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Identity Euphoria organizes event to support local LGBTQ-owned small businesses on Nov. 19

COURTESY PHOTO: LILLI HUHN - CRAVE Bath&Body Confections will have bath bombs galore for sale at the Rainbow Saturday Artisans Fair on Nov. 19. In an effort to create an affirming event and promote LGBTQ2SIA+ business owners, Identity Euphoria will host a Rainbow Saturday Artisans Fair in the Rainbow Lodge at the Hull Foundation & Learning Center, 43233 S.E. Oral Hull Road, Sandy, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. The East County-based nonprofit company is hoping that rather than queue up outside a big box store on Black Friday, people will come do some of their holiday shopping with local, queer-owned small businesses.

Identity Euphoria is a nonprofit corporation working to acquire 501(c)3 status, which is based in East Multnomah County but serves LGBTQ+ people in Oregon and Washington. The mission of the organization is to build community and resources for LGBTQ+ people and also provide educational opportunities to the public.

The event will have around 20 vendors selling a variety of craft and handmade items perfect for gifting to loved ones. Vendors will have a variety of items for sale, including house plants, handmade pottery, hand-carved and burned wood crafted items, jewelry, bath bombs, artwork, home and vehicle decor and more.COURTESY PHOTO: DANIELLE ARTHURS - Fox & Fern, a small business based in Sandy, offers a plethora of plants to liven up any home.

One vendor, Bright Eyes Photos: NW, will offer family holiday photos against a fireplace backdrop for $5 each, and donate 60% of the proceeds to the Hull Foundation.

There will also be a booth with local women offering affirming mom hugs, and the Sandy group Students Advocating for Equality will also have a table and be offering information on their causes and events.

"Serving smaller communities of Oregon and Washington will help build community for queer people and provide opportunities for non-queer people to learn about queer culture and issues," said co-founder Charlie Joplin.

Joplin and co-founder Brit Allen began forming Identity Euphoria in late 2020, inspired by a lack of resources for the queer community in the smaller towns they grew up in and in the Pacific Northwest overall.

"Identity Euphoria's vision is to make a better future for queer people in smaller communities and, therefore, better for the communities as a whole," Allen said. "Identity Euphoria is the resource I wish my hometown had when my generation was going through grade school."

This event aims to create a safe and empowering space for queer small business owners to sell their wares as people begin their holiday shopping.COURTESY PHOTO: WANDER FREE & QUEER  - Wander Free & Queer sells items meant to give visibility to LGBTQ+ folx in the travel and outdoor recreation community.

"With more and more people looking for ways to be more intentional with their spending, this event gives folks a way to not only shop local from Oregon business owners, but support members of a marginalized population," Allen explained.

Besides offering ample vendors to shop from, Identity Euphoria will also host a raffle of items donated by vendors and local partners to raise money for the Hull Foundation, which has rented the space for the event.

"Since we're still in the process of obtaining 501(c)3 status, we strive to partner with other established nonprofits in the meantime and help raise awareness of their causes as well as help raise some funds to further their missions," Allen said. "The Hull Foundation is a wonderful resource for those living with sight loss, and also a beautiful space to host events, so we're happy to be organizing this event at the Rainbow Lodge."

Entry to the event is free, but raffle tickets are $1 each. Commemorative tote bags will also be available for purchase, with a third of the proceeds from the sales going to the Hull Foundation as well.

For more information, visit Identity Euphoria's Facebook event page.

Brit Allen is the associated editor for The Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News.

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