A story of INTENTION
I've been thrifting as a hobby since I was little. My mom and I went out hunting for treasures usually once a week. I've known for years that if I didn't somehow turn my shopping habit into a business, I was wasting time and money. And accumulating too much stuff. Even the dress in this photo is thrifted.
As an adult, I have found a few outlets to channel my thrifting into specific art. Jewelry has been my favorite so far. When I realized there was interest in my pieces, I began using my free time to make earrings with the intent to start a business.
I knew from the beginning I would make all of the metal gold-toned. It is a warm and happy metal that symbolizes not just prosperity and grandeur, but the divine and the sun itself.
The gold is a base for feminine and funky earring designs that are all unique, but with similar attributes. Using thrifted items guarantees individuality in each pair of earrings. I never make the same pair twice, simply because it is quite difficult to make two like pairs. I use random small-batch beads and charms that I find in local thrift stores and fair trade bead suppliers. I focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling as much as possible.
I have focused on small local businesses to support my community. The shops I frequent are either family-run, fair trade, or benefit a charity, such as Senior Thrift that gives their profits to Island Senior Resources, and WAIF which benefits the Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation.
This brings me to why I chose the company name.
Meet the cat
behind the name
When my grandma turned 80 I knew she needed a cat. In her birthday card I gave her a coupon for one black cat named Phoebe.
Phoebe is not just my grandma's cat, she is my cat as well. I have lived with them off and on for six years. She is one of the sweetest and loudest cats I have ever known. Phoebe will come running down the hall if I call for her, all excited for a snuggle and lots of headbutts. Sometimes she will jump on my back and stay there as I walk around the house. She also wakes me up at 6:30 every morning by screaming at my door. I can't imagine life without her now.
Since adopting Phoebe, I have learned that black cats are often left in shelters much longer than other cats. Most people are familiar with black cat superstitions, but many don't know that this causes stigma which keeps them from good homes. Some shelters hold fundraisers or give coupons just to boost black cat adoption. Many photographers have made projects out of the problem. There are more black cats in shelters than any others, and it is most often the black kittens in a litter that are left as last pickings.
I believe that a good business gives back to its community to promote overall social prosperity. I choose to give back to the Phoebe's of the world. Every year I will donate 5% of my profits to the Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation, in honor of black cats everywhere.
Their Cat Cottage does a wonderful job for their felines. Even if the black cats are not adopted or must stay longer than others, they will be supported by the food, medicine, and love through the modest donation that Black Cat Earrings can give.