An Open Letter to the Yarn Community

An Open Letter to the Yarn Community

Dear Creators,

As a BIPOC creator and maker, it is a powerful time in history to watch as so many companies and corporations take a stand in support of Black lives and stand against racial injustice. That is how it should be. I stand on my platforms to support Black Lives and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) creators because they have long been overlooked. There is SO much talent in this community and BIPOC need more recognition and elevation. Our world is full of color and diversity. More companies have to stand for their diverse audience and understand their needs. Not turn a blind eye. Makers of color deserve recognition. Many of the fiber companies have taken a stand. Yet, some have not.

Many of you know that I was a Joy Creator for Red Heart Yarns which was bought out by Yarnspirations/Spinrite. I continued to use and promote their product in nearly all my video tutorials and projects. I stood behind their product. I was not a paid spokesperson nor was I paid money for my videos. I was given yarn support and like all makers, we do generate a small stipend from using affiliate links that generate a sale from time to time. I was always transparent about that. It is one way we can provide free patterns while still generating a small avenue of income to bring you our patterns.

In the face of recent events, the company I had been representing as a stitch ambassador and Joy Creator has not made a public statement nor taken a stance in support of the Black Lives Matter movement or to denounce the killings of black men and women. There has been no statement against racial injustice that we all witness all too often. There has not been a show of support for the community of makers of color in this industry. With that weighing heavily on my mind and my heart, I reached out in a private email and asked them to remove me from their platform and asked them to stop using my likeness on their website.

I decided it was time to move on to a company I felt better represented people of color and community as a whole. I sent Yarnspirations an email with a knot in my gut and a prayer in my heart. I waited. I did not receive a reply. I kept waiting, refreshing my inbox, checking over and over. Nearly a week had passed when none of my requests were acknowledged nor was there anyone from the company who reached out to me at any time to say anything encouraging – not even a one liner. Their silence spoke volumes. It was apparent to me that my voice was not worthy of a reply.

I decided to raise my voice then, in a more public fashion today. It was only in that route did a round-about apology come forth, yet no stand has been taken publicly on any forum. After taking things to the next level in a series of group emails and on a private blogger group did I receive this apology.

It should not be the job of the BIPOC community or BIPOC ambassadors/makers to handhold companies and tell them how to represent their community of color/diversity OR to tell the company to take a stand. The company should already know that the time has come to stand up to racial injustice and discrimination and speak for their customers and creators of color. We need to be seen. People of color have done enough for them by working for free. The company should have been doing this work LONG before now. They should have come with a BOLD and POWERFUL statement in the beginning that made everyone, ESPECIALLY Black makers and creators and creators of color feel elevated and supported.

We should not have to plea with anyone to make a stand. A statement for BIPOC creators and customers should have been the FIRST step of action and then further action could be taken going forward. That is Anti-Racism in action. A company that stands with their creative artists of color and with the nation to say their community of BIPOC matter. That would have gone so far in quelling the fears and anxieties that many of us feel. Those of us that are here as representatives of color, NEED to HEAR that companies like Yarnspirations/Spinrite stand with Black lives and other people of color as a community.

I have decided to use my voice on my platform because, like me, it is compiled of a large percentage of people of color across the entire globe. Many use their product. I used Red Heart Yarns/Yarnspirations products. I shout it out on every video tutorial on every crochet project. Yet they stay silent on my behalf and on behalf of millions of voices. That is unacceptable. The fact that there was no reply and my request for communication about this matter was ignored in my personal email was an eye-opening revelation.

My blog and YouTube channel reach over 150 countries and my nearly half-million followers on all platforms make up only 18% of my actual viewers.  I use it to speak my truth as a creator of color, as a woman, and as a PROUD young mother of a child of color – and if that truth and Yarnspirations’ stand do not align, then it is imperative for me to move on and to let others know my intentions and why. This wasn’t a hard decision, just painful to recognize that this company has taken a no stand approach and continues to take no stand other than an obscure Equal Opportunity statement.

Silence is complicit and silence is ALWAYS the voice of the oppressor. ALWAYS.

I am moving on and divorcing myself from this company that has not seen the importance of lending their voice to Black lives or makers of color, nor the enormity of what that could mean financially from me or others, walking away. If a company wants to be anti-racist then TRULY be anti-racist.  There is no tiptoeing around and waiting for the “right time.” The time was long before today.



Quick follow-up edit:

I hear and see ALL the comments on this post. Don’t worry, I AM listening. For those of you trying to call me out or say this is political-understand this – this is about human rights and human rights are NOT political. Let’s get that straight. Or those who are asking now that I posted this where am I? I am right here. Same place I am everyday – working to bring you more of this craft because that is what I do and love and I am also taking care of Nasir. Just because I am not commenting back to every comment, that doesn’t mean I have gone into hiding. This is my platform, and I do have the right to stand where I stand just as every person on this feed has the right to say and feel the way they do. I have no objections to any of that. This is about being heard in a place that has not lent more voices to this important racial matter and over the injustices that continue to be ignored or passified in this industry.

It seems like some are ok with this being ignored, that it will be swept under the rug and forgotten and everything will go back to being “comfortable” again. Do you know who stands behind the camera in every video tutorial I post? It’s my dad. Even if you don’t know him or see his face on here or he is not as vocal on this platform, he is still a HUGE part of YARNutopia. He is a HUGE part of ME! I stand for Black makers and makers of color in this industry, and I stand for my father and many people who are unseen but still have a voice that is not being heard-Don’t you get it?? My dad always says to me, “Anything worth fighting for is not going to be comfortable or easy, Nadia.” This, right here, is not comfortable, but it is NECESSARY! It is only when we feel uncomfortable that big changes can come and my hope and prayer is that change truly does come. He also tells me that sometimes you have to lose to win. Not win in monetary ways or in fame, but win in a way that you can sleep at night and wake up the next day and look at yourself in the mirror. For anyone who truly knows me, knows where I stand when it comes to racial injustice and how I feel about the Black Lives Matter movement. They know this was the right thing for ME to do. You don’t have to agree and despite all the negative things some may say, I do respect and see everyone’s comments and I am not afraid or hiding from any of it nor does it change the way I feel. Thank you.

72 responses

    • I think people are caring this way to far! Every single life matters, what about aborted babies that never get s chance. Companies have every right not to do or say anything. I am sorry but I am unsubscribing, which is sad because I have made so many of your patterns. But I will stand for what I believe just as you are. I respect everyone’s opinion but cant follow someone who cant respect others opinions or beliefs.

      • Suzanne,

        Where does she say anything about disrespecting your beliefs?? She is standing up for what she and millions of other people believe is a miscarraige of justice and what should have happened years ago. The abortion issue is a WHOLE separate issue, this has nothing to do with BLM. You’re argument has no merit. You’re right, companies have the right to do whatever they want, just as individuals such as Nadia have the same right. It sounds as if you want to give that right to Yarnspirations but not to Nadia. You are doing the same thing you state you can’t do, unfollowing someone because of their beliefs. Sad.

      • Ok so I think being murdered on the streets is going too far. Not getting jobs…. too far. The inability to live as god made us…. too far. But standing behind what’s right should be expected. Not too far. What is too far is your close mindedness.

    • Thank you for sharing this, Nadia. I not a person of color, but I will no longer buy their products if they can’t support their customers…ALL of their customers. You’re right, this is a human rights issue and I stand with you on it. I will be more diligent in finding companies to give my money to that actually understand this, or at least earnestly try to.

  1. This made me so proud as a black crocheter to see someone finally take a stand. You’re absolutely right! Now is the perfect time to make a stand. They made their choice so as BIPOC we should go where we are celebrated!

  2. I love you Nadia, but when I think about yarn and color all I can see is if this Pink will go with this green sorry

    • Good for you! I know it wasn’t easy to take a stand like this. I support you.
      Forget the ignorant twits showing their racism. They know their day is passing and they just can’t deal with it.

  3. Beautifully said! Nadia I couldn’t agree more! You shouldn’t have to take there hand and guide them to make a statement or show support for a cause that is so huge right now. It’s literally everyone’s conversations. Kudos to you for bringing it to light!! Xoxo

  4. Very well said and I stand with you 100%. I will remove myself from their website and no longer buy Red Heart yarns.

  5. Yay for you Nadia! I have no doubt you have done the right thing. Silence is not a valid stance, and not taking a stance is being complicit in perpetuating the hatred and all that needs to be changed. That is never acceptable.

  6. I love you so much, and am so honored to call you my friend. What happened today is so important, and was completely the RIGHT thing to do!! You are beautiful in every way, and are setting such a wonderful example for little Naz.

    • Oh honey this isn’t an airport. No need to announce your departure. No ones sad to see you go. Bigot.

  7. I was so shocked to hear that an international company like yarnspiration/red heart have acted like this. I am a light skinned red haired Scottish woman who lives in a small rural community. (it is so strange to have to state that) we are lucky we don’t see a lot of bigotry in the way you do in a large community, although i’m sure it happens. (there are always people who act in an offensive way in some manner, whether it is colour race or sexual preference). I just want you to know i have removed these companies from my mailing list in order to support you.

  8. I’m very sad that this issue is still an issue in 2020. I totally support you and your decision Nadia and your voice is being heard. You always speak up for what you believe and I really believe the world needs your voice. Thank you so much for everything you but especially for being a good person.

  9. You are so full of shit it’s not even funny. Glad I don’t follow you because I would have to unsubscribe.

    • Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will no longer be buying from Yarninspiration or buy redheart yarn. Every person should be treated with respect, by not acknowledging you, they have been disrespectful of not only you, but for all of us.

    • The why the entire hell are you here at THIS moment? If you don’t follow. And you don’t care why in the bloody hell do you think we give one red fucking heart about your opinion? *secret* we don’t.

  10. I stand with you, Nadia! I admit that my eyes have been opened to the struggles of BIPOC community more than ever recently. Not to say that others don’t also have struggles but it is clear that the BIPOC community has gotten the short end of the stick for too long. I have unsubscribed from Yarnspirations emails and will no longer purchase their products.

  11. Cancel culture at it’s finest. Every company must spew your ideology, or they will be canceled. It wasn’t enough for them to partner with minority women. No, they must publicly make a statement. BLM has NOTHING to do with a yarn company. Not everyone has to make a public statement. Just because you do not support BLM as a group, does not mean you believe that black lives do not matter. There is a difference in the two. One is social justice warrior ideology. They do not care about all black lives. Just the black lives taken that fit their narrative for their ideology. For all who are applauding courage, what courage did this take? She’s falling in line. This isn’t a statement that would get her shamed. This isn’t a statement that she could lose her job over. This isn’t a statement that the mob would be sent and attack you over. This did not take courage.

  12. I am sorry you a leaving. I also don’t follow your reasoning. Doing something that calms and takes you mind off of the real world helps. You have now ruined it for me. Thank you for putting any damper on what I found calming and peaceful. I do not want anymore of your comments

  13. Here’s the thing, I am so tired of seeing people demand that others virtue-signal on command to prove they aren’t racist. Racism is a very serious accusation that *is* being used politically right now. By demanding a statement from someone you are falsely accusing them with absolutely no proof of any *actual* racism. It’s equal to walking up to a random person on the street and demanding they show a stranger proof they aren’t racist/homophobic/anti-Christian, etc. By demanding a statement you inject racism where there is none to begin with. And no, your idea of another individual’s silence is proof of nothing when you know nothing their life, their work or their own personal struggles. When I shop I base my choices on quality of product or pattern, I don’t look to see who is behind the product. I have yet to see proof that anyone in the fiber community has ever chosen not to support or purchase yarn or patterns based on the designers race, religion, gender or identity. We need to stop creating tensions where there are none. Stand with individuals who have actually experienced issues and never assume how someone feels about these very serious issues just because they don’t stand on your soapbox and repeat your words. Respond however you want, I won’t come back to read any comments to this. Choose kindness rather than conflict.

  14. I do not agree with all that Black Lives Matters does and states, nor do I disbelieve in some of what they stand for. I do believe that all people regardless of pigmentation of the skin deserve to be treated equal. Coming from the poor white side of things, I can tell you that the prejudice shown to people of color is also verily and readily extended also to those of the poorer white class. I am proud to say I come from a long line of farmers that scrimped and scrapped for every little thing that they have and worked as share croppers as well. We never ” owned ” any human being, but were owned. So no, I am not on board nor not on board with BLM, however please show me what they are actually doing with the money that has already been donated to them. Show me one thing that right now today they have given to the cause that they support. Because all I am seeing is them getting money, taking money, but I have yet to hear they are replacing the housing projects that were burned down, I have yet to hear that they stepped up paid a hospital bill for those of color. Red Heart I can understand you divorcing that company based on your own personal values, and that is the right thing to do. Just as I can not fully commit because I do not believe in abortion as so many people black, white, red, purple, pink, and green want a child of their own and would willing give it a loving home, yet that is a life destroyed, and I can not stand behind that unless it is a medical emergency.

  15. I don’t know you, but I thank you for using your voice and for standing up for us. I am a new crocheter and I have purchased a ton of yarn from Yarnspiration/Red Heart, but because you have brought their silence and complacency to my knowledge, I will no longer support them. Thank you once again.

  16. Nadia, I support you in your decision, thank you for sharing your experience with the company. It is important to me to know how they treated you when you expressed your concern on this issue. I will be boycotting this company.

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  19. And this is why my heart sank when Yarnspirations bought Red Heart! I knew it would sink with their ship.

  20. I just found you Nadia.I agree with you. Some kind of statement should have been made. I went back on IG as far as Halloween. Nothing!! Its sad. I have bought a whole lot of yarn from them. Well that has changed as well. No longer buying ANYTHING FROM THEM and unfollowed them on IG.

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