Business & Artist Features | Miseducated

Category Archives: Business & Artist Features

weheartdollskill

I’m feeling like a kitten lost in a carnival of catnip tea and door mice on parade so today I’d like to just enjoy gazing things that would appear to make my closet happier. If you’ve ever visited DOLLS KILL you know just what I mean.

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MADE WITH CODE by google and shape ways

I am really into the MADE WITH CODE project. It’s gorgeous and positive. As a once very young coder (11 years old) I would have exploded confetti to see such a movement on or offline. Have you heard? Shapeways (D printing marketplace and community) and Google (you know.. Google) have teamed up to promote the successful design and innovations (AND CODING!) of girls and women around the globe.

Design & Print a Free 3D Bracelet

Not only is this a gorgeous project but you can also make a 3D bracelet on your computer that Shapeways will print (FOR FREE) with their 3D printer (if you live in the US).

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Join the Code Community

“Today, less than 1% of girls are majoring in CS. Tomorrow, we can make that number go up.” – Made With Code

Get Future Female Coders Involved

Maybe your daughter will be the next big designer? Let her try these adorable projects and have fun together being creative.

Learn More

Made with Code is an initiative to champion creativity, girls, and code, all at once. The movement is designed to do three things: To inspire girls by celebrating women and girls who are using code to do great things; to engage girls to try coding through introductory projects and resources; and to sustain their interest by creating alliances and community around girls and coding.

Join the movement and have fun. We sure are.

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tree

So how did this awesome project begin?

We got inspired to start this online for bloggers after reading a study by Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, who calculated the average amount of CO2 emitted when anyone visits a website. Our corporate sponsor, Retale, is a digital platform for shopping, so the company is already paperless. Retale wanted to address the emissions that come from the internet in efforts to be a truly green company. Not only is planting trees vital to maintaining our environment, but it also actively fights carbon emissions. We figured the simplest way to combat carbon emissions was to try and replant America’s forests together with bloggers.

What has been the most exciting support you’ve received for this project?

The most excited support or situation we’ve had because of this project I think is yet to come. We have only just started collecting participants, although we have done this project in 5 other countries with exciting results. If I count our sister projects, I’d say the most exciting event was the replanting of the Gévezé forest in Brittany, France. With the Arbor Day Foundation, we plant species of trees that are carefully selected according to the location in which they will be planted. We will have more information on the species of trees planted after we send our first round of trees for fulfillment. This is something we’d like to include in the planting update when we get the information from the Arbor Day Foundation.

How can we bloggers get involved?

Bloggers can get involved by writing about our project, spreading the word via social media, and reducing the carbon footprint of their blog by letting us plant a tree for them. The reason why spreading the word is so important is because the more bloggers who agree to participate in the project, the more trees we will plant and the bigger the impact on the environment will be. We need great blogs like Miseducated who have a strong following to set an example for the blogosphere by proactively helping the environment. I think taking a stand to reduce the carbon emissions of Miseducated is absolutely an example of doing what you think is right no matter what others say! Many people don’t realize that CO2 is emitted by websites. They assume because it’s paperless, that there are no adverse effects to the environment, but this is not true. We need to work together to show the blogosphere that a) their blogs are emitting carbon too, and b) they can do something about it.

Where are these trees located?

We make quarterly donations to the Arbor Day Foundation for all the trees we plant to Green Gestures. Right now we are collecting our first 1,000 blogger participants to plant a big batch of 1,000 trees. We plan to update the Green Gestures website with information (and hopefully photos) about where the trees were planted. It depends on where the Arbor Day Foundation has the most need for reforestation. If you’re interested to see which forests they are focusing on this year, you can see a list of national forests on their website here.

Do you have any other environmentally friendly projects we should know about?

The use of paper is related to two major environmental problems: loss of biodiversity and damage to the environment. Paper production contributes to the loss of biodiversity through the destruction of native forests, the expansion of monoculture eucalyptus and pine trees, and high levels of water and energy usage. Paper consumption also generates an enormous amount of trash – much of it is not recycled and ends up in landfills, incinerators, or littering our nation’s landscape. Through our Green Gestures campaign, Retale™ aims to reduce paper consumption (and paper waste) by creating a more sustainable way to shop. With our website and mobile apps, you have instant access to thousands of diverse offers and catalogs from stores near you. Using our digital service means that you can reduce your paper waste by opting out of the weekly ads and catalogs you currently receive in favor of viewing them online.

In addition to providing a digital solution for consumer shopping needs, Retale™ also engages in efforts to help the environment with two initiatives: our “Make a Green Gesture” campaign (described above) and our Sustainable Careers portal. Retale™ also supports the green economy with our Sustainable Careers portal, a virtual service providing specialized listings for environmental and sustainable employment. Through this portal, we aim to help professionals in environmental fields find meaningful employment, and thus contribute to building a society that lives in harmony with the environment.

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joanna

Joanna is a Miseducated Eyecandy Girl through and through! Not only is she obviously adorable but she is a talented and successful business woman who owns and runs her own company filled with cuteness called Maqaroon. She creates jewelry, accessories and art inspired by Japanese fashion and unisex-friendly kawaii. She even blogs on her website and features female bloggers (most recently myself, so honored beyond belief) she feels drawn too in her super sweet, kawaii colorful and unique style of illustration. I am very happy to get a chance to chat with her and to share a bit of her world with all of you.

When did you start focusing on art and design as a hobby or passion and why?

I first discovered manga style when I was 8. I was in a tiny stationery shop in Beijing and found a Sailor Moon card showing all the characters wearing evening gowns. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and became obsessed with wanting to draw like that! I was a very geeky teenager and loved video games, animes and RPGs so drawing fanart fit perfectly into that scene.

When and why did you decide to take it online?

I became very involved in the online manga community (Deviantart, Animexx, Livejournal) during high school because it was a great place to post work, get feedback and stay motivated. During university I learned enough to create a portfolio website and several years after that, after working as a web-designer, I finally had enough experience to design and set up my own online shop.

What is most challenging about starting a business on and offline?

The hardest offline part was finding the right third party contacts who help your business work. These include web developers, event organisers, couriers, photographers, printers, bloggers, financial/tax advisers and countless suppliers in Europe and Asia. Each one involves a financial gamble and you only know if that pays off after you receive the product or service. I invested (or wasted) a lot of money in the process but unfortunately there’s no way around the process as each business is unique and you need to try out everything to find what works for you.

The biggest online challenge is maintaining a constant presence on all your social media, including coming up with relevant, unique and interesting content for each platform and meaningfully interacting with other people. This is a full-time job for most companies, but if you’re doing everything alone then you have to fit it in around all other tasks! I have utmost respect for bloggers/vloggers who manage to post every few days as editing content is so much more time-consuming than anyone could imagine.

What would you tell an artist starting out marketing and selling their work online?

Start with as low quantities of each product as possible, then participate in craft fairs/pop-up markets where you sell a lot in a short space of time. Once you discover what people like to buy, go and design a batch of new things based on the bestselling product or theme. Then repeat with another event, and keep streamlining your products based on sales.

I have to emphasise participating in offline events because I found this was the best way to get a lot of feedback in the shortest space of time. When you first start out, online sales can be incredibly slow so it might take months if not years to get an idea of product popularity and you don’t want to wait that long! Once you know what sells, it will automatically drive your sales up both online and off.

Another good tip for any online shop is to choose light, flat products which are cheap to ship and not easily breakable. And always keep a very close eye on profit margins. I made an early mistake of offering keyrings and items with very small margins (e.g. 2-3 dollars). If I ended up miscalculating shipping by a tiny amount, or having to replace the parcel if it got lost then I would have negated that sale or even made a loss.

Lastly, don’t worry about comparing yourself with other brands or businesses. Just like how people make their lives look shinier on Facebook, a lot of brands may present a successful façade but that’s no reflection on how well they’re actually doing. Some companies simply buy fake Facebook and Twitter followers, others plough tons of loaned money into their start-up but are actually in debt. From talking to many people behind the scenes, I learned that many small businesses that are professionally represented at trade shows are still only being done part-time, and the owner(s) still rely on other sources of income.

So in short, don’t doubt yourself if it appears like everyone else is more successful. Even if you’re selling a few handmade items a month, you could still be making more profit than a shiny start-up with several employees that’s actually being funded by investors or a bank loan. The only thing to focus on is how your business is performing compared to itself, and work on steadily increasing sales. If it does become stuck, then try to change direction, products or audience until you discover what works.

What inspired your brand?

The original inspiration was my overwhelming love for Japanese street fashion. Ever since university, I’d been fascinated by street style and collected a huge amount of research through books, magazines, blogs and two trips to Tokyo. I wanted to create an illustrated resource for all those styles, both for myself and for others so people can see at a glance what the typical characteristics of each one are. This image is actually from the cover of a book pitch but I never heard back from the publisher, so I re-used many of the character designs!

The inspiration behind Maqaroon’s jewellery is a blend of Japanese “sweets deco” scene with classical European design. I live in Vienna, Austria which is a very traditional and baroque city. There are horse drawn carriages all over the streets and people take black tie ball season extremely seriously. There are also tiny boutiques everywhere selling amazingly delicate necklaces and bracelets made out of precious metal and diamonds.

So considering the two big influences in my life, I imagined Maqaroon to be a classy re-design of kawaii style. I wanted to create things that are very cute, but would still fit into an elegant wardrobe or upmarket occasion.

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Where do you find inspiration when you feel exhausted?

I really value spending time with my friends, family and boyfriend. I think when you’re in the presence of people you care about, your mind unblocks easily letting ideas and inspiration flow. I definitely believe in ‘leisure investment’ for creative people i.e. prioritising things which make you happy in order to produce higher quality of ideas/art, which in turn generates more sales. I also love yoga and find it’s an excellent way to reboot you mind & body when you’re stressed.

What is your favorite work to do these days?

I like simple hands-on work the most, which includes making jewellery, gluing boxes, packaging products. This is what I missed most when working as a freelance designer/illustrator because I’d spend 10 hours a day in front of the computer. I developed bad neck and shoulder pain as result so that was another reason I decided to change careers. Now I really relish evenings where I can just sit in front of the TV and make things with my hands, almost like back in school!

Do you craft your own jewelry and if so do you have a glimpse into your workspace or studio? How does the space work for you?

I design my jewellery on computer and then have the raw components (necklace/bracelet chains, earring bases) manufactured in gold-plated stainless steel. Then I make additional elements such as resin clay macaron shells by hand and assemble everything in my studio.

Unfortunately I have a really small apartment so I usually work on my dining table or coffee table and have to take out and clear up all the supplies before and after. This is also why I don’t have any workspace photos as it looks quite messy and uninspiring :P. Though I’m in the process of moving in with my boyfriend and will have a studio room just for myself so I’m really excited about that!

I’ll finally also have space for a larger computer and plan to start making videos and craft tutorials on my YouTube channel.

Do you use inspiration boards or have any to show?

Yep, I’ve been using WeHeartIt long before Pinterest came out so I still keep everything here!

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Favorites

Drink: Starbucks Iced Chai Soy Latte
Food: Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry
TV Show: Girls
Book: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Song: Everything by Michael Buble
3 words to describe yourself: Fun, Hyperactive, Artsy

What do you feel you communicate within your work?

I really want people to be happy when they look at it. I try to show all the creativity and happiness that still exists in the world through all the styles that young people choose to express themselves in. In addition, I believe strongly in diversity, tolerance and respect. This is why I decided to use animals instead of humans in Maqaroon, as it makes the issue of race and gender less contrived but still visibly present.

In terms of product and pricing, I’m a big believer in making good design accessible to many people. Graphic design is making things for the masses, whereas art is for the elite. Obviously having been a designer all these years, I don’t consider my work ‘artisanal’ or ‘special’ in any way and therefore don’t want to price it as such.
In this sense, I want Maqaroon to be a beautiful but fun and down-to-earth brand. If it were a person it’d be like that fabulously glam friend who you can always rely on as well! I didn’t want the brand to feel like an expensive, aloof and snobby girl who you sort of aspire to but feel you have to act slightly fake to be accepted in their clique.

Where do you plan to go next with your work/brand?

I plan to concentrate on jewellery and work on expanding the range to include delicate choker necklaces, bracelets and possibly rings. My dream would be to be stocked in stores that I love to shop at myself (like Topshop or ASOS). I’m also hoping to increase the non-sales side of the brand with a Youtube craft channel and more collaborations/portraits with bloggers!

Why does the “maqaroon” have a mustache?

Hehee this actually has an explanation behind it! I had two rules from the very start of the brand, which is that Maqaroon should not appear too childish and that it should lean towards being unisex. The risk with any kawaii brand is that it’s extremely easy to slide into using loads of pinks, creams, strawberries and flowers. I wanted Maqaroon to be cute but not over-the-top frilly and feminine.

So I decided on a neutral green as the main branding color, with virtually all backgrounds kept in white. When I was designing the logo I tried out loads of different facial expressions. I realised a typical kawaii mouth made it look too childish so I decided to use a moustache to show that the macaron is an adult male (this sentence is starting to sound a bit ridiculous XD). This again reinforces the unisex aspect, and not making it overtly girly.

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Lastly, are you Miseducated and why?

Yes definitely. Miseducated is about non-conformity, creativity and inspiring readers to follow their dreams, express themselves and live their best life. Too many people lose sight of these values when chasing after superficial things or trying to live up to other people’s expectations.

Growing up, I was always eager to please and would try to do everything right at school. I believed that you need to get good grades, get a degree, get a good job and somehow life would reward you. I spent many years doing different jobs and even though the experience was really valuable, I felt slightly disillusioned. I was working crazy hours yet barely making enough money to cover my living costs.

As it happened, in 2010 I became very ill and took several months to recover. During that time I had a serious think about my priorities and my conclusion was that I wanted a career with unlimited creative freedom, lots of leisure time and the potential for a much higher income. So here I am, three years later and doing what I’ve always dreamed of. There’s still a long way to go but I’ve never felt happier and more fulfilled!

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shades

One band I cherished since a child (much like Bowie but more relatable on a sensitive and misunderstood girl level) and never outgrew is Strawberry Switchblade. I formed a cherished online friendship with Rose McDowall in the late 90s and grew to understand her in a more personal way as the creative soul she is. In grade school I created a very cute, pink and polkadot website devoted to the band visuals and audio decadence, I had musical appreciation websites for Strawberry Switchblade, No Doubt, Veruca Salt and Shampoo (my all-time favorite bands), to which I thought why not create features here as I’ve been meaning to do for years.

Rose is as magical as her music is. She and Jill Bryson wove visual gumdrops for my eyes to munch on obsessively and still inspire me heavily to this day. Miseducated’s first layout and many layouts thereafter were created while blasting Strawberry Switchblade songs over and over (and I mean OVER AND OVER). When I met my very best friend Kimi online in 1997 it was like the magical world they wove, a world of polkadots and acid-like colors dripping with cute psychedelia, came to life in our relationship. As a troubled child I often felt Kimi was the one person in the world who understood me, who would always be there (she’s still there). Our song was “Since Yesterday” by Strawberry Switchblade. When she calls even today that song rings out to let me know it’s my soul mate calling.


If you’ve never heard of Strawberry Switchblade and don’t appreciate the delicious 80s whirlwind of drum machines and their unique electronic music filled with happy, depressed, in love, best friend adoring, memory mourning troubled girl lyrics then you might not enjoy it but I honestly, yes with a big bias, cannot imagine how anyone could not want to dance, twirl in daisies and sing to their music. When I listen now it transports me back to memories from childhood, the good and bad, middle and high school filled with love, loss and raves, as well as today the love I still have for my very best friend Kimi, my cherubic three year old daughter and my boyfriend who is, at last, my love dream come true. Step back in time and many of the photos in the gallery below were posters on my wall and locker. Can you get enough?

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Many who know me well see the photos and instantly understand why I was so odd as a child (or even as an adult!) with my polkadot dresses and big, offensive, neon bows. I stood out like a miniature pop star in a small town school and many thought it was hilarious at my expense. I still get it to this day if I visit the town, people look at me like I’m an obviously lost alien. Hell it even happens in the city I reside in occasionally, I only seem to not be an eye sore in southern California on my many summer visits to stay with Kimi and in Tokyo, Japan of course.. but never really here, and so I know Strawberry Switchblade is singing my woes in a way that I will always understand. When you find a band like that you rarely let them go, who would want to? I’m still ready to dive into their “Deep Water” and never return.

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Bang Bang

Kim (aka StoopidGerl) is one of my closest online friends. We are both colorful artists that had adorable baby girls very close in time to each other, her Chloe Pearl was born several months before Colette Fawn and we learned a lot from each other along the way. Our pasts share many similarities as well so it’s no wonder that we hit it off immediately once upon a time. I’ve been planning a feature on Kim and her amazing creations and splendid aesthetic for WAY TOO LONG and here it is!

So as you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring a lot of my favorite artists and handmade mavens. I feel Kim (stoopidgerl) fits with the Miseducated way of life as much as anyone I know, her work reminds me what earth would look like if many of our rainbow-obsessed, candy-coated brains puked all over the place. Her style is no ones but her own and if you look into her world you’ll never want to leave. Please visit her gorgeously kitschy shop to purchase any of her works of art.

How long have you been crafting your world (your intoxicating-eye-candy photos and dazzlingly-saturated-with-color pieces of jewelry)?

I got started a few years ago. Working from home has been a dream come true!

When did you decide to turn that hobby into a business?

After I graduated from school I somehow ended up working a super crappy job at a Sears Portrait Studio. Going to work there made me want to kill myself! It was HELL on earth. I got pretty fed up with it and ended up quitting one day. I needed something to do and I needed money. I had been selling on Etsy for awhile and then I decided to take the plunge and try to do it for a living. I don’t know how it happened but it was magical! My shop took off quite quickly. I really love what I do and I think that is the key to my success!

All of us reach creativity blocks at some time.. where do you find inspiration when you reach a block?

The nearest candy shop~!

A lot of my inspiration comes from the past… movies I’ve seen, people I used to hang with, places I visited, my childhood…

Sometimes I find that browsing Flickr is inspirational. I love to just get lost in Flickr. I could spend hours browsing photos and adding them to my faves! There is some phenomenal shit out there!

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you have made?

Oh my goodness it is hard to pick just one but if I had to choose my absolute favorite I would go with this~
Rainbow Bright Heart
It is impossible to be in a crappy mood when you surround yourself with so much color. This necklace is a sure pick-me-up when you need one!

Do you have any exciting stories about the purchase of one of your pieces?

I shit myself with glee when Courtney Love purchased a necklace from my shop several years ago.

Miss World - HOLE resin necklace

What inspires you when decorating your space?

…the pursuit of happiness! I love all things that are sweet, rainbowy, clownlike, kitschy, and cool.

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What sort of things are must haves on display in your home?

I have been a collector of cameras ever since I went to school. I took a short break from collecting for awhile and recently got back into it. I have a neat little collection of minty green vintage cameras that sits on a shelf in our living room.

all here

I also have to have clowns… lots of clowns.

Do you have any tips for readers trying to design their world?

Don’t worry about sticking with any sort of theme… just go with the flow and hoard all the things you love!

Eat Cake

You can purchase Kim/StoopidGerl’s amazing creations at her rad Etsy Store.

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PETA is a group I have always been fond of. Although they get some flack for their extreme campaigns I believe these measures are taken because animals are under extreme attack and more of us should be willing to fight against it. Remember that as humans we are also animals and more compassion is needed in our world for the ethical treatment of all animals, including ourselves. I have been looking forward to interviewing PETA for some time and I am very grateful they have taken time out from their busy schedule to sit down with us for a spell~

Q: Why do you think it is most important that we as humans should be aware of the torment many animals in this world are going through?

We can make a difference. We’re faced with a lot of circumstances that are out of our control such as genocide and natural disasters but this is violence and suffering that we can actually stop. There’s no difference between a pig or turkey than a dog or cat other than how we view them. Why do we feel that way? It’s the same as when some of us look at humans as inferior. It’s injustice and these are things that no one agrees with or supports. We need to educate ourselves and others about this and realize why it’s important to go vegan.

Q: What are some of ways you feel that PETA has made the biggest differences in the lives of animals?

By educating people about what happens to animals before they wind up on your plate. You can’t trust big companies like McDonalds and Hormel to educate consumers about their food. By going vegan you can save nearly 200 animals per year. It’s important to educate people about veganism and the positive impacts it has on our environment and on world hunger. There are so many negative things directly tied to meat consumption which is why PETA steps in to remind us of a healthy diet without using meat, eggs or dairy.

Q: What are your thoughts on medicines tested on animals not for cosmetic products but for saving human and animal lives?

It’s a common misconception that medicines tested on animals save human lives. Animals are not little men and women; their bodies do not work as human bodies do. 92% of the tests fail after using live animals to test human medicines. They are unreliable, unnecessary and cost the lives of over 100 million animals every year. In fact cancer was cured in mice 15 years ago and it has never even been used for humans. The reason these tests go on is to ensure grants that go to more animal testing. So much money is used to torture animals when it doesn’t give reliable results. There are no laws to protect animals from this horrendous treatment. They are deliberately starved because no experiment is illegal no matter how cruel it is to the live animal or how little it relates to helping humans. The workers in these test labs are subject to horrible and inhumane conditions as well. All medicines are actually tested on humans before they are even able to be used on humans. This is unjust testing for many reasons unrelated to saving human lives.

Q: Do you believe animals should be kept as pets if they are given the utmost love and care? Why or why not?

Sure. PETA supports and encourages everyone who has means to adopt and care for animals from their local shelter. Each year 6 to 8 million abandoned dogs and cats enter animal shelters and approximately 3 to 4 million cats and dogs—many of them healthy, young, and adoptable—must be euthanized in these shelters every year. We must put a stop to this by spaying and neutering our pets and by researching the amount of care an animal companion needs before adopting one.

Q: What are your thoughts on the euthanasia by PETA of unwanted animals and the misunderstanding about this by many online?

Many anti-PETA websites are run by consumer groups for the meat and dairy industries. The information they use is biased and inaccurate. PETA is open about the fact that we are forced to euthanize animals in some cases. The figures used by anti-PETA campaigners are deliberately chosen because they are just the euthanasia figures and do not include perspective—i.e., the more than 10,000 dogs and cats PETA provided with no-cost to low-cost spay and neuter surgeries and other veterinary services in the last 12 months alone, the hundreds of animals delivered to large high-traffic shelter facilities for adoption, the counseling and aid services that PETA provides in order to enable people to keep and properly care for their animals, and the animals we have put up for adoption, like the cat currently featured on our website, whom we nursed back to (almost) good health and who is still seeking a permanent home.

PETA’s Community Animal Project offers food and shelter for dogs in the poorest areas in Virginia and North Carolina, free vet services and food water and toys to animals who have never felt a kind touch in their lives. In some cases if we find an animal who has been in dire need of vet care euthanasia is the best option we can offer them. We have also offered families who cannot afford to get their pets proper vet care for long suffering animals to euthanize them which adds to the number online.

PETA’s spay and neuter program has several mobile units that spay and neuter dogs and cats for low cost or free. Thus far we have sterilized 80,000 animals in the last 10 years. PETA does a lot of preventative local work but does offer euthanasia for extremely abused animals and to relieve animals from suffering. Yes we euthanize but so do many other shelters in this country, 3-4 million animals are euthanized every year in our country because of the purchase of unwanted animals, breeding animals and owners not spaying and neutering their pets. The core issue here is that people are not spaying and neutering their pets so please encourage others to do so.

Q: A few readers who are not on board with PETA have made the assumption that you care more for animals than for people; do you have a response for this?

That’s really funny. We are unapologetically an animal rights group. Humans are animals.

For example, it takes 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. I believe everyone needs to think about how much grain they would throw away to get one pound of meat and how many people die everyday (25,000 people) from starvation because they don’t get enough to eat. Factory farming contributes to world hunger and climate change. Many think meat is vital for our health but it is not the case anymore. Meat consumption is linked to many of our biggest health risks such as cancer and heart disease. We are not only supporting animals but also human health and the earth we share.

Q: Who are the top unfriendly to animals businesses or products that should not be supported?

There are many but some major campaigns we currently have are:
Ringling Bros. Animals are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until they are bloody.
McCruelty In the slaughterhouses of McDonald’s U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers, birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Please sign our petition and boycott McDonald’s until they can make more positive changes for animals.
UW-Madison They abuse and decapitate cats to study in their labs tortured for results that are never mentioned or used.
Whose skin are you in? Every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry—all in the name of fashion. Rabbits in China are slaughtered for their fur while living.
Canadian Seal Slaughter During Canada’s annual war on seals, hundreds of thousands of seals are slaughtered for their skin. Baby seals are clubbed to death on the ice which is an off-season money venture for fisherman. This isn’t about the native people, this is just about money making for off-season fisherman.
Down Feathers Birds used for down feathers are live plucked until red, bleeding and terrified. Try down alternatives using man-made fibers.

Q: Who are the top friendly to animals businesses that should be supported?

Gardeen These vegan meat-alternative products that you can find at whole food groceries and even target are more healthy than traditional meat products.
Daiya Use these cheeses for anything you would use cheese for, it melts.
Urban Decay One of my favorite makeup brands. They were thinking of selling products in China which means they could be tested on animals which is mandatory for some products but PETA reached out to them and they decided to pull back. This company makes a huge statement by selling all vegan products.
Cirque de Soliel A circus that doesn’t use or abuse animals. They only use performers that choose to perform.

Q: Do you have any advice for those teetering on the edge of becoming an animal advocate?

Start educating yourself and become a knowledgable consumer. We all have values and ethics that we live by and every time we pay for a product we’re making a decision to support a practice or an industry. I think it’s important for consumers to know what they are supporting and promoting and for people to educate themselves and do more research before spending. We cannot expect companies to be honest outright when they have an opportunity to make money. Start questioning everything you buy and find out ways you can make a difference. Find out if the money you spend is going to companies you support. There are simple things you can do everyday that make an impact on animals, our environment and our own health and people need to look into it more.

Q: It’s so nice to have been able to sit down and get to know your wonderful organization and all of the ways that you help animals and their humans to live more positive lives. I do have one last question for you for the time being.. do you consider PETA to hold Miseducated values (Weaving a world of colorful and whimsical lifestyle inspiration.) to heart while promoting and ensuring the ethical treatment of animals?

Of course. There are always new ways to promote the ethical treatment of animals in our world and we appreciate the many ways there are to do it. We are very thankful to Miseducated for showing us a unique, colorful and whimsical way and we look forward to working together much more in the future. Thank you!

Thank you again, PETA! Miseducated is very excited to have teamed up with you and to be collaborating on more projects in the future. We adore you, what you do for us and most of all for our furry soul mates! XOX


Visit PETA online for more information about how you can support animals.

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I didn’t intend to fall for Lana Del Rey as my close friend encouraged me to for quite some time. She claimed her style reminded her of me and her lyrics of myself and my love (aka Mister). After finally giving in and accepting the cd to listen to I fell for her instantly. She lives the 50s/60s pop culture and feminine woman’s role beautifully but also incorporates Lolita and a delores-haze of similar undertones such as appreciating the interests, looks and feelings of a creative young girl. She coined herself a ‘self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ and, my favorite, ‘Lolita lost in the hood’.

Having learned about her music, received her personal videos and researched her brand I feel as though she is special, a very amazing new artist and her music is absolutely jaw-droppingly filled with love, lust and vintage style which both soothes me and eats me alive in my own current situation of a happily ever after love addiction.

“It sounds like one of those insanely rare moments wherein someone from the music industry says “Lolita” and actually seems to mean Lolita, as in the novel, and not some kind of porn-derived mincing, but as in the character Dolores Haze: lover of late-40s movie magazines (there’s that miasma of “old-Hollywood glamour” Del Rey’s inspired by), lover of chewing gum (Stereogum on Del Rey’s “secret” show in NYC: “she chewed a lot of gum”). The Dolores Haze who hails from nearly the same patch of the country as Del Rey; whose profession is once listed as “starlet.” Who winds up tough and blithe, casually schooled in all the ways people manipulate and control one another, living in a dump with a big, hard-of-hearing working man who, if video games had existed in 1952, would likely have wasted a few nights on them.” ~ Why We Fight

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Caitlin is a cute and creative woman that I am lucky enough to share a community with. We met months ago at a local event and have been friends and confidants ever since. We realized we had a lot in common but it wasn’t until recently when I heard someone asking her for custom accessories at our weekly coffee hangout that I realized just how much we really have in common. She is an artistic and crafty woman, stylist and beautician in the Broad Ripple area and communicates a cute and urban aesthetic decadence in every task she takes on. Upon hearing about and getting the chance to look at her creations I realized I must feature her work and give you the opportunity to order your own custom goodies. As I’ve heard from her past clients, the nonstop compliments will drive you bonkers if you decide to have your shoes customized by Caitlin!

What inspired you to start customizing?

Necessity is the mother of invention. I painted my first cowboy boots to cover a spot where I dropped hair color about 10 years ago.

What is your process?

I use sharpie poster paint pens to customize the shoes. I used to paint my vans with sharpie markers in high school 20+ years ago because I was bored in class and the hobby just stuck.

I let the shoe direct the design, they communicate to me the colors and placement of design. I originally started with Uggs after I got my first pair 20 years ago and everyone made such a fuss about how ugly they were. I felt “blah” wearing them so I had to dress them up.

I’ve always “accessorized my accessories”. Whenever an item passes through my hands it ends up painted, patched, ruffled, stickered, personalized somehow.

What are your prices for customizing?

I charge $50 for the shoes. I also sell a lot of denim tool belts recycled from old jeans, for hairstylists or crafters which are also $50.

Get customized

Interested in getting your accessories or footwear customized? Let us know and Caitlin will get back to you immediately about the specifics.

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As is pretty obvious by my own work and features here, I am involved in and very supportive of the Pop Surrealism movements in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Having seen Camilla d’Errico‘s work at Hello Kitty’s 35th VIP Aniversary Party in LA I just had to promote and feature her work and really wanted to understand a little bit about what makes such a beautiful mind, as communicated on canvas, tick.

How long have you been painting?

I’ve been painting (exhibiting) since 2005.

Did it ever become your main focus?

No, painting has never actually been my main focus, though it took center stage in 2007-2008. I’m a comic book artist, first and foremost, but after I first started showing in galleries, and my work was well loved, I was propelled into the Pop Surrealism movement in Los Angeles and I went with it!

What has been your favorite exhibition?

My favorite would have to be the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary show in 2009. It was fabulous and so many artists interpreted Hello Kitty (I love HK btw) and it was a very well organized and fun show.

What inspires you most?

I’m mostly inspired by manga and anime.

What has been your favorite painting you’ve created?

No Ordinary Love because it has very special meaning for me. It’s about love, and not giving up on love, but holding onto that hope so dearly … until you are able to be reunited.

Do you have any crazy stories about one of your pieces?

It’s not crazy, per se, but I find it hilarious. My painting, Mountainhead, is a Helmetgirl with the biggest helmet you’ve ever seen. There are bits and pieces of everything on that helmet, completely overpowering her small frame. I painted that for my sister AdaPia because she is always thinking, plotting, planning. In fact, she’s my business partner! So I always like referring to her as Mountainhead.

Favorites

Color? teal
Food? steak
Animal? pug
Music? really into Dubstep right now
Magazine? Shojo Beat
Movie? Spirited Away

Do you have any advice for readers interested in turning their hobby into their main focus?

It takes a lot of determination, focus and willpower to move from hobby to professional. I suggest doing a lot of research about the specific artistic field you want to go into. That’s easy nowadays with Internet, but it’s good to also meet people in person – go to galleries, talk to the curators, owners, directors. Get a good feel for what’s going on. Also, make sure you know and define your own style. Be confident and comfortable with what you are creating. And in the beginning, it’s always a good idea to start slowly; don’t leave your ‘day job’ until you’ve built up a good client base or a collector base. And never give up, even when things seem bad; it’s just a learning phase and you’ll come out stronger.

What do you feel is a recipe for success?

Skill + talent + passion + determination + work ethic and a good dose of people skills!

Are you Miseducated?

Totally! When I was growing up, and even throughout college, everyone tried to persuade me not to go into comics because it isn’t a lucrative career. It’s barely enough for anyone to live off of, unfortunately. But I was obstinate and I wanted to be a comic artist above all else and I persisted in my dream. So first of all, I’m Miseducated because I didn’t do what I was told would be best for me, and also because I’m a self taught painter. Some of my fine art teachers told me I had no skills as a painter, no style … and as much as I am humble, I do get a kick out of knowing I’ve proven them wrong!

Gallery

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