Welcome! New to Bluestockings? Here are some fast facts to give you some background as to who we are and how we got here.
Who? Founded by grad student Jeanna Kadlec
What? Wondered why the heck there wasn't an inclusive, LGBT-oriented store
Where? On a front porch, drinking beer with a friend in Somerville, Massachusetts
When? August 2014
Why? Because underthings are for everyone and the heteronormative language/ads in the industry, lack of transparency about manufacturing ethics, and inability to find a variety of underthings options in one place was a problem that needed solving.
What We've Done So Far
Bluestockings was started on a total shoestring budget (which is also why we did a "soft launch" first instead of a grand opening -- start with a small inventory and work our way up!). We did a very small Tilt campaign last fall, backed by our earliest supporters, to help finance some startup costs.
Just because we're online doesn't mean we can't be actively involved in our local community! In January, months before launch, we did our first bra drive for Rosie's Place, the oldest women's shelter in the United States here in Boston (they're also LGBT-friendly). We encourage people to bring out their gently used bras and binders as well as to pick up some new underwear, socks, and hosiery for the individuals who utilize Rosie's Place. Women's shelters reports that underthings are some of their most desperately needed but least donated items.
Our second bra drive for Rosie's Place will be Friday May 8 at Diesel Cafe in Somerville, MA from 4-7 p.m. We hope to see you there!
We have also supported Fenway Health here in Boston, whose work focuses on the LGBT community and people living with AIDS/HIV.
We were blogging long before we opened, which led to insightful, challenging conversations both on the blog and also on social media with our community. Check out some of our must-reads:
- Where Can LGBT People Buy Lingerie? (September 2014)
- The Paradox of Ethical Underwear: Values on a Budget (December 2014)
- On Voting With Your Money: or, Why Representation Matters - even in Lingerie (March 2015)
- The King's Lingerie: Yoncé and the Uses of the Erotic (March 2015)
There were folks in the lingerie and queer fashion industries who took note of us long before the mainstream press did. Cora Harrington of The Lingerie Addict and Sonny Oram of Qwear both invited us for guest features. Emily Cassel, a local reporter, was our first in-person interview. And finally, Jodie Layne at Bustle was following us long before we launched and has been awesomely supportive of our mission.
It's easy to support brands, stores, designers, people who are "established" - it's a lot harder to take a risk on something, and someone, new. We are so grateful for this early support.
- Introducing Bluestockings: An Alternative Lingerie Boutique (Qwear)
- The Challenges of Representation: Opening a Lingerie Boutique for the LGBTQ Community (The Lingerie Addict)
- Introducing Bluestockings, Boston's first LGBTQ-friendly Lingerie Store (interview)
- Bluestockings Boutique is Selling Lingerie to Underserved Customers, including the LGBT Community (Bustle)