Embracing Diversity Beyond the Rainbow: Popvibe’s Pride Bracelet

When one thinks of queer pride, the first image one would usually think of is a rainbow.

Indeed, for many corporations, plastering a rainbow onto their product is an easy way for them to proclaim their support for LGBTIQ inclusion.

Not for Popvibe; for its owner, Shaun Hng, designing a rainbow bracelet would be “too easy.” Instead, in the process of choosing and eliminating from the pool of stones that they had available, he realized that the best way to reflect their support for diversity in their product would be to showcase the full range of precious stones in the bracelet. In his words, “the diversity, colors and strength (of the stones) are what inspired us and we decided to include as many different stones as we can.”

OutRight Action International is grateful to be Popvibe’s beneficiary for the proceeds from the Pride Bracelet, which “holds all the strength, love & colors representing this multi-cultural community.” For each Pride Bracelet sold, $10 would be donated to OutRight, and $3 for every other item on their catalog. Popvibe would also be matching all donations up to $10.

We spoke to Shaun Hng, the man behind Popvibe, to learn more about the company and their cause. Check out their products on their online store!

OutRight: Hi Shaun! Tell us more about you and your company.

Shaun: My name is Shaun Hng and I’m a Malaysian Chinese. Before coming to New York City, I was the head of Visual Merchandising for Saint Laurent in China. My husband is an American and we met in Shanghai, before dating and getting married, and then we relocated to NYC in 2015.

Being in fashion retail my whole life, I wanted to do something different. Something that could help someone live better, with more purpose. I have been using crystal healing for years and wanted to do something with it. That’s how Popvibe was born. We want to create modern crystal jewelry with the objective to use their healing powers to help someone live better and happier. Everything is custom hand-made in NYC.

OutRight: What motivated you to start a fundraiser and be proactive in supporting international LGBTIQ human rights?

Shaun: There was no commercial reason when we create this Pride Bracelet, as traditionally it’s not an occasion where one would shop for gifts, unlike Mother’s Day. However, we wanted to be part of this celebration and have a conversation about rights of LGBTIQ people. This is something that is very close to my heart since I wouldn’t receive the same rights back home in Malaysia, as compared to here in the United States. There’s still a lot to do for equality and it’s a no-brainer that the Pride Bracelet should be associated with a cause that we believe in, and that’s international LGBTIQ rights.

OutRight: What is the inspiration behind the Pride Bracelet?

Shaun: We actually had a hard time creating this bracelet. How do you create something that's good enough for the community? What kind of healing do they actually need?

The easy route would be to create a rainbow bracelet but we think it’s too easy. When we were designing and selecting and eliminating crystals, this question hit us: why should we be eliminating anything? The diversity, colors and strength are what inspired us and we decided to include as many different stones as we can.

OutRight: Do you have suggestions on how OutRight can better support people who want to create similar campaigns? Or create collaboration opportunities?

Shaun: As a small business using Shopify I’m really glad that there is the app Give & Grow from Pledgeling that makes it really easy to automate all donations through online sales. However I don’t think many other channels offer that. Having such a channel would be really helpful, as it made working with different causes easier and more seamless.

OutRight: What other projects lie ahead for you?

Shaun: We are a new company with only one season and there’s still a lot to learn about the market and consumers. We just completed our designs for the Autumn-Holiday Collection and we are now working on the marketing strategy. We just hope that our customers would like what we offer and that more people will embrace the healing powers of crystals in their life.

Popvibe: Crystal Healing jewelry for the Now Age; Helping you live happier and healthier. Custom hand-made in NYC.