Interview with Melissa Mika, Owner of PAGEFIFTYFIVE and co-owner of Makerfolk. Be sure to follow PAGEFIFTYFIVE on Instagram & Facebook.
Can you introduce yourself and PAGEFIFTYFIVE to the community?
Hello! I’m Melissa from PAGEFIFTYFIVE. I create honest, witty and sometimes awkward greeting cards and other paper goods right here in Fort Collins, Colorado! I also co-own a shop in Old Town called Makerfolk where you can find my entire line of goods along with other locally made products.
Why do you think it’s important to have businesses like PAGEFIFTYFIVE and spaces like Makerfolk in our community where people feel like family and feel safe, regardless of identity?
This has always been top of my list for reasons why PAGEFIFTYFIVE and Makerfolk exist in the first place. There is no better feeling than being seen, heard, feeling safe and acknowledged in a community where you live, work or visit. To own a business and a shop that can do that for marginalized folks like myself is truly an honor.
Do you see your experience as a business owner and a member of the LGBTQ+ community as different from business owners who are not part of the LGBTQ+ community?
I don’t see it as different, we all bring something to the overall Fort Collins community. I see it more as as a sense of pride to be a part of the small but mighty community of LGBTQ+ business owners in Fort Collins!
How would you like Fort Collins to celebrate Pride Month?
I would love to see Pride celebrated more all year long!
Where do you get inspiration for your work?
I‘m passionate about social justice, women’s rights LGBTQ+ rights and making sure everyone has a voice. I’m also a huge book lover and volunteer on the board of Fort Collins Reads, am a regular at the Poudre Library Book Club, and spend a lot of time snapping photos for my bookstagram-bookishfolk. I love getting outside into nature with my wife and dog as well as spending copious amounts of time gardening in our yard (and to be honest, collecting WAY too many houseplants). All of these things epitomize PAGEFIFTYFIVE and you’ll see these themes pop up throughout my work.
What’s special about of having a business in Fort Collins?
I truly LOVE Fort Collins! Our community really goes above and beyond to support small businesses and I’m always blown away by the support. I also feel safe as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Fort Collins and that is priceless for myself and my wife. We live in one of the most beautiful cities full of diversity, bike paths, nature and great shops and restaurants and I couldn’t imagine living or owning a business anywhere else! It’s truly an honor.
Where can people purchase your work?
You can find my work on my website www.pagefiftyfive.com or in person at Makerfolk 144 N College Ave (inside Bean Cycle Roasters).