We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirstie & Christine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirstie & Christine, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When we were traveling in 2019 we started noticing a flood of messages from the LGBTQ+ community asking us how we did it, if it was safe to travel as a queer individual, and how they could pursue their passions too. We started our platform from the ground up to empower women and the LGBTQ+ community to have their voices heard especially within the means of travel. In under two years, we are proud to have built an engaging and loyal following, success across multiple social media platforms while being recognized across multiple media outlets.
We are constantly inspired by progressive standards such as diversity, individuality, and inclusivity. Self-love and kindness is such an important message for us, and that is why we want to share our brand and business with others. While being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is becoming more accepted and normalized, there still isn’t a lot of representation and role models for queer individuals within the fashion, travel, and entertainment industry. Queer voices also remain vastly marginalized around the world. We believe with the mission behind our brand, On Airplane Mode, we can truly help shape our community and use our business to advance social change.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always had an interest in art. Even when I was a kid my favorite classes included painting, drawing, or using my creativity to express my emotions. Over time, I have developed that passion for art into story telling through my photography. I love to not only find a beautiful place with amazing symmetry and views, but find a way to share emotion through the picture and connect with the viewer.
It certainly was not always easy. Hundreds of hours of classes and Adobe computer tutorials is definitely not the highlight to my success as an artist, but it without a doubt helped me become the artist I am today. I still have so much to learn, and look forward to the many more lessons I have to learn along my artistic journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We moved to Denver for many reasons. There is a huge LGBTQ+ community in Denver that is welcoming to new comers and queer individuals. There are many hosted queer bars and events from Drag Brunch at Hamburger Mary’s to late night dancing at X Bar and Charlie’s. Denver is also home to Rockies Baseball which is played in by far one of the most beautiful stadiums overlooking the mountains. You can also take a short drive in any direction and find some of the most stunning hikes in the world. Did you know that out of 96 fourteeners in the US (peaks that rise more than 14,000 feet above sea level) that Colorado is home to 53 of them! When you are coming to Denver prepare to play hard outside and then even harder at the bars! This is a fun and young city full of things to do for any adventurous person!
Some of our favorite spots in Denver include:
RiNo- art district with fun coffee shops, boutique clothing stores, and a lot of graffiti.
Larimer Square- a cute walking street with bars and restaurants
Coors Field- catch a baseball game while you snack on a Rocky dog
Grab a drink in Lo-Hi – the Lower Highlands is home to many trendy bars and restaurants! Don’t forget to stop by Little Man ice cream for their creative flavors.
Catch a show at Red Rocks Ampitheatre- one of the most iconic concert locations in the US, the Red Rocks Ampitheater is a must do experience no matter who is playing!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our inspiration is constantly driven from multiple sources. We watch tv shows and movies that introduce queer characters. We read books dedicated to what it means to be queer. We partner with non profit organizations that give back to the LGBTQ+ and oppressed communities. We work with brands around the world to help them write their narrative of acceptance and support for those same communities.
Above all though, the ones who encourage us to continue sharing our story the most are the thousands of individuals who contact us daily wanting to express their truest identity. While it is great to work with notable organizations and brands, it is the individual who emailed us from Russia asking how to deal with an unaccepting family. It is the individual from Tunisia who wants to make other queer friends, but cannot tell anyone in fear of what would happen to them. It is the individual from California who reach out expressing their gratitude for our story because it inspired them to find love for themselves too. It is the hundreds of individual voices and stories that encourage us to keep going and fighting for love and acceptance towards our community around the world.
Other: Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@onairplanemode__?lang=en