and parenting, social change, and self love. They also have fun, cheeky cards for holidays and general greetings.  I was able to interview Sara to learn more about Papersaurus, and their presence at the Alternative Fair. Enjoy!

1. As a new vendor, what attracted you to the Alternative Fair?

We decided to apply for a couple of reasons. First, a good friend suggested we'd be a good fit. Then we checked into what the show was about, who the audience was and if we thought our products would fit well. We're usually pretty careful about what shows we do because a large portion of our shop is filled with LGBT-themed designs - since that was our initial inspiration. So we tend to skip a lot of the "traditional" shows, and try to find our niche in the local scene. I'm actually not sure how we've missed this show in the past. We have a lot of respect for Metro Justice, the show is right up our alley, and we're really looking forward to sharing our craft and our passion with people who have the same beliefs, values and wicked, slightly warped, sense of humor as us. 

 

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Vendor Photo Spotlight: Susan Sawler Jewelry

Today's Vendor Spotlight features jewelry by Susan Sawler. Feast your eyes on some of the earrings, rings, and even a bracelet that will be available for purchase at our Alternative Fair.

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Vendor Spotlight: Chicory Farm Soap

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Everyone loves good soap, and Sara Turnbull of Chicory Farm soap knows this. Chicory Farm makes their soaps with fresh goat milk and other sustainable ingredients, with equally sustainable practices! These soaps are good for the environment, and your body! Read on for more of Sara's thoughts on soap making, and her budding knowledge of aromatherapy!

1. As a returning vendor to our Alternative Fair, what do you enjoy about the Alternative Fair?

Two years ago I visited the Alternative Fair for the first time, and couldn’t wait to participate in it the next year. I love the variety of gifts you can find at the fair, but my favorite part is that there are so many educational toys, sustainable goodies, and fair trade gifts. If you’re conscientious about your gift giving, then the first place you should hit is the Alternative Fair! As for being a vendor, I enjoy the Alternative Fair because many of the visitors share my concerns and interests. People will regularly check to make sure that our soap is made with essential oils, without palm oil, and that it’s all hand-crafted by me on our goat farm in Bloomfield.

 

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Vendor Phot Spotlight, History Books by Rose O'Keefe

Looking for something for the history buff in your life? You'll be happy to know that Rose O'Keefe and her history books will be at our Alternative Fair. Rose was kind enough to share the covers of a couple of these books to give you a taste of what's at her table.

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Vendor Spotlight: Harriet Heller Pottery

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Welcome to our Vendor Spotlight! Where we feature some of the many vendors who will be at our Altenative Fair this year. Today we're featuring returning Alternative Fair favorite Harriet Heller Pottery! As well as being a vendor, Harriet is a long time shopper!

I would like to add, as it is Thanskgiving, that we'd like to thank all of the wonderful vendors who have agreed to be interviewed/have their work featured. 

1. As a returning vendor, what do you enjoy about the Alternative Fair?

I have attended the Alternative Fair as a customer for many years and always found items that I know my family would enjoy.  I prefer to support local artists and vendors or were produced by fair trade for holiday gifts.  When I returned to making pots about 4 years ago, I knew that this would be the first fair I would apply to and have been selling at the Fair since then.  I see many of my friends who return every year and I want support Metro Justice in their goal toward social and economic justice for everyone.

 

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Vendor Photo Spotlight: Stephanie Donaldson

Welcome to another installment of our Vendor Spotlight! This will be a visual spotlight featuring bead jewelry by Stephanie Donaldson!

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