I have a weird fetish for those glass votive candles they sell at Honest Ed’s. You know: the tall red ones with pictures of various saints (and the occasional vestal virgin) plastered on the sides. But I have to admit to an increasing squeamishness at fetishizing the glitzier trappings of the Roman Catholic faith, what with Pope Bennie and his merry band of child molesters taking all the fun out of fundamentalism.
So imagine my relief upon discovering a whole new source of guilt-free red glowy candles, courtesy of Trixie and Beever, those creative gals over at BBJ (formerly Barbie’s Basement Jewellery). Once again I can bask in the flattering, non-creeper glow accented perfectly by images of Marilyn Monroe or Dolly Parton or . . . um . . . Michael Jackson (don’t say it). I covet the Bea Arthur model, myself.
“Bea is one of our pop saints,” Trixie says. “When she died, she donated a huge amount of her estate to a charity for gay and lesbian street youth. We love her.”
Children of the 1970s and '80s will discover nostalgia aplenty when viewing BBJ’s online catalogue (I know I did). Along with the candles you’ll find every sort of cool chachka imaginable – and plenty you could never have imagined: Charlie’s Angels cufflinks, Breakfast Club belt buckles and even sparkly brooches featuring portraits of (squee!) Dolly Parton.
“We’re obsessed with pop culture,” Trixie laughs. “It’s a shared culture sort of thing. People will come in and have this memory of something like Golden Girls. Plus, we love to talk about Dolly Parton to anyone who will listen.”
It was love of pop culture iconography that first bound Trixie and Beever together. The two have been inseparable since their first meeting 14 years ago at a Labour Day barbecue party. Even now they are rarely apart, sharing both a home and business – and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“This person is really my best friend, and I truly enjoy being with her all the time,” Beever says. “People ask how we spend so much time together, and I say, How do you not?”
Beever took over the business side of things early on in their partnership, applying her marketing and branding savvy to Trixie’s eclectic creations. With sales doubling over the first two years together, it was clear the two had struck romantic and fiduciary gold. And even after 14 years, Beever is still in awe of her wife.
“Trixie can just do anything,” she says. “She’s good with wood, she can sew, figure out computer programs, and she has patience in spades. Everything she does she’s great at and it’s all self-taught. I just really like her. And I love her. And yeah, I’m still hot for her.”
Check out Trixie and Beever’s online shop at bbj.ca, where you can order merchandise or make an appointment to go see it all in person at their Leslieville studio.
They’ll also be selling their work at:
Sat, Sept 15 & Sun, Sept 16
Thurs, Nov 22–Sun, Dec 2
Direct Energy CentreExhibition Place