Artist Gives a Portion of Sales to HIPS
One of our greatest gifts is when local folks care enough about our mission to help raise the donations that make our work possible. Deb Almond is one of those people, and we were excited to reach out and learn a little more about them!
- How did you hear about and get involved with HIPS?
I'm from London, UK and came to the US in January of 2014 on a fiancee visa to marry my American husband. For the first 6 months or so of living here I didn't have a work permit, social security number, or bank account and there wasn't a lot I could do. So, I began searching for a place to volunteer where I could use my training and education and meet new people. After googling sexual and reproductive health organizations in DC, I knew that HIPS was the first place I had to contact. I ended up volunteering a few mornings a week for about 3 months in 2014 where I spent most of that time writing a protocol for Hep C testing. I loved the people I met there and was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about my new city.
- Is there anything you want to share about your background or education?
I got my MSc in London in the control of infectious diseases in 2012-13 and had already spent some time working in sexual and reproductive health in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and my home city of London. I continued that work with the Terrence Higgins Trust - the UK's largest sexual health organization - and then with a big international organization when I finally found fulltime employment here in DC. My focus has always been on sexual health and young people, especially those with limited access to good services and information. That took me all around the world, but I was growing increasingly aware of the need for essential services locally and I knew from my time at HIPS that there were so many talented people working towards Reproductive Justice and harm reduction here in DC.
- Tell us more about donating 10% of your sales
Eventually I turned my side hustle, Candid Almond, into a full time business and began selling my artwork on a larger scale. I felt that given the budget cuts to some of the essential services HIPS offers and knowing first hand the importance of the work they do in the community, the best impact I could have was through raising money and awareness. Since October 2020, I've given 10% of profits from every purchase directly to HIPS and have shared their information with hundreds of customers. My business is growing slowly but surely and so will my continuing donations to HIPS! I sell art prints, greeting cards, pins, tote bags, mugs, and throw pillows from my website www.candidalmond.com and in a new popup shop called ShopHER located on the second floor of Union Station.
-Anything else interesting you’d like to share?
Although I'm not a DC native, I've been here for 8 years and consider this my US home town. I live in Trinidad, NE with my husband, daughter, and son who is due any day now! I gave up my job in January 2020 because it wasn't allowing me to be the partner, mum, or friend that I wanted to be. Since then I've been working on Candid Almond full time and I've never been so broke or happy!