Interview presentation by Kylie of SilentLotus
Meet Debbie of Etsy's Dkany
Etsy is a unique blend of artists with many different creative styles and approaches. What is your own "philosophy" or approach to creativity?
I started making jewelry with animal rights messages 2 years ago. I was sick of wearing message T- Shirts . I wanted something pretty, but felt guilty not sending the Vegan message out everyday. I started looking at craft sites for different ideas, bought books on how to make jewelry, and started from there. I made my first Vegan necklace and wore it to work. I am a registered nurse, and while I was caring for a patient she asked, "What does Vegan mean?" I was wondering how she knew I am Vegan, then remembered about my necklace. I then proceeded to educate her on Veganism. I realized that jewelry is a great way to spread the Vegan message all the time and to be fashionable doing it.
What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
I sell Vegan/Animal Rights jewelry and buttons.
What are your creative inspirations?
I want to be a voice for the voiceless.
How did you get started creating?
I love surfing around Etsy and seeing all the other great artists, as well as other crafty websites.
What other artistic tendencies do you have? Do you have other crafty/artsy skills that you already do or would like to try?
I just bought a sewing machine. I would love to make my own clothes one day.
Do you have any other hobbies/interests/passions?
I always dreamed of starting an animal sanctuary, and my dream has come true. I am the president of For the Animals Sanctuary, a not-for-profit organization. We have Herbie and Kevina, our bovines, eight goats, one chicken, six dogs, and nine cats. We have eight acres of land, and lots of love for our babies.
Herbie, our steer, is famous. He jumped off of a slaughter truck in December of 2006, and his escape was on CBS News (watch it on our sanctuary website). I found out that Woodstock Farm Animal sanctuary (WFAS) was rescuing him and needed help finding him a home. We adopted Herbie, and then WFAS told me about Kevina. On December 16th, she was born on a dairy farm, who thought she was a boy- a male bovine's fate is either veal or death. They were drowning the baby boys that day, but lucky for Kevina, she was saved by a worker at the farm. We thought Kevina was a boy, too, so we named her Kevin (namesake of Kevin Kjonaas). The farm thought the umbilical cord was a penis- DUH- so Kevin became Kevina! :)
Herbie and Kevina will be celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary on May 31st. Yes, they got married, and they LOVE each other very much (watch the videos).
How long have you been on Etsy, and are you an Etsy addict? :)
I have been on Etsy since 2007, and YES I am an addict. Whenever I need something I always check Etsy first. I love the craft supplies on Etsy... oh, its very addicting.
Is etsy a large part of your business? How else do you market your work?
Etsy is my only online store. I also attend animal rights conferences to promote my sanctuary and sell jewelry. I sell tons of stuff at the conferences.
How long have you been vegan/vegetarian? How does being veg play into the rest of your life?
I have been Vegan for 6 years, and before that I was a Vegetarian for 20 years. Veganism is my life. When I was Vegetarian, I thought I was really saving animals, and then I read about the milk and egg industry. I realized I was supporting an industry that tortures and murders Animals. It was like a light switch that flipped on, and at that moment I went Vegan.
What is the last recipe you made? What are your food vices or cravings?
Last night I made my famous Vegan potpie with a side salad. The pot pie is made with crescent roll crust and filled with Morning Star Farm's crumbles mixed with brown gravy, mushrooms, Tofutti sour cream, and potatoes. Its super yummy.
I LOVE Veganaise and Campbell's mushroom gravy. I love to tweak recipes and make them Vegan. I love making fruit pies. Last week I made Rhubarb and strawberry pie that's so easy- you just need a frozen Vegan pie-crust, fruit, sugar, and instant tapioca. The recipe is on the back of the instant tapioca box. You will be amazed!
What is your favorite vegan/vegetarian store/restaurant/blog/website?
My favorite sites are Cosmos Vegan Shoppe, Happycow.net, and of course my own sanctuary's website.