EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: Meet Mishkat

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meet Mishkat

EFA gets a lot of help from members, all 100% voluntary and done with the interests of animals at its very heart. One of the hard working members in the current EFA team is Katie aka 'Mishkat'. You will find her commenting on threads regularly to keep them prominent on the Etsy Forum encouraging sellers, and using her non-seller talents to help EFA in every way she can. I recently interviewed Katie to spotlight her commitment and hard work..........

"Where in the world are you?

I'm in southwestern Virginia in the USA. I am an environmental scientist and work in research and extension at Virginia Tech.

Do you have any animals of your own?

I have three cats: Franklin, my gray Etsy avatar cat; Tasha, a tortoiseshell; and Dobby, a large orange tabby. I love all animals, but am particularly partial to cats.


How did you discover Etsy for Animals?

I found out about Etsy for Animals through Renovia of endlesswhimsy, who made some wonderful custom cat sculptures for me. I then saw a forum thread about the EFA shop a few weeks after it started, purchased something, and got a really nice note from Michele (mvegan5) thanking me for buying. I asked her if there was anything I could do to help out, and she said that I could help bump some of the EFA threads on the forum. I've been doing that ever since.

What gives you the most satisfaction in helping out with EFA?

I am not able to work directly in animal rescue, although I have the deepest admiration for those who do. So I've always tried to contribute money – my friends who work in animal rescue and welfare say that this is also a excellent way to help out. Working with EFA is a way I can assist in raising money for these very important causes, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.


Do you have any tips for EFA members?

One really simple thing anyone can do is put information about EFA in their Etsy shop announcement and/or profile. I found out about EFA after reading endlesswhimsy's announcement. And since I'm a buyer-only, clicking on my Etsy avatar takes people straight to my profile. I have information about EFA there, and several people have asked me about it – two sellers have told me that they found out about EFA after reading my profile.

Another thing that is easy to do is bump the forum threads about EFA. There is a dedicated group of friendly EFA thread-bumpers but we could always use company – please feel free to chime in and tell us about your pets, your latest creation, the weather - or just say hi. We've had both sellers and buyers find out about EFA and the EFA shop from the forum threads.

And my tip to EFA sellers is: put "EFA" in your tags! This helps other EFA members find you for EFA treasuries, and also helps those who'd like to buy from EFA sellers.

Where do you think EFA needs help?

I was a member of Etsy for months before I realized that EFA existed, and I know there are a lot of other people who, like me, would love to support EFA by buying or selling but don't know about it. Promoting EFA both on and off Etsy can help to help reach these people. For example, Celeste of CricketsCreations recently did an interview with Michele on her blog on the Best Friends Animal Society Network (http://network.bestfriends.org/Blogs/Detail.aspx?b=1679). The network has a large audience of people who care about animals, and who may not have heard about EFA - or Etsy - before.

EFA also requires a lot of work behind the scenes. I can't say enough to praise the work that Michele, El (elephantdance), shessochic, 4utheworld, WHSKR, darktemptations, midnightrabbits, woodnvisions, and all the other people who help out with the shop, blog, Yahoo group, Flickr groups, Etsy forums, and promos are doing. (I wish I could name everyone here!) But help is always needed – Michele, El, and others will often post requests for assistance on the EFA Yahoo group, so I'd encourage those who want to do more to check in there - or just ask!


Thanks for interviewing me!"

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