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I started my Etsy shop,, in January 2018 as a way to handle my hearing loss. While I knew sign and grew up in the Deaf community due to some of my family being deaf; I felt trapped in the middle by being able to speak fully but not being able to hear fully. I wasn’t sure (ans am still unsure) about how I fit into the Deaf world and the Hearing world.

I tried to turn to writing, but it was painful. I’m a writer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I grew up as a hearing child in the Deaf community and found that books and words, even when made with my hands, were how to express myself. I’ve got a Bachelor’s in English and attempt my hand and novels, so writing seemed like the logical thing to do. Yet, writing about myself and my diagnoses turned out to be harder than I imagined.

So I tried crafting with my hands and tried to discover other forms of expression. My husband was nothing but supportive of my random new hobbies, and was the extra push I needed when one didn’t pan out. Stamping and making jewelry or accessories with my hands felt like I was able to communicate on more than one level. I didn’t feel trapped anymore, I felt revived.

When I stamp, in particular, I try to focus on words that someone might not say out loud, or they don’t want to admit. I try to focus on words that can be shouted from rooftops or whispered in bed at night. Words that can’t be said. Words that can’t be heard. Words that just make you stop, if only for a moment. I find that I can use stamping in English for everyone, but I can also reach the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community by use of ASL lettering or slang/terminology in my pieces. Something I don’t feel is accessible enough to those who can’t hear.

It has allowed me to have contact and relationships with others who have hearing loss or are struggling in another way, and honestly, it’s amazing the stories I have heard. I encourage you to check out my shop or reach out to me through other means. It has revived my writing and my ability to connect with the outside world.

Dream, struggle, create, prevail. Be daring. Be brave. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be strong. Be brilliant. Be beautiful.
-Caterina Fake




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