I attended the University of Northern Iowa and I majored in oil painting, but I enjoy working in all areas of the creative arts. I worked as a gallery assistant at the Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo, Iowa where I gave tours and helped children make arts and crafts. As of June 1st, 2012, I’ve decided to commit myself full time to my ever expanding vegan makeup line, Pumpkin and Poppy Vegan Cosmetics. It was a tough decision, as I did enjoy some aspects of working in a mueseum and with kids, but I feel driven and passionate about my business. I’m a perfectionist and need to be able to commit 110% to whatever I do. I’m passionate about creating cosmetics items that are not only not tested on animals, but are also vegan.
Why I Started ‘Veggie Beauty': I’ve been passionate about animals ever since I was little. I used to want to be a veterinarian, but I realized that I wasn’t very gifted in the sciences. When I got to college, I re-evaulated the way I thought about the “all American diet” and discovered an emotional connection between the meat on my plate and the beautiful creatures I loved and admired in nature. I was vegetarian for 4 years, but I never felt comfortable with eating cheese after I became aware of what happens to animals in factory farms. I decided to commit to going vegan on January 1, 2011, and I haven’t regretted a moment of it. I feel so much better about myself…I don’t have the guilt and baggage that comes with contributing to animal cruelty.
I started Veggie Beauty on youtube in June of 2010 because I didn’t see many active beauty bloggers covering the very important issue of using cruelty-free products. I wanted to share what I learned with others since I knew the research would be very tedious and I wanted it to go to good use. Its a lot of work, but its worth it knowing that we can help save thousands of animals a year by the small, little everyday choices we make as consumers. I’m not going to say its easy, or that I haven’t wanted to give up occasionally; it is so difficult when companies aren’t transparent and honest with us.
The cruelty-free movement will only work if caring consumers do the right thing and raise awareness. Together, we really can and do make a difference in ending cosmetic animal testing. There are no 100% accurate lists out there right now because its difficult to stay on top of corporate buy-outs, 3rd party testing, misleading ‘cruelty-free’ statements. That’s why its so helpful to have an interactive forum like Veggie Beauty. I encourage everyone who enjoys Veggie Beauty to do their own research and share it with all of us. Lets be the voice for animals who can’t speak up for themselves!