How It All Started

How It All Started

Ever since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to do was create. I would find a needle, some thread, some old curtains, and a pair of scissors and start cutting and sewing until I made something that I thought was functional. This would usually be in the form of doll clothes, dog Halloween costumes, tote bags and pillows. These items started off miserably ugly, but I was proud of them nonetheless. My grandmother had a sewing machine, and while I was never given permission to use hers, I always imagined the kinds of things I could make if only I had one for myself. 

One Christmas I got a toy sewing machine and began a journey that would bring me here. I never had any proper sewing lessons and everything I did had to be authentic to me. Anything that someone else told me I should do immediately became erased from my mind if I did not come up with it first. I was stubborn and determined to learn my own ways. I somehow knew that I would never be successful if I followed someone else's path. I began selling my own handmade creations to family members and at craft fairs as a teenager and soon realized I had a gift that I could share with the world. 

Example of doll clothes I used to sell at craft fairs

But somehow I would never be satisfied with simply selling handmade items without an intention to make a difference in the world. I first learned about the dangers of conventional consumerism in high school and the destruction that it causes to the environment. I have always had a love for nature and I could never detach my creativity from its consequences to the environment. 

My college career began with me studying fashion design, but something about that profession did not sit well with me. I already had sewing skills, and I never intended to be a part of the high fashion world, as I knew it was flawed and conventional practices involved in it were hurting the earth. My love for the planet brought me to the conclusion that I would study environmental biology and do something that would allow me to make a positive impact on the environment, which I cared so much about. 

My time studying environmental biology was no easy feat, as I have never had what I considered to be the brain of an intellectual. But I used my creative skills to get me through the math and science, took advantage of all of my resources, and got through it with a deeper understanding of how humans impact the world. I carried this knowledge with me to become a science teacher so that I could fill gaps in education where students were missing out on knowing about how they impacted everything that gives us what we need to survive on our lonely, fragile planet. Sustainability became my main focus and the driving force for everything that was to come in my life. But my creative desires have never failed me, which has brought me to a place where I have decided to integrate my two major interests, nature, and art. 

I believe that as humans, we should be free to express ourselves through the items that we purchase, what we wear, and the choices that we make. For me, this means purchasing sustainably-made, ethical, and non-toxic goods that enhance the beauty of the world around me while allowing future generations to experience even more of the beauty that this world has to offer than we have today. Our planet and everything inhabiting it is a gift that we should allow to flourish. Supporting small, sustainable businesses such as Painted Elephant Art allows customers to give back to the planet while enjoying the treasures that humans have to offer each other through their creative skills. 

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