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Meet our founders

Meet our founders

Meet our founders, the original Pathfinders, Luna and Jess.

Luna and Jess moved to Aotearoa New Zealand from Seattle in 2017. They founded Parallel in 2023 to celebrate and share the transformative mana (power) of speculative fiction, provide a platform for outsider voices, and create a community space that is welcoming, warm, and safe for all.

 Luna Lee (they/them)

Co-founder  |  Head Dreamer, Vibe Curator, and Buyer

A multidisciplinary artist and creative force, Luna’s love of speculative fiction began when they read The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper in their tweens—and soon expanded to include authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Naomi Novik, Octavia Butler, Emily St. John Mandel, Kurt Vonnegut, Sascha Stronach, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Tamsyn Muir.

Reading these works, Luna discovered a portal through which they could safely explore their identity as a queer, transgender, and neurodivergent person—and discover alternate realities where the harmful dominant systems of this world simply didn’t exist.

Speculative fiction became a place of sanctuary and provided a way for Luna to imagine a more positive future for their community and the world in which we all live in. 

When Luna’s not engrossed in a story, you can find them throwing pottery, painting, hiking, making kai (food) for friends, or rewatching their favourite comfort shows (Bee and Puppycat, Star Trek, and Steven Universe).
IG: @lunaleolee

Jess (she/her)

Co-founder  |  Head of kawhe (coffee)

A musician and creative tech-head, Jess brings the brews and back-of-house support that keeps Parallel running as smoothly as The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D, of course.)

As a queer, transgender person Jess understands firsthand the importance of safe, welcoming spaces and brings her passion for great coffee and connected community to Parallel.

Jess loves nothing more than getting creative or battling her mates over a competitive tākaro (game). When she's not working on Parallel behind-the-scenes, you can find Jess making music, painting miniatures, or getting lost in a video game.
TW: @thornbarrows

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Hopeful curiosity

What we can imagine, we can create.

Creative expression

Curating beautiful things and joyful experiences.

Inclusive community

Building a place where all belong.