The Story Behind LeftWing-Bling
My name is Jacqueline Nantier, and I am the founder of LeftWing-Bling. Here’s how LW-B came to be and why…
In 2011, the right-wing War on Women took shape. What used to be political suicide quickly became not only “accepted” speech, but was required rhetoric for a conservative to get elected. Anti-woman laws were passed by Republican-controlled legislatures all over the country, forcing unnecessary ultrasounds, adding abortion restrictions that did not make exceptions for the life or health of the mother, and causing the closure of women’s reproductive clinics all over the country.
As a woman, I felt like I was personally under attack, and the right-wing’s denials that they were purposely targeting women infuriated me. When I just couldn’t stuff my outrage anymore, I joined the protests and became an activist.
I protested against the ultrasound laws on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. I protested in Washington D.C. in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. I learned that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was not dead– the deadline could be removed with new legislation and women’s rights could be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
At some point, attending protests was not enough– I started organizing because I wanted to help do the work to make change happen. I helped organize rallies in Washington D.C. to promote the passage of laws to remove the deadline on the ERA.
While trying to fundraise for those rallies, I learned a terrible truth:
Activism costs money, and very few liberal or progressive groups have the money to fund their own work, much less help fund the work of others.
After begging organization after organization to sponsor, donate or be an exhibitor at the rallies to help cover the costs– and having little success– it dawned on me:
What if there was a way for liberal and progressive organizations to raise funds for their activism without having to beg for money?
What would happen if, when I approached a group, instead of asking them to donate money, I could offer them something of value for their support? Better still, what if I could come up with a way that groups could earn money, instead of having to beg for it?
My son just happens to be a jewelry designer. We put our heads together and came up with ideas for jewelry designs that promote progressive causes and values. Then, after a lot of research, I found a way to have them made at prices that would allow us to both cover our costs and pay commission on sales, so that liberal and progressive organizations could earn money by selling our jewelry to others.
And that’s how LeftWing-Bling came to be. It’s a big experiment… my attempt to help create a better world by funding the organizations that will make it happen.