We had the honor of chatting with fellow Portlander, creative, and artist Jo, founder/jeweler extraordinaire of OZMA Autonomy! She recently created the Clit Hitch, an eco-friendly replacer for the classic Truck Nuts using our Clone-A-Pussy Kit!
Hi, Jo! Where do you currently call home? (Also, do you want to be referred to by your brand name or first name?)
First name is fine! Sometimes people call me OZMA because they recognize my business as me. I live on the West coast; I typically have two locations I live between. I don’t disclose my exact locations because my abuser periodically stalks me. It’s super fun, not!
How have you been practicing self-care / self-love during these trying times?
Yes! A lot of it actually, mostly via curating my personal space like my living room area and bedroom. My partner and I upgraded to a king-sized bed, and I finally got a dreamy haircut.
The origin story of OZMA Autonomy is super cool! Can you tell us a little bit more of your inspiration behind the brand and how it came to be?
Ozma is the lost princess of the Emerald City from the original Wizard of Oz books, however, I was mostly inspired by the 1989 film adaptation called Return to Oz starring Fairuza Balk. Ozma is technically the first account of a transgender person in American literature, which is pretty cool! In 2012 I was sitting on my living room floor in a poorly furnished 4 bedroom apartment with an ex and our two roommates. We were mulling over what I should name my business. Ultimately I settled on OZMA autonomy. I’ve actually thought about changing my business name to a T.rex song title or reference however, OZMA is the perfect four-letter name. It fits perfectly on my jewelry!
We are absolutely obsessed with your newest piece, the Clit Hitch! How did you come up with the idea for this product?
I was living part-time in a one-of-a-kind K5 Blazer with a weird little custom camper shell someone else built until one day it burned down on the side of a highway due to a transmission fire. It was a sight. I immersed myself in this small chevy community, often coming across misogyny and dudes waving confederate flags, eventually discovering Truck Sluts Magazine. I just sat down and was like, ‘truck nuts, they’re so dumb but so funny. How can I combat misogyny in the truck community?’ And then I just decided I was gonna clone my friend's pussy, she was actually very excited when I put the word out that I needed a friend's chocha!
What was the process like creating the Clit Hitch?
The emotional process of creating it is that I’m a cheeky person and all my friends are really fun, so that aspect of the ride has been great. I reached out to ya’ll at Clone a Willy and got a kit, and we took it from there! After I got the neon pink mold of my friends pussy made I took it to my studio and made another mold from alginate. I melted down some wax and poured that into the alginate mold. From there, it was carved into the heart shape, with small roses added around the labia and whaazaaa THE CLIT HITCH. Not quite; it had to be mailed to my casting company for a mold and brass pour. After receiving the metal pieces back I have to saw off metal sprues, grind, sand, oxidize, and polishing it.
Do you find that studying/sculpting a vulva for the Clit Hitch affected your own self-image/self-acceptance?
Hmmm, no, I don’t think so. I’ve almost always been comfortable in my body, especially when I was surrounded by my wierdo friends, and my friends are a huge part of the support system that keeps my business running. I went to a charter High School for the arts and put in a few years of college, so it's pretty normal to see nude bodies of all kinds. Never felt the need to compare my body to anyone else's.
What’s next for OZMA Autonomy?
Oooh, so much. I am trying to get my business off the ground, again, and make it my full-time income. That means creating new collections. I’ve never been good at keeping up with the structure of the fashion industry so I’m still figuring it out. I just purchased my second K5 Blazer to build out over the spring and summer so I can feel comfortable again. My last one had a studio in it. It housed me and my dogs on work trips and adventures, which made everything so much more comfortable.
Have there been any silver linings when it comes to your art projects during the Pandemic?
In the beginning yes, my life has often been inconsistent and I have always relied on side hustles. I’ve learned to roll with the punches so it forced me to sit down and photograph more of my work to share. Sales were amazing last year, now it's kinda slowed down and I’m having a ton of set backs as far as creating. This time of year is usually slow for me, so it’ll be fine! Hoping I can get organized and regroup my work patterns.
What are you looking forward to most in 2021?
Getting my shit together, haha! I have a lot of organizing to do behind the scene, rebuilding, and just getting to a more consistent flow. I’m very much a future-oriented person, and I am trying to be more present with the “now”.
Our brand is all about self-exploration and admiring how unique each and every one of us are! What is your favorite thing about yourself? You can pick more than one ;)
Oh gosh, I like being an outcast. Like I am very much a social person, but I also really am happy in isolation. My family is full of black sheep, but I am the biggest black sheep of them all. I am a doer, I dive headfirst into most things, and while it's been very clumsy at times, I’ve led myself to some amazing adventures because of my drive. So I suppose I appreciate my 'against the grain' attitude. Oh, and my hazel eyes. Most of my biological family members have them too :)