Four teens from Best Buy’s Teen Tech Centers across the country recently had the opportunity to express themselves and support LGBTQIA+ community by designing their own PopSockets PopGrips.
The teens participated in a program in partnership between Best Buy Teen Tech Centers and PopSockets to design smartphone grips that will be sold online at BestBuy.com beginning in June as part of our celebration of Pride month.
The teens were commissioned and compensated through PopSockets’ standard procedures for freelance designers and had the chance to follow along in the process to see their design evolve from an idea to a product sold by Best Buy.
Half of the sales from each design will be donated to the Best Buy Foundation and reinvested into Best Buy Teen Tech Centers that are safe, afterschool learning sites where teens have access to the latest technology, the guidance of experienced mentors and opportunities to apply their skills through hands-on experiences like the PopSockets partnership.
Barsha, a high school student and Teen Tech Center member from Cleveland, Ohio, designed a PopGrip with a rainbow sun, outlined in yellow. The design was inspired by Barsha’s own experiences of struggling with self-love. Barsha incorporated the bright positivity of the sun and color yellow to encourage others, encouraging them, to “Be Happy with Yourself,” the title of the design.
“I wanted the design to be a sun because I wanted to show the idea of everyone being able to express themselves in the daylight, in the open (in addition to their home or wherever they are) – to be able to express themselves and who they love and everything,” said Barsha, who identifies as gender fluid.
As part of the program, teens work with PopSockets designers and leaders from the design process all the way to marketing their product to customers.
Lilly=, another program participant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia, says the PopSockets design team was a huge help in her creative process and brainstorming for potential ideas.
“I like to work by myself usually, and I’m more creative when I’m by myself, but when I worked with Jen [my mentor] it was surprisingly comfortable and it gave me a lot of ideas,” she said. “We would talk about more than business, and about how people have trouble coming out and it was really inspiring.”
Lily’s design features a Black hand and a white hand coming together to create a heart shape with flags from different communities in the background. Lilly has seen the difficulties people face in coming out, particularly for members of the Black community, and wanted this design to represent acceptance, no matter the person’s background or skin color.
“Making a PopGrip for the LGBTQIA+ community is one way to not only get my art out there, but also show my support for others in the LGBTQIA+ world,” she said.
The students’ designs, including those from Barsha and Lilly, are now available for purchase on PopSockets.com.