I spotted the quirky knitted accessory at Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival and knew I had to connect with the geniuses behind it. Turns out the two artsy activists with very tired fingers are Traci and Patrick Medeiros-Bagan, who crochet each pair by hand in their Anaheim home, usually while watching True Blood or Arrested Development.
"Our joints will be paying for years to come for all the black-cat headphones we've made," Traci says of their most popular style.
Traci, 28, took up crocheting as a hobby while working a desk job at UC Irvine a few years ago. She says her first creation—a crooked pot holder with several missing stitches—was "pretty sad."
"It was supposed to be a scarf but was never quite actualized," she explains.
She kept at it until she was never without a ball of yarn by her side. Traci came up with the idea for crocheted headphone covers while scouting vintage shops in Old Towne Orange. "I started to dream about how I could give my headphones that bulky vintage feel," she says. "The idea of juxtaposing this traditional, soft, female-dominated craft with the newest technology was really appealing."
Soon, a company was born. Traci went with the name Late to the Revolution because she believes there is a renaissance happening and doesn't want people to miss out on it. The business, she says, is all about "challenging people to find new and creative ways to reclaim resistance." Her own way of fighting the Man is by making a living off a DIY passion while staying true to her beliefs as a feminist, vegan and LGBT supporter.
When the company started taking off in 2010, her partner, Patrick, moved from distribution ("A.k.a. making runs to the post office on his way to work," Traci says) to co-crocheter. Together, they make headphones in an array of bright colors and designs, from bear ears to bows. (The base is a standard plastic headphone set.) For colder-weather days, there are headphone beanies, in which earphones are embedded into the ear flaps of the hat. All are sold in their Etsy shop (www.latetotherevolution.etsy.com) and at various local art festivals.
Rock out, cool cats.
This column appeared in print as "Crafty Headphones!"