Sunday, August 23, 2009

Interview-Strange and Violent

Todays interview is with Erika of Strange and Violent.

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?

I have been a member of Etsy since January 2009. The name for my shop, Strange and Violent, actually comes from an interview with Jeff Goldblum right around the release of Jurassic Park. A reporter asked him what he thought the world would be like if dinosaurs actually did come back, and he paused thoughtfully before answering "strange... and violent." My boyfriend told me this story and I thought it was pretty funny, and I kind of liked the combination of those two powerful words.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start
creating them?

My top-selling items are my reusable cotton flannel menstrual pads. I was first inspired to start making them years and years ago when I had trouble justifying the price of reusable pads in the health food store. Friends became curious and started asking questions, and were so happy with the pads I made for them that I decided to try my hand at selling them!

In general, I also like to create functional designs with sustainability in mind. I try to create objects from recycled or salvaged materials, or objects from new materials that can be reused over and over again in order to minimize personal waste. A lot of my goods are created out of curiosity and experimentation- sometimes I don't really know what I'm doing, I just let the process take over.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

I'm happy to say I volunteered at (and baked for) the San Francisco Vegan Bakesale, which raised $3,000 for two different animal charities a few months ago!

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

I love that Etsy is an accessible platform for artists of all skill levels, backgrounds, and locations to showcase their wares and introduce themselves to a wide audience.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

At the moment, my pads are only available online or at the Biofuel Oasis filling station in Berkeley, CA. I also make one-of-a-kind knit hats for Herbivore Clothing Company in Portland, OR out of recycled damaged T-shirts; I have a new batch arriving there soon! I am also in talks to sew one-of-a-kind aprons to be sold on the Post Punk Kitchen website. Keep your eyes peeled!

Have you been featured anywhere?

Only in other awesome Vegan Etsy Team members' treasuries!

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

More pads in more cute patterns, and a lot more glassware! I put out a request among my friends to collect empty kombucha bottles for me to clean, etch, and re-purpose. I didn't count on my friends being such kombucha freaks- I have at least three dozen waiting to be etched now! Ideas for slogans are welcome, I have plenty of canvasses!

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

I quite like sewing and being crafty in general- at the moment I'm fixing a half-finished vintage dress I bought for myself from a thrift store in Stockholm. I also love reading and film, and of course eating lots of delicious vegan food!

Do you have any animal companions?

Yes! I have had Molly, an 8 year-old boxer/pug (bug) mix for just over a year now. She is adorable, hilarious, sassy, and loving, and has the world's most awesome lopsided underbite to boot!

Do you have any websites besides your shop that you would like to tell us

I do a weekly (well, usually) podcast named The Cosmopolitan Hour with my awesome ladybro Jordan Pattern. We talk about a range of stuff from the absolutely absurd to the very serious through a feminist vegan lens. I'm making it sound far more distinguished than it is- it's basically us making silly noises for an hour.

How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

I've been vegan for nine and a half years now, and I'm planning a big party for my ten year veganiversary! I went vegan after reading Carol Adams' The Sexual Politics of Meat. I was lucky to have a supportive network of vegan friends, and at the time I was living in Philadelphia, which has a lot of vegan options and vegan culture.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

I have a million favorite vegan things, and I'm terrified I will forget one. My favorite vegan websites are the Post Punk Kitchen, Suicide Food, The Urban Housewife, Too Vegan To Function, and Vegansaurus. Favorite store is Herbivore of course!

What are your favorite foods?

Seriously, how long do you have, cause I could go on forever! I love Indian food, especially South Indian food. I also like Japanese- Cha-Ya in Berkeley and San Francisco are amazing. I also love some good old-fashioned junk food, which is why deep-fried battered seitan and french fries or hellfish tacos at Weird Fish in SF are awesome. Don't forget the beer!

Is there anything else you would like to add or share?

Thanks for this opportunity, and Team Vegan Etsy rules!


veganessa said...

Thanks for doing this interview, it's very interesting.

melissa bastian. said...

Wonderfully well-spoken interview Erika! And your tenth veganiversary is definitely something to celebrate. You should send us pictures!