June 20, 2024

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KEPW News: What not to bring to a barter faire

3 min read
I should have known that polyester sweatpants, HotHands, and an old Amiga computer book was not something that you bring to barter with. I would have been better off with a shiny rock.

by DJ Suss D, KEPW News

On Earth Day, we had the BNF Kombucha Open Minds Menagerie presents Billion New Finds. It was a barter faire out on Prairie Road here in Eugene. BNF Kombucha sponsored it: ‘For a day of community dance and bartering, bring a basket of goodies.”

I can tell you, I should have known that polyester sweatpants, hot hands, and an old Amiga computer book was not something that you bring to barter with. I would have been better off with a shiny rock to barter with.

You want to bring things to the barter faire. You don’t want to just bring junk that you’re trying to get rid of to the barter faire. In fact, I saw somebody trading, pot was a popular currency at the barter faire out there at BNF Kombucha. So I interviewed one of the vendors there, very nicely spoke to me from Divine Lotus Designs. Amber Lippel from Divine Lotus Designs talks about why it’s so important that we recycle and get off the petrodollar, especially during Earth Day.

DJ Suss D: So I’m here at the Eugene Barter Faire and I’m talking to one of the vendors here. Why are you at the Eugene Barter Faire?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): Because I value community and like sharing resources. So we have enough stuff and we kind of just need to circulate it around. And it’s better to make your own stuff and use and repair what we already have rather than using slave labor to make new things in the third world and things like that. So I would say yes, if we can keep things local, that’s always better and to repair things instead of buying something new.

DJ Suss D: And how long have you been doing this?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): 13 years.

DJ Suss D: And you come to events like this?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): So the name of my business is Divine Lotus Designs. And so I do mostly recycled clothing and art.

DJ Suss D: Wow. So do you have a brick and mortar shop or you work out of your house or…?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): Since the pandemic, I have moved to working from home, but I used to have a shop downtown.

DJ Suss D: And do you mind if I ask how successful are you? Does it keep you out of the system? I mean, do you have a, do you have a regular job? A real, are you a real person too?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): I like to think of this piece as, perhaps, shifting more to be for the creative process of making art, instead of it needing to make money. So, yes, I do sell things, and am successful, and also, it’s more about sharing art with the world and seeing people wearing my designs or making their own designs.

DJ Suss D: So you’re supporting yourself doing what you love, and what other people love.

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): Absolutely. I really think that people just need to empower themselves to just make art. You know, so you don’t have to sell it, but to just do it for the therapeutic process of creating basically the idea, right? The concept that anything can get turned into art. And it’s how we look at it and how we use the things around us.

DJ Suss D: How can people get ahold of you or how can people support you?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): I’m on Instagram at Divine Lotus Designs, is the best way to find me. And then at events like this.

DJ Suss D: Anything about Earth Day—why is Earth Day so important right now?

Amber Lippel (Divine Lotus Designs): Well, as a clothing designer, right, it’s a conversation that I have in particular with myself, as someone who likes clothes and also as someone that is curious about the world, right? I think we could stop making clothing and we would be fine for at least a little while, right? So the impact that we’re having on the earth is really important. I like to ask the question, ‘Where is away?’ We say, ‘Throw it away, give it away.’ Where is away? And there really isn’t.

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