Stardust Love is run by artists Hester and Rosanne. It is a great Etsy shop with stunning jewelry and a beautiful heart. A large percentage of proceeds from Stardust Love benefits charities, including many animal charities.
Q: What animal related charities have you helped with your Etsy shop?
We have already made donations to several wonderful animal-related charities.
- We’ve made a donation to the Fund for Animals that financed the medical care of a rescued horse and provided it with two weeks of food.
- We’ve sponsored three bats at Carlsbad National Park, as their population has been dwindling because of drought and pollution.
- We’ve sponsored an Amur leopard through the World Wildlife Fund. Amur leopards are classified as a critically endangered species, and for good reason: it is estimated that 40 Amur leopards are alive in the entire world – including both captive and wild. We wanted to do something to help protect them.
- We have also financed a backpack for a Lion Guardian. Lion Guardians is an organization in Kenya of young men who care very deeply about the survival of Kenyan lions. They are concerned with how the tribes harm the lions when the lions encroach on the livestock, and they work with communities to try to find ways for the lions and tribes to coexist. These young men are all poor subsistence farmers and are trying to protect the lions out of the goodness of their hearts, they go to great personal effort and receive no personal gain. After they’ve worked all day, they walk for many miles at night in order to get to Lion Guardians meetings by the morning, and they each need a backpack to carry supplies and an emergency tracking device. Just to have a new backpack is a lot for them, and aids in their work to protect the threatened lion populations in Kenya.
- And, finally, through Heifer International we’ve financed two hives of honeybees to be raised and brought to poor regions where there is a dearth of honeybees, to help renew the local environment and provide the families with honey and income. We have also financed training for the people receiving the hives, so that the bees will be properly cared for. The recipients have promised to expand the hives over time, and give small starter hives to other local people as a way of continuing to spread the bee population in that region.
Q: I know you've helped a lot of charities. What other charities have you helped?
- We have made multiple donations to support Amnesty International’s work in general, as we feel that the causes of guarding human rights and protecting natural human dignity are some of the most noble there are. We are planning to make continual donations to support their work.
- Through BRAC we have financed the purchase of school supplies for two poor students who would otherwise not have been able to attend school.
- We’ve made a donation to the general work of Children’s High Level Group. CHLG is the organization co-founded by JK Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter books). CHLG is working to provide orphans and other children in institutions with better living conditions.
- Through Friendship Bridge we have financed the purchase of sewing supplies for a woman in Guatemala to start her own home textile business, which will hopefully provide enough extra income for her household that she will be able to send her children to school. Once her business has become established, she has promised to give another woman the means to start her own business as well.
- We’ve made a donation to Women for Women’s work in Afghanistan. Women for Women helps women who are survivors of war and conflict. This organization does whatever they can to help these women recover and start their lives over, including teaching them the skills they need to become artisans and providing them with outlets to sell their crafts so that they are able to support their families.
- We are also currently working towards making donations to the Association for the Children of Ningxia, Baal Dan, Charities Advisory Trust, First Book, Mercy Corps, and Operation Smile, as well further donations to BRAC and Amnesty International, and a donation to provide support for Heifer International’s ongoing relief work after the Sichuan Province earthquake. We will soon be expanding our reach to support medical research as well.
Q: Do you have any pets? If so, please tell me a little about them.
Our family has a long history of being adopted by any dogs and cats that show up in our neighborhood looking for a family, and currently we share our house with six incredible animals: three cats, two dogs, and one fish, whom we have given the innovative name of Fishy. Everybody but Fishy is a rescue. Fishy is a tiny immortal albino bottom-feeder who has outlived all his compatriots and so has a ten-gallon tank all to himself (we don’t want to jinx him by adding anybody else).
Our three cats are Timmy, Pao, and Suma. We caught Timmy when he was just a kitten, along with his mother and brothers, who were more feral than he and now live as the barn cats of a veterinarian in rural Albuquerque. Timmy has always been on the timid side (hence his name) but after ten years of an indulgent life as a house cat he is coming out of his shell more and more, and enjoys sitting on our laps and being petted. Pao was born under a trailer and we adopted him when he was just a wee little thing. Now he is the star of the show and nine out of ten of the pictures we take are of him. He is still a kitten at heart: he likes suckling on towels and blankets and kneading them like a kitten, and he will lie on people’s laps and lick their hands. And last but not least, Suma is our newest arrival. He adopted us the day before a huge snowstorm hit. When we took him in he weighed only four pounds (now he’s a whopping twelve) and the vet believes that his jaw had been broken at one point. Now he’s our genius kitty – he comes when called, is endlessly fascinated by running water, and can open doors and turn on faucets. Our kitties, like those who have come before them, have been a huge enrichment to our lives, and have all become an integral part of our family. It makes us very happy that we have been able to provide them with an environment where their personalities can blossom.
Our two dogs are Jenny and Honey. We rescued Jenny after her abusive previous owner drove her out onto the streets. She had never been properly taken care of and was a very nervous dog. She was even afraid of wearing a halter or collar. She would break through the fence that enclosed the yard and, though she would remain on our property or nearby, wouldn’t come when called and would run away from us if we tried to catch her. It made us very worried for her to be loose so close to busy streets, and I remember spending many days running after her or trying to tempt her back into the yard. She was scared by most everything, and was especially terrified by thunderstorms. If we weren’t home when a storm broke out, she would break through the fence – even after we had made it out of wire intended to be strong enough to contain horses – and once she even swam across the river and was found on the highway across town. Finding Honey a few years later was Jenny’s saving grace. My aunt rescued Honey off the streets and brought her to us. She had been grazed by a car. At first we were hesitant to take in a pit bull, but when nobody would take her, not even the humane society, we decided we would adopt her. Honey has never taken kindly to other dogs, except, for some reason, Jenny. And it has turned out that, when there are no other dogs around, Honey is very stable and steady, and has worked miracles in calming Jenny down. Jenny hasn’t broken out of the yard for years, and has gone from being a nervous, abused and abandoned creature to a dog confident enough to put even a pit bull in her place. Honey and Jenny have become a perfect compliment to each other, each steadying the other, and it looks like the story of these two is going to have a happy ending.
So those are the creatures we share our lives with. We believe that it is our moral duty to take care of stray cats and dogs. We try to live our beliefs. We believe, ultimately, that every creature for whom we can help make life a little better, is a merit to our society and to the world.
Q: What is your favorite item you created that's currently listed in your shop and why?
My favorite piece is an amethyst and Swarovski pearl necklace and earrings set called Prosper. I *love* amethyst and this amethyst is very high grade so I especially love this set. I also like it because, as a vegan and with a completely vegan shop, I try to make pieces of jewelry that offer vegan alternates to non-vegan types of jewelry, and this is a piece where I have been able to do that. But the most important thing is that, from the sale of this necklace alone, I will be financing the supplying of vision-restoring medicine to 50 Africans suffering from River Blindness.