VODKA Oâ€™CLOCK 1532
UBER DORK CAFE
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*This episode does contain a long discussion about suicide prevention.*
Have you come across someone online whose posts make your day better? Thatâ€™s how I feel about my friendship with Natali Heuss. This episode is two years in the making! Natali and I have been trying to schedule an hour to podcast since before she opened up UBER DORK CAFE. Now that the shop has been open a while and sheâ€™s in a routine, weâ€™ve finally able to make this happen.
A single mom in Milwaukee and now a business owner, Natali is a force of feminism. The only reason I know itâ€™s safe to ask Natali about parenting is because she blogs about parenting and activities for families. This isnâ€™t because sheâ€™s female.
Itâ€™s the one year anniversary of the Uber Dork Cafe lease signing so itâ€™s the perfect time to celebrate the entrepreneurship. Natali and I talked about what a lengthy process it was, how she stayed patient through all of it, and where things will change in the near future. The shop is basically a combination of a crafting and maker space with a gaming and comic space with a cafe. Itâ€™s all together. Sheâ€™s made the only shop thatâ€™s not a library or comic shop that participates in Free Comic Book Day.Â If youâ€™re in the Milwaukee area and looking for a place to playÂ Dungeons & Dragons or to learn how because you have no experience, thereâ€™s a regular schedule of DnD at UDC. They also have a “Stitch n Bitch” nerdy theme night.
With the episode, Natali shares personal stories about what it was like when her girls got The Lecture at school about menstruation and the resulting fallout. Nataliâ€™s personality is so welcoming that her kids know itâ€™s okay to ask mom anything whether itâ€™s about sex or gender or orientation, she hears it all and finds ways to answer them. We voiced our take on gendering toys. Toys donâ€™t have gender!
Comics and movies marketing – how does Natali handle this when companies fail their demographic? Everything from underwear with comic heroes on them to the new DC Super Hero Girls website, Natali has a forgiving philosophy to find some joy that products are made at all, but recognizes that companies could do better.
One of her daughters she describes as â€œif Spock was squishyâ€ because sheâ€™s so logical and smart. She got to be the mayor of a fictional town put together by the communityâ€™s business leaders. Her Leslie Knope qualities have been spotted from such an early age.
THE SEMICOLON TATTOOS AT UBER DORK CAFE
Recently, Uber Dork Cafe hosted a tattoo inking event where an artist came in and worked from their safest, cleanest area to give people new semicolon graphics. If kids or people werenâ€™t there for the permanent tats, there were options for temporary ones too. Why semicolons? Itâ€™s because of Project Semicolon which was founded by Amy Bleuel to cope with the loss of her father.
Sentences never end with a semicolon in English grammar. The semicolon, because of Amy Bleuelâ€™s project, has come to symbolize that the â€œsentenceâ€ isnâ€™t over and something comes after it; in terms of people it means your story is not over. You have more story to experience after your â€œsemicolonâ€. Pause and think about the rest of your story.
Natali reported that 50% of the people who came into for the Semicolon Project had never heard of her shop before, so in that regard, it was quite a successful event. She said that thereâ€™s nothing on you like a cast or using a wheelchair, except perhaps scars, that would tell someone looking at you that you struggle. Her philosophy is to always be nice to people because you never know if they are having a bad day.
â€œEverything boils down to donâ€™t be a jackass and love one another.â€ ~Natali
The importance that public figures, particularly in pop culture, is striking when someone we see as successful and â€œhaving it allâ€ ends up taking their own life. Natali and I talk about the loss of Robin Williams. Then there are those who make it through like Jared Padalecki and his campaign, â€œalways keep fighting.â€
Uber Dork Cafe is in the process of getting the approval to be a 501(c)(3) organization.
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