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Etsy for Animals: Working Together

Jul 3, 2008

by mishkat handmade and vintage goods

It all started with an idea and an Etsy forum thread. A year and a half later, Etsy for Animals (EFA) has over 530 members, and is one of the largest Teams on Etsy.  For EFA’s first Storque post, click here. You can get to the team members’ items by searching "team efa."

Although the only membership requirement is a love for animals, many members also choose to donate a portion of their proceeds to animal charity: either to the EFA charity of the month (this July, the charities are Dogs for the Deaf and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Program) or to other animal charities that they individually support. EFA also has a shop, where all items are donated by EFA members, and 100% of proceeds from sales goes to the EFA charity of the month. When contributions from the EFA shop and EFA members are totaled, many small donations add up to large contributions to animal charity.  

How does such a large team function? Electronic communication, shared documents, and the EFA Yahoo group, administered by Darktemptations, are essential since team members live all over the world. But, most importantly, many EFA members have volunteered their time to help. Here are just a few of these hard-working people and the EFA projects they’re working on.

[Michele aka mvegan5 and her cat, Moses]

Michele aka mvegan5 is the EFA team founder and co-leader. She’s a California artist who currently lives and works in Israel. Michele says, "I’ve always known I wanted to help animals and be an artist, and have now been able to combine the two." Michele is the contact for new members, writes the EFA newsletter, manages the EFA Flickr group, assists with the EFA shop, and promotes EFA wherever she can.

[El aka ElephantDance modeling her blue and white spiraling cloche]

El aka ElephantDance is the EFA co-leader, and administers the Etsy for Animals shop with the help of eight dedicated volunteers. El recently moved to California from Saipan, a small island in the Northern Mariana Islands. El says, "Seeing the poor neglected animals on the streets of Saipan convinced me that I needed to do something, even if it was one animal at a time." El also manages the EFA blog and her own two Etsy shops while working, going to school, creating lovely crochet, and running a Help the Puppies campaign to provide ongoing medical care for animals she rescued in Saipan.

[Poodle Boating Party by haleyshandmades]

Haley aka haleyshandmades contributes many hours of her free time to maintain the EFA website. She also creates wonderful poodle artwork. Her favorite piece, made when she was a student at Washington University in St. Louis, is Poodles Crossing the Delaware, a huge 3 foot by 5 foot print of poodles fighting in the American Revolution, based on the painting by Emanuel Leutze.

[Emerald Kitty by Lynn aka LolaLynn]

The multi-talented LolaLynn organizes the EFA monthly challenges where EFA members vote on a challenge theme each month, and then members submit entries based on that theme. Entries are then showcased on the EFA blog, in forum threads, and in Treasuries. Lynn says, "I so firmly support El and Michele’s mission that I took on coordinating and editing the monthly challenge even though I knew nothing about blogs! In the process I have made new friends and learned a lot."

[Etsy for Animals logo, designed by alilsumptinsumptin]

Welsh felt artist and costume designer, Kim aka Midnightrabbits, keeps track of donation requests that EFA receives from animal charity groups for handmade items to be used in fundraising activities. Many EFA members have contributed their time and talent to create items for these fundraisers.

Fiber artist, Marjorie aka WHSKR, is the EFA publicity coordinator. Marjorie, who lives in New Zealand, says that when she first joined EFA, she was concerned that her relatively small contribution would not make a difference but then realized that the small amounts contributed by many sellers "all grow together to make a donation of several hundred dollars each month. People can touch the other side of the world without leaving home — it’s an astonishing thought and a powerful motivator."

You can meet EFA members in the lively and fun weekly EFA team chats hosted by Gena aka Dogonwear every Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30 AM ET in the Etsy Virtual Labs. Come on in to network, learn, and have fun! Gena, who designs canine fashions, also organized a cooperative quilt project as an EFA fundraiser. The quilt will be available soon in the EFA shop. Stay tuned!

Further Resources:
EFA Team Interviews:
mvegan5, ElephantDance, haleyshandmades, LolaLynn, Midnightrabbits, WHSKR, Dogonwear




    WHSKR said 12 years ago

    Etsy for Animals is a Great Place for Etsians to hang out! What a marvelous bunch of people they (OK - WE) all are. Go EFA!!!!!!!!!

  • KhaosCatVintage

    KhaosCatVintage said 12 years ago

    Great article...Iam so proud to be a part of this team.

  • claynfiber

    claynfiber said 12 years ago

    Excellent article and great team! I'm off to check that early storque post ....

  • mishkat

    mishkat said 12 years ago

    Thanks so much, everyone! I would like to thank Michelle Traub (mtraub), the Storque intern, for her help with the article - much appreciated!

  • ElephantDance

    ElephantDance said 12 years ago

    Excellent!!!! Nice job mishkat on the article and thanks so much to all that help EFA!

  • ShesSoChic

    ShesSoChic said 12 years ago

    What a great way to celebrate our furry and featherd friends! (Scales are included too!) EFA ROCKS... And, if you mention EFA in your comments at my site, I am going to sell these great (suitable for framing) likenesses of your pet or friend at a 30% discount. It will be only $10.50 when you mention EFA!!!

  • myzoetrope

    myzoetrope said 12 years ago

    yaay! Great spotlight for a great team!

  • lissalush

    lissalush said 12 years ago

    What a wonderful article! It's always so nice to hear more about the lovely EFA members. I'm working on a fundraiser right now for a local cat shelter, and the response from the EFA team has been amazing! I am so very proud to be a member of this fantastic team:)

  • Dogonwear

    Dogonwear said 12 years ago

    Wow Grat article thank you mishkat!!!! you did a great job!

  • nanjodogz

    nanjodogz said 12 years ago

    Great article mishkat -- and great quilt block! So nice to hear about EFA.

  • SharonFosterArt

    SharonFosterArt said 12 years ago

    EFA is so wonderful. I love being a member. mishkat did a fantastic job with the article and I love the nice pictures of the members, pets and art. All of these people work super hard! Standing ovation!

  • thefrogbag

    thefrogbag said 12 years ago

    What a wonderful article! Great job!

  • EnsorcelledMinds

    EnsorcelledMinds said 12 years ago

    Hooray for EFA! Thanks for the profiles, Mishkat. Now everyone can see how it aaaallll comes together!

  • cynmb

    cynmb said 12 years ago

    Great article, mishkat! Michele (mvegan5) and her wonderful team do so much for the animals, and their teamwork is simply fantastic. A round of applause for a dedicated and excellent Street Team!

  • endlesswhimsy

    endlesswhimsy said 12 years ago

    I just wanted to chime in and say how much EFA has amazed me in the time that I've been a part of the team. They started the EFA store and thankfully I've been able to donate and purchase from it (though not as much as I'd like). Michele and El are amazing people and really dedicate themselves to helping ALL animals. Kathryn has been a great supporter and is an amazing writer - I'm glad that she's been able to contribute so heavily to the group!

  • jcollander

    jcollander said 12 years ago

    Great article, Mishkat! In the relatively short time I've been a member of EFA, I have been totally amazed by the kindness and generosity of its members. This is a wonderful team to be a part of.

  • StarrlightJewelry

    StarrlightJewelry said 12 years ago

    this is awesome, you did a great job hun!

  • karenkayartworks

    karenkayartworks said 12 years ago

    What a wonderful group. I just started working with a local rescue group as a foster parent for dogs. My first two puppies just got their forever homes. I'm glad to know about your group and your shop for animal charities.

  • dillondesigns

    dillondesigns said 12 years ago

    This is great, mishkat--I'm so happy to be associated with you guys. :o)

  • SavageArtworks

    SavageArtworks said 12 years ago

    Great article! Such dedicated and nice people!

  • midnightrabbits

    midnightrabbits said 12 years ago

    Fabulous article, thanks Mishkat and Etsy.

  • artbysusmitha

    artbysusmitha said 12 years ago

    What a wonderful article Katie!!! Thanks so much for writing this out for EFA!!! :) I am proud to be a part of this team!! :)

  • aimeedars

    aimeedars said 12 years ago

    Great article!

  • westcorinthstudio

    westcorinthstudio said 12 years ago

    Hooray for EFA! Terrific article.

  • etsyforanimals

    etsyforanimals said 12 years ago

    Wow, this is wonderful, thank you to mishkat and everyone who helps animals and makes Etsy for Animals such an amazing group, so important to me! Michele, mvegan5 ;)

  • breathtakingbracelet

    breathtakingbracelet said 12 years ago

    A great read! Cute critters.

  • UberDuperCreations

    UberDuperCreations said 12 years ago

    YAY!! EFA!! Artist Helping Animals, doesn't get any better than that :0)

  • CanvasPE

    CanvasPE said 12 years ago

    Great way to help our friends..I would like to donate a print for the cause. Can you tell me how I go about doing that? Thanks Penny

  • hersoutherncharm

    hersoutherncharm said 12 years ago

    So proud to be a member! :)

  • mvegan5

    mvegan5 said 12 years ago

    Thanks to all who help animals! :) I convoed you canvas, anyone can convo me to join us in helping our animal friends.

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 12 years ago

    Great article - proud to be a member. It is wonderful to contribute to many deserving animal causes. Here's to the day when there is no more mistreatment, abuse or ignorance! Long live kindness and love.

  • happyshackdesigns

    happyshackdesigns said 12 years ago

    Yeah EFA! Great article!

  • BeadedTail

    BeadedTail said 12 years ago

    Great article! I'm so proud to be a member of EFA and helping the animals!

  • scandeez

    scandeez said 12 years ago

    I'm sooo proud to be a part of this team! What a great article Mishkat :) I know that little by little we will make a huge difference in animals lives. Thanks to all who make a point of donating part of their sales regularly. The charities really need that steady flow of income.

  • luchi

    luchi said 12 years ago

    EFA is wonderful!

  • Luminosities

    Luminosities said 12 years ago

    EFA is a fabulous team! mvegan5, ElephantDance, haleyshandmades, LolaLynn, Midnightrabbits, WHSKR and Dogonwear work very hard to help animals. I am so proud to be a member of this team!

  • KaysK9s

    KaysK9s said 12 years ago

    Great article!

  • littlepawsphoto

    littlepawsphoto said 12 years ago

    Great team! I'm glad to be a part of it. It's cool to see the faces behind the nicknames. Keep up the good work!!

  • JunkMaster

    JunkMaster said 12 years ago

    I am very glad to be a part of efa. The group helps so may other groups that helps animals and regularly introduces its caring members and the public to charities we may have not heard of prior to efa.Everyone giving even just a little often ends up being one collective and impressive donation to the chosen charity of the month. Thank you efa for helping us all to help animals! xxxooo,Wendy

  • pigatopia

    pigatopia said 12 years ago

    great article awesome group

  • emmask9kitchen

    emmask9kitchen said 12 years ago

    Wonderful article!

  • wovendreams

    wovendreams said 12 years ago

    Having worked with rescues and as a cruelty investigator for over 10 years, I am honored to be a part of EFA! We are meant to take care of the animals of this earth. from rabbitmom and all her bunnies

  • classychassy

    classychassy said 12 years ago

    Great Article - wonderful team!

  • rkdsign88

    rkdsign88 said 12 years ago

    great team

  • xBellaS

    xBellaS said 11 years ago

    I am designing a piece of jewelry and donating my time and profits to a local horse rescue in support of saving horses from the Canadian slaughter houses. I would love to join EFA, and was wondering if anyone knows if I would be able to have this particular piece sponsored as a showcase item? Thanks :)

  • marigoldlane

    marigoldlane said 10 years ago

    I'm behind on this news. How do I join EFA? Thank you.

  • CaMetalClay

    CaMetalClay said 9 years ago

    I am also interested in joining!

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