Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You Can Make a Difference

Several years ago now, Shelley bought a vegan wallet from Matt & Nat. This wallet was a wonder wallet.

I coveted it, but seriously. A slavering green-eyed covet. Every time she pulled out her red lovely rectangle, I would visibly swallow and reach out to touch it.

It made my plasticky, dirt-collecting, awkwardly small Matt & Nat wallet seem like a dumpy cousin from the backwoods. But it held my stuff okay and other than the fact I hated it, there was nothing wrong with it. I was loath to just toss it.

Eventually, my blue horror got dirty and broken enough to dump on the side of the road. I went looking for a wallet like Shelley's red wonder wallet.

But they'd changed the logo from a quiet, polite, embossed "matt & nat" - written out - to this:

I was not pleased. A boy and girl symbol? Sheez. Most everyone already takes me for straight. Not that I'm blaming anyone, what with the being girly and having a boyfriend. But I wasn't pleased with the idea of trying to convince everyone every time I bought something.*

A few years ago, there were probably 4 or 5 stores in Ottawa that carried Matt & Nat stuff. I went to all of them. No old stock. I looked on the m+n website. No old stock. No dice.

So I called the company. I talked to the owner. I said I loved the wallet, but I didn't want to buy it because is was heterosexist, and did she have any of the old ones in a warehouse somewhere because I would buy them. All of them. Unless they were yellow.

She was both horrified about the implications of the new logo and the fact that it had never occurred to her, even though, you know, she'd taken some women's studies courses and where did I live, she would check the warehouse.

I never heard back. I gave up. I bought a wonder wallet anyway, and tried to pick the man and woman off. They went from looking like male and female bathroom signs to male and female zombies. It was an improvement, certainly.

My "new" one is starting to wear a little, so I jumped on the m&n website.

Lo and behold, here's the 2007 version of my wallet:

I'm pretty excited, but now I have to wait for this one to really fall apart. Anyone want to run over my wallet? You know, by accident?

*Of course, the irony is that the group of people who would never take me for straight are the people from whom I buy my condoms.

UPDATE (Feb 2008): Since a lot of people find this entry by searching "matt and nat ottawa", I will let you know that the best luck I've had in finding M&N wallets is at the Pom Pom stores. There's one on William in the Byward Market. Though it's not called Pom Pom, I don't think, but it's attached to the Sassy Bead Co. And there's one in the Glebe. I'm pretty sure that one is called Pom Pom, and it's across the street from the Sassy Bead Co.


Amanda said...

oooh that's fabulous. good for you! i'm glad to hear of a tale where when conventional straight-laced society seems to be encroaching on your space, it suddenly clears away. i could use that right now. am a litle tired of straight attitudes.
amanda who may be het but is definitely not straight if that makes any sense.

Pearl said...

That's cool. One voice speaking making change. Love it when that happens.

You could buy everyone you know one for Christmas to reward the company.

Evey said...

That so awesome! Don't you love when one voice actually matters? Maybe I will go an buy a wallet to reward them.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Matt & Nat as well and am glad to hear they are back to the old logo. I've recently moved to Ottawa and am having difficulty finding the products -- any tips?

Asteroidea Press said...

I had luck with Pom Pom at 732 Bank St in the Glebe. There's also a store that looks the same, carries the same stock and is also near a Sassy Bead in the Byward Market, but I can't remember the name. On William, I believe, up at the Mother Tucker's end.

There was also a store in Westboro, but damned if I can remember the name. On the south side of Richmond, and near the Bridgehead, I believe. But I might be wrong about both those things.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

The westboro store is called Runway...that's where I bought my M&N wallet.. but it just shutdown and no long exists:( sorry