Sunday, January 24, 2010

Member of the Week: Cards & Jewelry by Michele!

This week's VET Member of the Week is Michele of Cards & Jewelry by Michele. You'll find that this shop holds a wonderful combination of intriguing paintings, striking photographs and other fine art, and simply adorable bobbles. Let's hear from Michele in her own words:

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?
I have been selling on Etsy for about 3 years. I'm still trying to come up with a creative shop name that fits. ;) I will love ideas!

I sell custom animal portraits, cards and prints of my paintings and photography, and jewelry/accessories made with vintage and recycled findings. I am inspired by my love of animals and nature in all of my creations, and hope to pass on the love and respect I feel for them to others.

I run Etsy for Animals: Artists Helping Animals and give at least 10% of my shop sales to our animal charity of the month. I also have items listed with 50% or 100% to the Etsy for Animals charity of the month and other charities. In addition I have items listed with 100% to charity in these wonderful shops: Hearts for Haiti, Vegan Craft Samples, Handmade 4 Hounds, and Brynn Alex. I also love donating handmade items to animal charity auctions and fundraisers.

What are some of your favorite things about Etsy?
I love that you can truly find anything you can think of, handmade, and know that it wasn't made in a factory with workers being paid minimum wage. It's so wonderful to be able to find unique, artistic, amazing things on Etsy! I especially love finding items helping charity; it's great to shop for a cause! I also love the communities I have become a part of with my teams, uniting with other animal lovers, vegans, veggies, and eco-friendly artists/crafters. It's great, and helps me feel connected to others with similar ethics.

Do you sell your items outside of Etsy, either online or in retail shops?
I sell in craft fairs once in a while, and sell my jewelry in this wonderful DIY boutique/art gallery in San Francisco, CA called Needles & Pens.

Have you been featured anywhere?
How long have you been vegan, and what made you go vegan?
I have been vegetarian since I was 13, which is 16 years, and vegan for 12 years. I became veg and vegan because of my love for animals. I try to live my life in the most compassionate way possible for animals, and that means being vegan. ;0) The moment that really switched on my "vegan switch" was when I was 17 and saw the film Baraka; I saw the male baby chicks being ground up alive, as a byproduct of the egg industry. I then started thinking about leather and meat and how all animal products cause suffering.

I went to a farm/arts boarding school at the time, and had a chance to spend time with, connect with, and photograph/draw/paint the amazing, beautiful farm animals there. I started researching factory farming, and did a final project and gallery exhibition incorporating a long research paper about the cruelty and environmental impact of factory farming. It also incorporated paintings, photography, and collages inspired by the animals at The Putney School and my feelings against factory farming.

What are your favorite foods?
Avocado, Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent soy ice cream, vegan pesto, tofu and mushroom tempura, rice, salad... soy lattes, mango, tahina, hummus, seitan...

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?
I'm currently reading and love Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's so great, and amazing for the animals that it's selling so well and getting such great publicity, such as on Oprah! I also love all of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's books. I can't wait to read The Face on Your Plate; I loved When Elephants Weep and The Pig Who Sang to the Moon. I also love Veg News magazine, and Pangea.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?
I love walking in nature, especially with our foster seeing eye pup, Whiskey, and like to go to the gym and do yoga. I'm getting better with my vegan baking and cooking, and am trying new recipes. I love painting and making jewelry for my shop and for auctions helping animals.

Do you have any animal companions?
My husband and I have two adopted kitties. I adopted Moses from the Feral Cat Foundation in CA, and we adopted Tala together from the Be'er Sheva SPCA here in Israel, where we currently live (my husband is Israeli). We are also fostering the cutest, sweetest, most amazing seeing eye puppy, Whiskey, for a year; it has been wonderful.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?
I will be making and listing new jewelry and pins soon, and as always I will be using vintage/recycled materials. I will also be adding more of my artwork and photography as cards and prints.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I love Vegan Etsy!

;0) Michele


Anonymous said...

Here's why Jonathan Safran Foer is going vegan! Check out this informative and inspiring video.

melissa bastian. said...

The video linked to by our anonymous poster contains some fallacies and makes veganism out to be MAGIC.

While clearly I do believe that veganism is a great life choice for many reasons, I also feel that this type of video is propaganda, and by showing such an idealistic and one-sided view it is not doing all that much to help our cause or educate people. And - sorry - it's also boring.

As to Foer - I believe he has stated that he is working on "transitioning to veganism" - yes, for many of the reasons that are covered in the video. I also quite enjoyed his book as a highly personal and emotional account of the current food industry that also provides an enormous volume of facts. :)

mvegan said...

Thank you so much to Melissa for posting this wonderful write up! ;0) I feel so lucky to be a part of this wonderful team! Michele

Vegan Dog's Life said...

Great interview, Michele!

Pennie said...

Hi Michele,

What a wonderful interview. Love your artwork-you have great talent and are such a kind and giving person.

Take Care,

Scarlet of Moms Wear Your Tees. com said...

Nice blog!

Dina said...

Enjoyed the interview!