This week the Vegan Etsy Team is excited to bring you this great interview with Rachel and Ray of Kenny Co Op, fine purveyors of some of the best vegan candles and 'lip sauce' around.
How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?
Kenny Co Op is Rachel and Ray. Our Name is derived from two things. Kenny was Ray's father's name. We use his name as inspiration, because he was so inspiring to us. We wanted to have a name that could grow with the products that we make. So a Co-Op made sense; we could put different thoughts and ideas under the umbrella of a Co-Op. That's how Kenny Co Op was born. We became members of Etsy in May of 2009 when we opened our shop. It has been incredible so far and we have been so excited and surprised with the great response our shop has received.
What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?
We sell Vegan Candles made with essential oils, and Vegan Lip Sauce. We were inspired to make candles that contained no animal products or petroleum products. We wanted a natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic candle with the benefits of soy and essential oils. Our lip balms are Rachel's baby. Finding a lip balm that doesn't contain animal products, especially bee's wax, was very difficult. So Rachel slaved away at finding the perfect balance of soft and luscious for her lip balms. Trust me, she is addicted to lip balm. She knows what she is talking about. We are basically making stuff we like to use ourselves and sharing it with others.
Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?
We are big supporters of Humane Society of the United States. We also support Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Be on the look-out for our Sea Shepherd Fundraiser Candles coming out soon. We also have our goods in the Vegan Craft Samples bags - 100% of profits from the bags are given to various animal-related nonprofits.
What are some of your favorite things about etsy?
Meeting people with like minded ideas and convictions. Plus there is a ton of cool stuff out there. It is really amazing what goes on inside people's minds and how they are able to bring it to fruition.
Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?
We are lucky to sell our wares at several gift stores and spas. Locally our favorite location is Revival. See us soon at the most awesome local craft fair, Crafty Mart.
Have you been featured anywhere?
We've made it to the Front page of Etsy several times, and we've been on several blogs and websites including Hemp Bath Blog, Art Addict, and Your Daily Vegan.
Do you have any future plans for your shop?
Big plans! Be on the lookout for Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, and Vegan Gift Baskets.
Do you have any animal companions?
Yes, our house is run by three kitties. Princess Cali is the ring leader of the bunch. Dax is the lover who always wants to cuddle. Bernice plays fetch better than any dog around. Our newest member is Karma, a rescue min-pin. Totally daddy's girl.
How long have you been vegan, and what made you go vegan?
We went vegan more than a year ago now. Once you see where food really comes from and how those animals are treated it changes you. People know that animals are slaughtered for food and clothing, but until you actually see it you don't really understand why it is so wrong. I am glad that there are so many undercover investigation videos out there that really do reach people and make them stop denying the cruelty involved in eating and wearing animals.
What are your favorite foods?
We ordered Pitseel's seitan recipe and wow does that stuff disappear fast around here. We love vegan cupcakes, mushrooms (Rachel's absolute favorite food), Tofutti frozen dessert, broccoli, broccoli and more broccoli.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
We want to let everyone know about our good friends at Your Daily Vegan. Check out their site for awesome vegan product reviews and the latest spin on veganism.