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Fighting for Equity with a Jig Sawby Tim Miner on September 3, 2020
The events of the last year have given all of us a lot to process. Many of us are looking for creative outlets to share our feelings and show support to our community. Charlotte creative, Irene Nguyen — AKA Lil Bit Design — defines herself as an “amateur ‘craftsperson'” and she’s putting her newfound love for woodworking to good use, fighting for equity with power tools and passion.
“I love everything crafty and dabble in just about every type of craft. I majored in Fine Arts at UNCC, but my love of woodworking started when I took an “Intro to Carpentry” class at CPCC in 2015,” said Nguyen. “I don’t have my own company. I am just doing these projects on the side. I currently work for Second Harvest Food Bank so I just work on these signs on the weekends or after work.”
When protests for social justice and racial equity began earlier this year, Nguyen was struck with a strong urge to show her support for Black Lives Matter, as well as gay rights, trans rights and human rights.
“I saw this amazing image of a ‘Resist Fist’ over the trans colors on top of the rainbow flag and decided I wanted to make it into a sign for our yard,” she said. “After I posted a photo of it on my Instagram people started messaging me and asking if I would make some to sell. Jason and Jessica Michel, who own Tip Top, were one of the first to buy a yard sign from me. Jason then commissioned me to make a huge 8′ x 8′ sign for the side of the building.”
Big Messages Require Big Projects
While Nguyen admits she was intimidated to work on a project so large she had to build it in her backyard, she jumped in and did it. And, she lad a lot of fun. [Look below for time-lapsed GIFs of her design process and photos of the finished product.]
Nguyen’s got her first paid gig making wooden check presenters for 300 East. She’s also made individual pieces like tables, benches and shelves on request.
While Nguyen’s woodworking is a side business for now, but she’s just opened up orders for yard signs based on the resist fist design through her Instagram feed.
Watch the Design Process in Action
Take Another Bite of Lil Bit