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Reclaiming "Crazy"

Originally posted on Facebook 10/9/20

For those of you who don’t know, when I’m not sewing and shipping headbands, I spend my days (and sometimes my nights) teaching Communication courses at various colleges, including my double-alma mater, Western Michigan University. If you follow my page, it should come as no surprise that my specialty is in media effects. That’s right, I’ve made a life out of watching TV and movies and talking about them.

As a Communication scholar and avid reader, I pay special attention to the words that I use. When I first came up with the name “Crazy Craft Lady,” I’ll admit, it was just a play on the “crazy cat lady” phrase that quite frankly, I now view as a pejorative used to describe single women of a certain age. But as a Communication scholar, I also know that words and their meanings evolve, and they can mean different things to different people.

For a while, I thought about changing my business name, as the word “crazy” can also be hurtful to some people. But as I struggled with my own mental health issues this past year, I took time to reflect on what this word “crazy” meant to me. What’s amazing to me is that in 2020, two very big things happened in my life. First, I experienced a huge change in my mental health and was diagnosed with a panic disorder that absolutely rocked my world (and not in a good way). Around the same time, Crazy Craft Lady really started to take off, with more than 500 Etsy orders placed in three months.

I took these simultaneous events as a sign. To me, there was a reason that this business that I’d sort of flippantly named a couple of years ago took off at a time when I needed it most. My teaching load had slowed down due to the pandemic, and I needed something to fill the void and make me feel useful, if only to keep my hands busy when panic attacks caused them to constantly feel like they were experiencing electric shock. I decided then to find the beauty in “crazy.”

I realize that some may still find this phrase hurtful, and if that’s you, I respect that. You deserve to own those feelings. I’ve decided that there is strength in my “crazy,” and that pursuing treatment and sharing my story with others is something that I should celebrate. For that reason, I will not only be keeping the name, but beginning in January 2021, every order placed with Crazy Craft Lady will include a small gift from me that celebrates mental health awareness and self love. In addition, 10% of all sales made in October (I’m turning 30 this month, y’all!) will be donated to the JED Foundation, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention for adolescents.

Thank you all for your continued support both for my business and for me personally. You have brought me more joy than I could ever express and have helped me to heal in ways that I never thought possible.

With love, Your Crazy Craft Lady

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