Today's interview is with Heather of Scorch.
How did you choose the name of your shop?
In Middle School I wanted to be a fashion designer. It was the mid-eighties, so all of my designs were fantastically poofy, cheesy, bright patterned princess dress abominations of awesomeness. They were like, rad, you know? Scorch was the name I came up with for my fashion label. Now I'm all 'grown up' and have always wanted to find a way to use the Scorch name in an art or craft project, so when I started up on Etsy it seemed like the perfect time.
What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?
I make necklaces from all kinds of salvaged, upcycled, thrifted, and magpied materials. Most of my necklaces have a sort of neo-victorian/steampunk/romantic/baroque kinda thing going on, but sometimes I use bits of circuit boards, hardware, and who-knows-whats resulting in Egyptian Disco, '70s owls, assorted geekery, etc... I've also started making scarves out of vintage men's neckties, thread, paint, and patience. I get inspired to create cool stuff from other people's detritus - I'm the kind of person who would rather remake a tuxedo jacket into a mini-skirt than go to the fabric store and buy a yard of perfect fabric!
Do you do any volunteer work?
I used to, but it's been a while and I miss it! I'm thinking it's time to get my butt in gear and go help the local Humane Society.
What are some of your favorite things about etsy?
How nice most everyone is, how talented, and how dedicated to creating a handmade world. I like watching to see what my friends post in their shops, and how much I chat with those friends about the projects we're working on. And how cool is it that in such an Omnivore centric world, we have an entirely awesome team of vegan crafters on Etsy?
Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?
Not yet. I think I may try finding some boutiques for my Tie Scarves once I have a chance to build up my inventory, but I think my jewelry will stay exclusive to Etsy... If anyone has a compelling argument for me about that one way or the other though, I'd love to hear it!
Do you have any future plans for your shop?
Oh my, yes! More inventory for starters. More necklaces, way more Tie Scarves, and maybe some wrist cuffs? I really need to make a banner that I'm actually happy with. And I need to learn patience when the sales come slow as molasses in winter. That's the hardest part for me!
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?
I love crafting for Etsy, but when I'm not doing that, I'm working on fine art projects with my collaborator. I like having crafts for pure materialism and esthetics, and then also having my art for conceptual and theoretcial exploration as well. Some folks are really talented at integrating all of that together, but for me, it's freeing to keep craft and art separate. I also ride my bike around town, go for walks with my dog, hang out with my vegan husband, eat yummy food with all my vegan friends, and ogle every dog and cat I see around town.
Do you have any animal companions?
I have one orange and white 15yr old cat named Joey that we rescued from my folks when they decided to take him to the pound once they retired. ::shakes fist:: He likes to sleep on my hair at night, and his favorite toy is a plastic stick. We also have a portly dog named Sid that we adopted from the Humane Society. I think he was in some terrier puppy mill, because he had minimal social skills when we first adopted him, and we're still working on not barking at strangers. He's an absolute lover to us though, he pouts like mad if he doesn't get at least one nap a day laying on top of me. As soon as we move to a different apartment we're adopting another cat and another dog so Joey and Sid will have little friends of their own kind.
How long have you been vegan?
I thought I was vegan September of 2002, but it took me another six months or a year to finally give up the honey. I wish I could remember when it was exactly that I finally looked into bees and honey farming and how it is exactly the same as every other kind of exploitation.
What made you go vegan?
It's pretty much the same story everyone else has, I think. I'll give the short version and just say that as far as I'm concerned, Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz should be mandatory reading for vegans. I just realized how important animals were to me, and started researching what I could do for them. The more I read the clearer it became that as important as ecological, habitat, and domestic animal issues are, the only way I can truly work to help the status of animals in society is if I stopped eating their corpses. Slaughterhouse has been very useful research for me. Followed by Animal Rights, A-Z by Gary Francione, and Vegan Freak by Bob and Jenna Torres.
Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?
I love Dino Sarma's cookbook the Alternative Vegan, everything in the Vegan Freak empire including book, podcast, and forums. Food Fight grocery store is awesomeness and they do SO MUCH for the animals and to connect the activist community.
What are your favorite foods?
Mmm, food. I have many favorite vegan foods, and because I'm lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon (aka vegan mecca) there are almost dangerous amounts of yummy dishes at awesome restaurants all over town. If you visit, Portobello restaurant is a mandatory stop. Also, Burritos. I love love 'em. There are just so damn many ways to combine the flavors, plus they're nutritious and cheap! Beans, rice, veggies, yumm. I'm addicted to Miso soup, and I go through phases of insanity with oatmeal. And kale, kale is magical.
Is there anything else you would like to add or share?