Being conscious of the world around them, on some level, was something Dave and Emily were a part of. He worked at an environmental non-profit and she was a nutritional advisor. Every day they were working the 9-5 routine when one day, they’d had enough. With Emily already crafty and making gemstone bracelets, Dave saw that as the starting line for the next chapter in their lives.
Wanting to start their own business to leave the routine of their current daily lives behind, they took their love and appreciation for forests and creative drives and started Woodland Zen. Today Woodland Zen is still selling those wonderful bracelets that started it all but has since added a plethora of fashionable items to choose from. Now get to know more about Dave and Emily’s journey into the woods.
Kendra: You’ve noted that you find a lot of inspiration from places like forests. What is about wooded areas that you feel bring out your creativity?
Dave: A forest is a place of no stress. A place of peace! A natural state of flow which the modern world lacks.
Kendra: Is there one forest in particular that has been the sort of driving force behind Woodland Zen?
Dave: To be honest no! We really like pine forests!
Kendra: Do you ever think Woodland Zen will have a sort of spinoff that is based around the beaches of the world?
Dave: Nope! Although we love tropical regions and travel there often, our brand is centered around the beauty of the forest
Kendra: You’re also passionate about being vegan and cruelty-free with your products. Was that something that had to be incorporated from the start?
Dave: Absolutely! We are against any form of animal suffering. If a sentient animal had to be born just to die in order to use its skin, fur, bone, or anything, it is beyond acceptable. A lifetime of suffering for a moment of fashion is not fashion. It’s cruelty. After learning about animal agriculture and animal exploitation we could never call ourselves spiritual, loving or anything in between if we were paying to have animals’ lives taken in the name of fashion. Or food for that matter. The animals who die for our food and fashion are as smart as our pets.
But from an early age, we are programmed to think that it is OK to kill one but pet another. Over 56 billion animals are killed each year for our food and fashion. Thousands per minute. This is just land animals, not counting marine. Since animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation worldwide because it takes more resources (water, land, grain, etc) to create animal products both food and fashion than it does for plant-based alternatives, we had to make the conscious choice of protecting our forests and furry friends!
Kendra: What are your plans for Woodland Zen as we head deeper into 2019?
Dave: We are transitioning to a more clothing based brand rather than jewelry! We plan to run campaigns on planting trees as well per purchase!