Made In Dorchester: Bears

…dotted by Leslie

My little dude in his Dot Bear hoodie

We moved to Dorchester 7 years ago , leaving a sleepy little seaside village south of Boston in an effort to alleviate my dreaded hour  plus commute to my job at Boston magazine.  Quickly we found ourselves embraced by this thriving community of civic leaders, educators, artists and writers. It became increasingly clear to us why families stay for generations and why new businesses and restaurants were popping up all over town.

So, you’ll understand why I’ve developed a surprisingly fierce devotion to my ‘hood, right? Ready to show the world (or at least my friends in J.P.) my devotion other than ‘liking’ Dorchester on Facebook got me thinking. So, this past summer I went on the prowl for  ‘Dorchester is the Best’ townie t-shirts for my kids ages 2 and 4,  leading me to a neighborhood silk screen shop.

Nada. Zip. Zilch.

The smallest ‘child’ sized shirt they had in stock was large enough for a petite woman. And worst of all: the shirts said ‘Dot Rat’. Now, listen, I love my town, but I’m not really an advocate for calling our kids ‘Dot Rats’. They’re cuter than that, right? I wanted stylish, funky and fun  shirts. Lucky for me, I’d been introduced to Sierra Rothberg: a creative Dorchester mama, teacher, artist, self-proclaimed ‘Maker of Mischief’ and owner of the funky clothing company Planet Goga. Sierra and her talented sister, Vienna, not only silkscreen fun t-shirts, sweatshirts and clothing for adults and children alike, but they also work with my favorite material: felt.  Their scarves, hats and accessories are so original and special that you can’t help but to pick each one up and immediately try it on.

Maybe it was the wild Caribbean floats in the Dorchester Day Parade or a pineapple shake and fresh spring rolls at Pho 2000 this summer, who knows. Lucky for us, Sierra’s pride for her ‘hood spurred her creative energy to produce some absolutely adorable Dot Bear t-shirts, sweatshirts and onesies. My own two baby Dot Bears wear the sweatshirts proudly as they zip around the neighborhood on their new scooters. And you should know, the onesies make great gifts for Dorchester’s newest generation.

Sierra will have a table at the upcoming Winter’s Market (brought to us by The Dorchester Community Food Co-op)  in Codman Square on January 8th from 12-3pm. You can also buy Dot Bear wear at Ashmont Cycles and Cedar Grove Gardens.

Cheers to Bears  and not Rats!

Sierra at work in her Dorchester studio

– Leslie

5 thoughts on “Made In Dorchester: Bears

  1. Sandra

    Thanks for sharing this story! So many hidden gems in the Dorchester and Roxbury communities – time to let them shine!

  2. dotrat

    Dot Bears? Really? OMG Dot Rats are adorable! Don’t break tradition Dottie! I like your site too much 😉


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