Aaaaand we're back!

Aaaaand we're back!

Accessories Harlem Starlet

2023 was hectic for us here at Harlem Starlet. We laughed, we cried, we ate a lot of snacks, we met some of the most amazing people we could ever hope to and added a lot of you to our ever growing circle of friends. We drove over 30,000kms around Australia to visit you all, to 5 different states, and from small towns with a hundred queers to 100,000 people events. We found the time in there to do an absolute shit tonne of custom work, a 10 day pop up thanks to the incredible people at Interpride, and we even got nominated for an award by the beautiful folks at Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for our Fair Day Stall. 2023 was definitely fun.

The last 4 months of the year, however, lead to some gnarly and pain inducing health issues for me (Bella) which made me take a small step back from a few events and shift focus on getting myself into some pain management, which made me re-asses a few things, including the thing that riddled me with anxiety the most - our website. 

For those not in the know, I live with several "invisible" disabilities so while I might be smiling on the outside, it's often to mask the chronic pain that i'm almost always in, and unfortunately my body had enough with pushing myself physically, emotionally, creatively and mentally and just said nope, and shut down on me. I was struggling to sleep, to talk, walk, having tic fits (as I call them) and just generally being a pained mess. Because of this sometimes I use walking aids, I might stumble or you'll see me fall over while i'm laughing - because i've lived with my condition for so long that it's just easier to laugh than cry.

Anyway, back to the website... We shut down the online store for a large chunk of the year to focus on in-person events as we were doing up to 3 a week, and we were interacting with hundreds and thousands of people during that time which meant very little time for back end admin. As a creative I struggle with that stuff at the best of times, but it literally ripped me apart every time one of you asked if you could buy stuff online after an event, and having to tell you no because I just didn't have the hours to focus on updating the website. Even just looking at the website would make me cry at times, so it got put off and put off until I just had to kick my own ass and start working on small pieces, so as not to feel overwhelmed. This 4 months towards the end really gave me time to be able to do this, and also to work out the direction that we wanted the business to go in, going forward.

2024 is already shaping up to be a big one. We'll be at lots of in person events and will also be updating the website more often, but i'll also be taking some time out here & there to just get myself better. I'll be cutting back the custom work for a little while and also adding more products that are made here in Australia, but that aren't made by me (although my hot little hands will always be involved in the design process!). We have literally thousands of products that we've made over the years, some are limited, some not, but not all will appear here... so if there's something you've seen at one of our pop ups that you want, send us a message via the contact us page and we can get it out to you, anywhere in the world. 

See you at a festival, on a dance floor or waiting in a line for dumplings at an event soon. 

Much Love,

Bella & Shay, and the doggos xox

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