This week's interview is with Heather of Holistically Heather, For The Love of Vegan, Recycled Cycle and Vegan Samples.
How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?
I chose the name holisticallyheather because I though it had a nice ring to it, and I planned on selling all different organic and eco friendly items
What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?
I started my shop up to sell reusable menstrual pads, and I started making them because I wanted a way for them to be available for people who dont have the option to buy them in a co-op near by. I also hadnt seen many organic or fair trade pads out there, actually none hah, so I thought it would be a great new alternative. After a while I started branching off and selling bath and body, organic lavender sleepy pillows, wet bags for reusable pads/diapers, business card holders, cramp pillows, zines, and anything else my brain dreams up at the time.
Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?
I donate to animal sanctuaries on a regualar basis and we also cook for Food Not Bombs at our house. Food not bombs is a vegan/vegetarian free meal for folks in a park in downtown utica, we use reclaimed and wasted food from the area to prepare healthy meals for those who would normally be eating meat soups and meat sandwiches at the local shelter. Food Not Bombs is all over the world, you can definitely find one in your area! Food Not Bombs is also usually the first relief group to show up after natural disasters and start handing out food and helping people.
What are some of your favorite things about etsy?
I love etsy!!! I love supporting super tiny independent crafters, its so much more fun than going to walmart and getting some sweatshop labor junk. The best thing, you can find anything you ever imagined, right on etsy. I have also made many sweet friends and met many people that are easy to learn from and have great tips.
Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?
I have thought about possibly starting up my own website, but for now I am on etsy...and happy. I did recently start an artfire account, but that is slow slow slow. http://www.holisticallyheather.artfire.com/
Have you been featured anywhere?
I have had interviews and features on various blogs, and a couple of customers even reviewed my items on their blogs! My other etsy shop, Vegan Samples, was recently featured on an etsy advertising website and blog!
Do you have any future plans for your shop?
Well, we are hoping to start a sanctuary in the semi-near future so I would love to open up a shop to help benefit the sanctuary. When and if all of that happens I plan to sell some seeds and seed kits from my garden, which I will do whether I open another shop or not. As far as for this shop, I just go with the flow and create whatever is on my mind at the time. Things are always changing and growing, so check back often :)
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?
This is a good question! I love spending my time outdoors, hiking, bicycling, gardening, collecting and eating wild edibles, nature walks. This summers goal is to learn 10 new wild edible plants, and eat a diet of 20-30% wild edibles. Last summer we only could manage about 10% of wild edibles, so we are hoping to keep learning more and more! I love to read, and I am always down to trade recommended reading lists with people! I really love sewing and creating new things, fixing up old clothing etc. and I find knitting to be very relaxing. Guerilla gardening is also something that is really fun, but thats definately a seasonal love of mine. This year we are hoping to spread the joy of veggies and flowers all over this run down abandoned city...all while riding our bikes! I guess that is me in a nutshell :)
Do you have any animal companions?
We have 2 silly little dog friends. Penney I have had since she was 5 weeks old, she was the runt of her litter and noone wanted her, possibly some sort of abuse in her past. She is super cute, I dont even know how to explain her cutesy quirks, and sassy tude! Then there is Carmel, our new addition to our family. Carmel has a lot of emotional problems and issues with abandonment, which if I had his past life I would too! So, we are making sure to give Carmel lots of smooches and reassurance! I also have a one eared kittie named Shane, that crawled through the window of an abandoned building I was squatting in. My grandfather fell in love with Shane and she has lived with my grandparents even since!
Do you have any websites besides your shop that you would like to tell us about?
Sure thing...it will be quite a list for various projects!
http://www.fortheloveofvegan.etsy.com/ vegan baked goods and novelty chocolates
http://www.myspace.com/holisticallyheather my myspace
my latest project: vegan sample bags
http://www.vegansamples.etsy.com/ vegan sample bags, great for promoting your shop
http://www.vegansamples.blogspot.com/ you can stop by and vote for which animal sanctuary will receive the first donation
http://www.vegancraftsamples.com/ our official website
I think those are all of my websites and advertisements hahah
How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?
When I was growing up, my sisters and I were all huge animal lovers, and my parents were too but not like us. My parents lied and lied to us every time we ate food, telling us that it wasnt real meat, that is was meat special made for animal lovers. When I was about 12, I smelled liars, and I called them out, and my dad was all mad and yelled at me for "ruining it" for my younger sisters. That was the last day I ever ate meat, and shortly after I read about dairy production and cut out dairy. It has been smooth sailing, especially since I learned how to actually cook. Veggie burger veganism is part of my past, but it wont be part of my future hahah
Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?
Some vegan bands that I love: gather, 7 generations, contravene, propaghandi
some awesome websites
What are your favorite foods?
This is such a hard question to answer, I LOVE SNACKS!
I love vegan cupcakes, especially from The Cupcake Mint, I got some strawberry ones yesterday and they were amazing. I love portabella and cheeze pasta, cast iron pizzas, raw salads, raw spring rolls with raw teriyaki I could go on and on about food, so lets just say, if its vegan and not too greasy I probably love it!
Is there anything else you would like to add or share?
Indeed there is
I would like to share a video from one of my favorite vegan bands
Contravene. The song is called, in the name of convenience and it is about animals as profit.