What in the world is a

Molasses Disaster?

Molasses Disaster is a shop created by me, Chelsea, in 2019. Despite what some may think, the name wasn’t inspired by the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919 that killed 21 people a century earlier. Actually, I didn’t even know about THAT disaster until months after I coined the name, right about when I got irredeemably attached to it.

No, the beginnings of Molasses Disaster are much simpler. I was making my living as a typical exploited member of the proletariat, building and collapsing shelves and generally getting mistreated by bosses and customers alike. I was given the syrup section to clean up and rebuild for the day, so I did, and the surprise I found beneath the unmoved 16-year-old shelving unit shook me to my core.

It was a bottle of molasses that expired in the 90’s, opened and spilled, creating a glistening puddle of fossilized sugar big enough to swim in.

I can still see the amber liquid as it seeped expertly into every crack in the ancient tile. I can still hear the sound my paint scraper made as I attempted to dislodge the substance from said flooring. However, the part that is most permanently seared into my brain is the tactile curse of stickiness. My hands took on flypaper-like qualities no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. The knees of my pants had to be peeled off the floor when I stood up. I was unable to place anything I picked up back down because things like tools and cell phones welded themselves to me.

It was a molasses disaster. As I said the phrase out loud, I loved the way it felt in my mouth, so it stuck (no pun intended).

It was from these working class beginnings that my craft emerged. Everything I make, I make for two reasons: to desperately claw myself out of the poverty that forces me to sell my labor, and to represent and directly support those who don’t have the same privilege. That’s it.

I create the art I feel is missing in the world. I craft things that will persist on after I am gone, not in a landfill, but on someone’s wrist or in their home. I love making people laugh and feel like they aren’t alone. When you buy things from me, know that you are directly supporting a working class queer person that wants nothing more than to live a comfortable life where they won’t have to choose between rent and food. If I ever rise above the poverty I was born in to, folks in my community know that I’m pulling them all up with me, and you can help.

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