Proud Business Project-- Qulture Collective

Business Name: Qulture Collective

Website and Social Media: qulturecollective.com instagram: @qulturecollective

Location: 1714 Franklin St suite 102, Oakland, CA.

Tell me about your business: Founded in 2015, Qulture Collective is a multi-use space and queer community platform in downtown Oakland featuring a retail shop, cafe, and gallery. We are dedicated to serving the LGBTQIA+ and allied community with a focus on building QTPOC visibility.

How does your queer identity play a role in your work? Every facet of our business is designed to serve Queer, Trans, and GNC folks first and foremost. Allies are also welcome. 

What makes you most proud as a business owner? We are proud to hold down a safe and visible space that is explicitly for Queer, Trans, and gender non conforming folks in downtown Oakland. We are also proud that many amazing community members and organizations choose Qulture Collective to host their events, workshops, fundraisers and other gatherings. Our goal is to build this space with and for the people of Oakland. 

What makes you most proud as a member of the LGBTQ community? There are so many reasons to be proud of the LGBTQ community but one thing that we find really inspiring is that members of our community are and have always been at the forefront of civil rights and social justice movements.

What does community mean to you? For us community means a group of folks with which to build a better, brighter, more just and inclusive future.

What has been one of your biggest challenges getting to where you are? Like many small businesses having the resources to support the work that needs to be done is one of the biggest challenges. Not just financial resources, although those are VERY important, but also the people power and emotional and mental resources to keep things going in the face of adversity. Luckily we are a pretty resourceful and resilient group and the community has shown so much love and support to help us keep growing and moving forward. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to an up and coming queer entrepreneur? Dream Big! We need your ideas, your voice, your creativity, and your presence to help shape the future. You Matter! 

The Proud Business Project is a photography project highlighting LGBTQ business owners and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who honor their identity in their business to serve their community in a bigger way. Do you know a proud business owner? Email jamiethrower@gmail.com with the subject "Proud Business Project".

Proud Business Project--Kipper Clothiers

Business Name: Kipper Clothiers

Website and Social Media:  www.kipperclothiers.biz  Instagram: @kipperclothiers @stylishtransition

Location:  78 Gough St. San Francisco, CA 94102

Tell me about your business: Kipper Clothiers is an LGBTQ suiting company that specializes in menswear for women and trans folks. We have been working since 2013 to make high-end custom suiting that fits impeccably and shows off clients personal styles.

How does your queer identity play a role in your work? Through co-founding Kipper Clothiers, I have had the privilege of centering my own queerness in my work. My identity as a trans man is essential to the work that I do and making clients feel at home with me.

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What makes you most proud as a business owner? That I offer a unique service to queer folks that you can’t find anywhere else. My work focuses on providing clients with a safe, supportive environment where their true style can shine through.

What makes you most proud as a member of the LGBTQ community? Our resilience and active resistance through these tough moments in history.

What does community mean to you? Growing up in San Francisco, I’ve had a strong sense of being a part of the LGBTQ community since childhood. Community means knowing you are in a safe space to explore who you really are without judgment or fear.

What has been one of your biggest challenges getting to where you are? Valuing myself and the work that I do. A lot of entrepreneurship is knowing where to put your time and efforts and knowing that you won’t be able to do it all. Figuring out self-care while trying to run a business was something that takes time to learn, but is essential to the process.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an up and coming queer entrepreneur? Reach out for help from other, more seasoned queer entrepreneurs. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when someone else can mentor you. One of the things I love the most is discussing business ideas with queer folks. Nothing is more empowering than creating your own business.

The Proud Business Project is a photography project highlighting LGBTQ business owners and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who honor their identity in their business to serve their community in a bigger way. Do you know a proud business owner? Email jamiethrower@gmail.com with the subject "Proud Business Project".

Proud Business Project-- A Monique Affair

Amoniqueaffair

Business Name: A Monique Affair

Website : www.amoniqueaffair.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amoniqueaffair

Twitterwww.twitter.com/amoniqueaffair

Facebookwww.facebook.com/amoniqueaffair

Location: 1624 Franklin Street, Suite 500 Oakland Ca

Tell me about your businessA Monique Affair is a wedding planning, design and production company, specializing in LGBTQ weddings since 1999.

What makes you most proud as a business owner? What makes me proud is that I believed in LGBTQ weddings way before it was a buzz to do them! People were telling me that I was limiting myself by defining such a niche market. But I realized how much our community wanted to support my business and the weddings that I was working on were really special. Now, when other creatives are running around trying to do photoshoots that show inclusivity, I don’t have to, I have real weddings and have been in the community for a very long time. It’s not a trend for me to jump on, I’ve believed in my community before it was the “hip” thing to do. I’m proud that I’m an industry leader in LGBTQ weddings.

 

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to an up and coming queer entrepreneur.
To believe your biggest fan first, and follow your passion regardless to what folks say! If you have passion for it and you are authentic and real, that’s what your ideal client will see and they WILL come.

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The Proud Business Project is a photography project highlighting LGBTQ business owners and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who honor their identity in their business to serve their community in a bigger way. Do you know a proud business owner? Email jamiethrower@gmail.com with the subject "Proud Business Project".

2016 best nine

I'm so grateful for all the growth in this last year... It's been an amazing ride and I know that 2017 is going to be incredible. Thank you for each and every one of you who support my business, especially my mission of creating a safe space for queer love stories to be told and celebrated. Cheers to the next year and remember to keep loving and keep fighting... I'll be with you every step of the way.