I was always a distracted child. When it came time to do my homework or go to bed, I was generally asking for "one more minute" to finish an art project or to finish building a teepee for my hamsters, Hunkamunca and Champagne. I lived in three countries growing up: Australia, India, and the U.S. In Australia we rented a country house and my animal heaven was created. Dad always had to be careful putting on his slippers, for fear that I may have turned them into baby bunny nests. My favorite animal was my baby Merino lamb named Flower. In India, at the age of three, I developed a fondness for snakes and a friend's father let me play with them for a little while to scare the boys. I also rescued a chipmunk named Sock, who I found on the ground with no mummy in sight and who loved to hide in a tube sock that I carried around with me. In the Catskill Mountains of New York, I became the rescued pet "go-to" person and people would bring me baby birds, squirrels, bunnies, etc. I would spend hours creating all sorts of housing, feeding methods and food formulas to keep the little creatures alive and then would release them back into the wild.
I would also create many design oriented projects, which were usually fueled by my love of animals. One year I adopted a humpback whale through Greenpeace named Mars. When there was an opportunity to see Mars in the wild Maine waters, I organized a group of my schoolmates, acquired a box of recycled Indian embroidered silk fabric scraps, and started a scrunchie-making cottage industry. It was the 80's after all! Needless to say, we sold enough to all go see the humpback whales.
So raising angora rabbits and creating designs from their fiber was an obvious extension of my childhood obsession with animals. I stumbled upon the breed at a county fair in 2002 and immediately had to get some. My first two lived with me in Brooklyn and would hang out on the couch and watch movies. I sought out spinning classes after their fiber started piling up, and my obsession continued from there. I was fascinated with the idea that I could make a finished garment myself from my bunny. A regressive concept, that is somehow nowadays, progressive. I was also appalled by the fur industry. All my childhood feelings about animal cruelty rose up inside me and I wanted to make a difference. I just couldn't understand why we had to torture and kill all these sweet animals, when we could make an equally warm and luxurious product humanely. So for the past five years I have been studying angora rabbit husbandry, learning how to spin, going to wool festivals, seeking out spinners and crocheters for manufacture and have ended up living in the country with two merino sheep, two angora goats, 13 English and Satin angora rabbits, a dog and a cat. I am extremely excited to be able to offer you this collection of luxurious Friendlyfur made from happy bunnies and happy ladies, that are able to make each piece by hand at home and continue to keep alive an ancient art form. I hope to be able to collaborate with other designers in the future and to be a catalyst for the fur industry.