It's getting to where every drag performer is selling their wares today. But for one of St. Louis’ best queens, when it came time for merchandise, it wasn't the same old t-shirts everyone else has done. It was time for something different, something unique.
Siren, the fabulous queen of everything not the norm, has created a line of prayer candles with her bearded “holy” visage on them, good for “prayer or queer home furnishing” as the candles themselves say. I sat down with Siren to talk about the genesis of her merchandise, the reaction and what’s next.
Matt Jamieson: What inspired you to make merchandise now?
Siren: Merch is something I've wanted and meant to do for a long time now. But every time I’d start to brainstorm, I'd get stuck in a t-shirt design rut. Only to ultimately realizeI didn't really want to do t-shirts. Plus with the changes in my life/drag this past year, I gotta keep myself relevant despite working intentionally outside of the "gay bar circuit.”
MJ: When did you decide it was gonna be prayer candles and why?
Siren: I actually cannot put my finger on the moment. It’s something that had been rolling around in my brain for awhile though, and just had to commit and make it happen. I basically woke up one day and was like “ok, let's do this.” As for why, I wanted merch no one had done before and something that spoke to my interests. I'm a big fan of religious iconography and the occult, so it was a great fit for me. And while people have definitely done the concept of putting celebrities on prayer candle in this style, I’m pretty sure no one has done them strictly as self-promotional merch, especially not in the drag world.
MJ: How has the reaction been? How many candles have you sold, to date?
Siren: The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s my second biggest internet impression to date (the first being Kenadie [St. James], [Princess] Dianal, and I's photo as the Sanderson Sisters at Halloween last year.) I've sold close to 100 now, with orders rolling in sporadically but consistently. Mostly locally, but I've definitely sent a few to both coasts already.
MJ: Do you have any other merch planned for the future?
Siren: No solid plans, but I'm toying with a few other ideas in my head. If anything I might explore some new directions with prayer candles before moving to something completely new.
Siren’s prayer candles cost $10 individually or three for $25, and can be found on her Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SirensDragCandles