We’re excited to host Sophia Kreuzkamp of Parrotphernalia in our Maker Faire Marketplace this year. We were so intrigued by her process and her products that we asked her to tell us a little bit about herself, and how she ended up working with a medium as unusual as bird feathers. Here’s what she told us:
My story begins with my Blue-fronted Amazon, Larry. While he can sometimes be a grump or a little wary around new people, Larry is actually very sweet once you get to know him. I think Larry and his parrot-brethren are some of the most beautiful animals on the planet. They come in all shapes and sizes, and in pretty much every colour imaginable. As is natural for birds, Larry loses his feathers (or molts) twice a year around winter and summer. During one of these molting periods, I realized that Larry’s feathers, too beautiful to be thrown away, deserved to be appreciated as the works of art that they are.
And thus, Parrotphernalia was born!
Here are the top five reasons we love what we do:
1. Our products are from happy, healthy birds.
Most (if not all) feathered jewelry and accessories bought in stores use feathers plucked straight from the bird while they’re still alive. All Parrotphernalia products are made solely with ethically-sourced feathers no longer needed by happy, healthy birds living in sanctuaries across Canada or as someone’s companion.
2. Our products are from natural breed birds.
Feathered products bought in stores often come from birds that were bred specifically for the production of these items. Feathered hair extensions are a common example – these come from specially bred roosters created to produce a special kind of tail feather. These roosters live in a factory environment solely to produce feathers for consumers. Our products, on the other hand, come from birds who enjoy freedom of movement and healthy interaction with humans.
3. No dyes or harmful chemicals are used to create our products.
Many feather products bought in stores have been treated with harmful chemicals before being imported. In most cases, these feathers have also been dyed, which imparts an unnatural hue. Not only are these processes environmentally unfriendly, they diminish the final feathered product’s longevity. Compared to our ethically-sourced feathers, commercial feathers have a very short life-span. Because we know our feathers come from healthy birds, and they are not imported, we are able to use a simple cleaning solution which doesn’t affect the colour or longevity of the feathers.
4. We give what we get!
In return for each feather donation we receive, we make the contributors an exclusive piece from their donation as a way of thanking those that help us bring our products to the world. Additionally, we provide products for our partner sanctuaries’ fundraising events.
5. If we can upcycle bird feathers, you can upcycle something fabulous too!
From our business we hope to inspire others to upcycle and recycle everyday things to create something fabulous. Every little act of creativity, whether by us or you, helps our environment and our feathered friends!