Not with a Boom but with a whimper

camp, camp boom, clothes swap, fat liberation, fat swim, store news -

Not with a Boom but with a whimper

Tl:dr: I’m closing the House of Boom. I hope to have everything absolutely done in November after Camp

So. It’s taken me a week to actually sit down to write this, because I don’t want to write this, but at the same time, I need to. You’ve probably heard me say before that I had been thinking of giving up on Boom when Cat died and I realised I needed to do it even more. Or that I wanted to wrap up last year but Camp was so great that I decided to keep going. But it’s time now. This no longer brings me joy and it certainly doesn’t bring me money. So yeah, I’m going to board up the House of Boom. Gradually. I still have so much fucking stock to get rid of, and that’s weighing on me like a tonne of… expensive heavy cotton clothing, I guess. 

And there’s still a few more things I want to do. Camp Boom in November, of course - so if you’ve ever wanted to come to one, this is your last chance. I wanna organise one more fat swim because swimming in the dark with all the beautiful sparkly lights was so peaceful. And I’ll have one last pop-up in a desperate attempt to get these fucking clothes into new homes. But that’s it. 

And I think the second to last sentence explains why it’s time for me to stop. Because it feels so fucking gross to be trying to sell things now when everything is so expensive and everything is so insecure. So many of my customers are also public servants, and they’ve been laid off, or are worried they’ll be. I understand that ethical clothing becomes less of an option when you’re struggling to pay for groceries. When so many other things are going wrong. And yet I’m still taking it so personally, which is infuriating to me when I like to imagine that I’m a very community-minded person. It has been a luxury for me to run House of Boom while still having another full time job that pays the mortgage, but I am so very tired. 

I’m tired of seeing everything as potential “content”, wondering, oooh, could this be the post that’ll finally sell those last fucking KRIS dresses? Analytics tell me I have sold 74 KRIS dresses since I started this label in 2018, which is pretty great, because it is a very good dress. I’ve sold 129 DEMELZA dresses, which is an even better dress because it shows off boobs more. So I’ve done some good stuff.  210 pairs of rainbow underpants. A couple of thousand dollars donated to InsideOUT. Three amazing Camps, a handful of fat swims. The clothing swap that shared Cat’s taonga of a wardrobe with the world. Supporting other small businesses like Umsiko, and Fanny Adams, and Gerty Brown and Throwing Feathers. I’ve been quoted in the media a lot. I like to believe I helped get a fat character onto Shortland Street. I got to do some talks. House of Boom even got me laid a couple of times which obviously was the true purpose all along right? Hell, at one stage I even fell in love with a customer I met at a pop-up (surprisingly, a cis white dude, who saw that coming?). I never got to do what I really really wanted, which was open up a physical store, but for the first couple of years when I had pop-ups, people came along and I got to see how amazing it was to them to be able to try on clothes THAT FIT THEM in store. And that was extremely magical. 

But I still centre myself too much in all of this, and that’s not the way fat liberation should work. I hate that I take other people’s decisions - which are absolutely none of my fucking business - personally. I hate that even though I just listed a bunch of successes, I still feel like a failure. So when I heard a voice in my head a couple of weeks ago that said “this is it, you’re done, it’s time”, I knew it was right, and it honestly felt like such a huge fucking relief. When I was struggling the most with Long COVID and brain fog, and my counsellor was telling me to give it up, I was like “But I don’t know who I am without Boom”. I have loved having the identity of an ethical clothing business owner. I have loved seeing the change in myself from when I wouldn’t show the tops of my arms to where I’ll now post pictures of my stomach in a bikini on the regular. And I realised that I still have an identity - I’m still -me-. I still have plans for work that I need to do in the world to try to make it better. I know I’ll broken-hearted when all of this is gone, but oh lorde, I’ll be so free too! 

Before November there will be a million zillion thank yous to happen, but I’ll put in two here for now. The first is to Sara, the best Head Boomette a girl could ever have, who really has been the muscle and heart of this business for all these years. And the second is to you, wonderful Boomies who’ve supported me so far. Your kind comments, your purchases, your sharing of my stuff, I couldn’t have asked for better customers. I still believe that it should be possible to run an ethical clothing company for fat people and make money. But obviously I did not manage to achieve that, despite my every privilege. 

So where to from here? As I said, I’ll be winding things up slowly, trying to get rid of all my stock, organising another swim in the next school holidays, a final pop-up sometime in September and then running Camp, so you’ll still be seeing updates from me. There’s still a couple more speakers to announce for that, and I gotta find a soda sponsor and more things for the swag bags. I’ve just put the MEAGAN skirts on sale - they’re now $120 down from $170. Camp tickets are still on sale, and I’m still crowdsourcing donations to fund another scholarship. If you buy more Boom Gin then we’ll get another scholarship for a single parent too. I have been so very delighted to see other people starting their own fat events, like Stacey did with the swim in Auckland, and Suzanne’s Fat Sew group in Wellington. There’s still the facebook group Boomies if you wanna organise collective action with other fat babes. One individual can’t change a whole lot. But together we are infinitely more powerful. 

I love you like this fat girl loves cake,