Our Story: Why I started an LGBTQ+ Wedding Decor and Accessories Company
In 2015 the people of the United States watched as the Supreme Court decided in a landmark case that same-sex couples had the fundamental right to marriage. This was a huge step in progress to creating equality within the country. However, that has not stopped overall discrimination, lack of inclusivity and awareness throughout the wedding industry.
Three years later, in 2018, as my wife and I began to plan our dream wedding we never imagined that we would face discrimination let alone lack of representation. It was a beautiful day as we drove around Mt. Hood, Oregon, with our list of potential wedding venues. We arrived at our first location with excitement but were met with glares and told that “our kind” could not get married at this venue. This initial rejection was disheartening, but we proceeded with apprehension. At the next venue we made sure to ask if same-sex marriages were allowed, and shared our story with one of the farm stand workers who instructed us on where to walk to see the hidden venue. While out on the property, the owner came to meet us as the worker had shared our story, and she was devastated on how we were treated previously. She welcomed us with open arms. With her kindness, hospitality and gorgeous property, we knew we had found our venue at Mt. View Orchards.
Still today, we understand that many couples tread cautiously as they plan their dream wedding. While marriage equality has passed, a gap still exists as we face issues with acceptance and inclusion. It is with heightened awareness that we choose our planners, venues, bands, vendors, etc. Even online resources and apps are outdated, as stores focus their sales on “Mr & Mrs” or websites cater to the “Bride and Groom”. We found ourselves buying two packages of “Mr. & Mrs” chair backs and other materials to decorate for our day. It was then that we recognized our community was underrepresented, making our dream wedding difficult to plan. Products for two women (or two men) were difficult to find. We recognized the underrepresentation of our community.
It was through this heartache and frustration that the idea for Dash of Pride was born.
Like everyone planning an important event, we want you to have fun and feel supported in making your vision/dream a reality. As the event industry caters to heteronormative society, we strive to build a website and store where the LGBTQ+ community can shop in an open and welcoming manner. Inclusivity is important especially when it comes to life events. We want everyone in the LGBTQ+ community to feel affirmed and celebrated when they visit Dash of Pride. The narratives of the Transgender, Non-binary and Queer people especially are left out of the wedding industry and we are here to change that. No matter how you identify, we want you to come to our store and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you have options for decor, accessories and supplies that feel like *you*.
Our mission at Dash of Pride is to create a welcoming space where you can shop, plan, and design your own life. When you shop with Dash of Pride, we hope that you'll feel a sense of belonging in a community that "gets you" and supports you. As a company, we are dedicated to fostering a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment, and as members of the LGBTQ+ community, we want each person we serve to feel seen and known and loved.
We are so glad you are here and supporting more LGBTQ+ representation in the wedding industry and through other life events. Together we can make a difference and create a better place and experience for our community.
We love hearing from our customers and from our community, so if you have any ideas for products or designs please let us know!
Jamie Thrower (Pronouns: she/her)
She is an extremely talented artist and storyteller with a
deep commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.