This post is part of our Artisan Profiles series, promoting authentic artisans and their products. Artisans: get your store featured by joining our free Buy Handmade campaign. Read the others here.
The Beat In Between is a shop run by Raffi Marhaba, who creates “radical queer things and everything in between.” These include a broad range of items such as zines, tote bags, clothing, coasters, mirrors, and more.
Welcome to the Artisans Co-op, Raffi!
Artisan: Raffi Marhaba (They/Them)
Shop: The Beat in Between
Socials: @thebeatinbetween (Instagram)
What’s the name of your business, if you use one? Why did you choose it? – What do you create/sell? *
The Beat in Between. The history of the name is because I’m non binary so I wanted to offer goods for the queer community from a nonbinary perspective “in between.” I only create queer and radical goods.
Do you currently have a shop or website up and running? Where can we find you?
Yea. Etsy unfortunately! https://www.etsy.com/shop/thebeatinbetween
How long have you been creating? What made you want to start your business/start selling your art?
I’ve been making art for at least 12 years but didn’t start selling until last year. People have been nagging me to create physical queer goods and I finally caved in!
When you started your shop, did you find that you needed to shift the way you made art or the medium and materials you used or was it a seamless transition from making these pieces and products into selling them?
My shop is very new! And I 100% had to adapt my art to fit physical things I’m making.
The way I draw something for a poster is completely different than the way I have to draw it to put it on a shirt. I also have to think of messaging and art that people would identify with and want to wear/have. But I have not changed my core values or mission.
What would you consider your core values and mission to be?
I’m a queer & trans radical vegan with a focus on social justice so my art reflects that type of messaging and I only use plant-based and sustainable materials or family-owned businesses.
Awesome! How did you get things started/what were the first things you started to sell? Has that shifted much from when you first started your shop?
Oh I started because my friends had been nagging me for years about wanting to buy my art and I always felt weird about selling my creations. But then I thought “what if what I make is sparking conversations and eventually can create change?” So I started with stickers and coasters. And I’ve expanded a lot. To apparels and mirrors and zines.
What does your creative process look like? If you work with a creative partner, how is it to work together, or do you have different roles in the process?
I work mostly solo and creating everything on my own. I am looking for collabs for limited items!
What part of creation do you enjoy the most? (The process, seeing the finished product, seeing people’s reactions to receiving the art/product, etc.)
I love the process of getting to something I love and when my creations spark conversation.
What is your personal favorite item out of what you’re selling and why?
That’s a hard one! I have a few favorites but if I had to pick just one I would probably say my typographic mirror that says “very gay.” I love that I can create beautiful calligraphy and turn them into mirrors people can see themselves in!
What is your Number One piece of advice for fellow artisans (biggest lesson learned)?
Keep doing what you’re doing. The path can be slow sometimes but as long as you keep true to your values that’s all that matters.
What is your biggest inspiration?
Honestly, queer folks! Our resilience, joy and strength never cease to impress me and inspire me.
Is there a specific niche or target audience you are trying to reach with your art?
Queer radical folks.
What do you hope to gain from joining the Artisans Co-op?
A community of people that want to build a better world, clients whom I’m more aligned with and a better platform to grow.
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