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crafts with a purpose: Daughter Earth

I started Daughter Earth about three years ago with my sister. Our goal is to raise awareness of endangered species and habitat conservation through design. We focus on fun and original surface design that we use to create our products. We really like going out and working hands on with organizations that are protecting wildlife.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? I work in fashion and I’ve always been interested in conservation. I was seeing animals in fashion & home goods becoming more and more popular. I saw this as an opportunity to spread awareness and raise money for wildlife conservation. I had that idea in my head for quite some time; then, back in early 2007, I went to Borneo to volunteer with orphaned orangutans. Once I got back I couldn’t really think about much else. I wanted to start a business to help endangered wildlife.

I quit my day job for about 6 months to get things started. I built my website, made a few products and started to do some shows. I soon realized I did not have the money or experience I needed to really built the business as quickly as I would have liked, so I went back to work. I am lucky to have a creative job that I love, but it is really hard to balance a day job with Daughter Earth. It’s exhausting working and having your own business. I always want to be working on Daughter Earth. I rarely have time to do anything fun because I feel like I need to spend every spare moment working on my business.

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them? -Ha! I definitely enjoy coming up with ideas more than executing them. It’s a constant battle for me. As soon as I start one project I get all these new ideas I get excited about and then I have a hard time following through on the execution of the original project. I have a really hard time juggling all my ideas!

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? Best – There are people who get a huge smile on their faces when they see our booth at a craft show. You can tell that our product excites them. Seeing that reaction is a great feeling for me, and it helps to keep me motivated. I also love it when I get to send a check to the conservation organizations I work with.  Worst – No free time! I am always, always working! There is never enough time to finish everything I want to do.

What are your creative influences? I love color and pattern. I am inspired by many different kind of arts. I love the nabis, fauvists and most post-impressionist painters. In fashion, I love Tsumori Chisato and Marc Jacobs. I love animation and animation concept work, especially the work of Mary Blair. It’s great because with modern day technology you can see work by artists from all over the world. There are so many great contemporary artists and crafters that inspire me. At this moment, I am loving the work of Husmann Tschaeni, Leah Duncan, Mocchi Mocchi, Sandra Deickmann, Yukari Miyagi, Jill Bliss, Apak, Leah Duncan, Julia Pott, AyaTakano and Jennie Smith.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your business or craft practices? Stay organized. Keep it simple. Start small. (If only I could follow my own advice.)

How do you stay inspired? Everything inspires me, from the way the water collects on the shower doors and the shape of some gum stuck to the sidewalk to more conventional sources like magazines and blogs. I am always reading about wildlife and conservation. I am constantly looking at books, magazines and blogs. I always try to make it to interesting museum shows. I am constantly coming up with new ideas. Inspiration comes easy! Editing, prioritizing and finishing all of my projects is more of a struggle for me!

Use coupon code JPOP25 to receive 25% off (valid through September 30th, 2010). You have to enter the code on the individual products before adding them to your cart. Sale items and promotional items are excluded.


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