Sunday, January 27, 2008

EFA Interview - LolaLynn

Here is our interview with fellow EFA (Etsy for Animal) member Lynn. Above is a photo of a pair of earrings Lynn made. You can check out more of Lynn's creations at

1) Tell us your name and a little about you? My name is Lynn Hanousek and I live in NYC. After living in Manhatttan for 25 years, my husband, Bill, and I now live in Queens. Its a little quieter, we have room for a small vegetable garden but can still get into mid-town in 30 minutes or less. We share our home with 4 felines. Or should I say,they share THEIR home with us.

2) Where can we find your Etsy shop? Are there any other places we can see your creations?
You can find my shop at I have 3 other potential shop sites but haven't developed them yet. One is for vintage, another strictly for animal themed products and the third - I haven't decided.

3) What do you create and if multiple things, what is your favorite)?
LolaLynn's was supposed to be for jewelry. When I became a grandmother some of my Filipino friends at my church started calling me Lola(G'ma in Filipino)Lynn. While I helped care for Matthew, I would make wire wrap rings. My daughters told me to sell them on Etsy and so LolaLynn's ring and things began. The rings sell great in person, but there's a lot of competition in the jewelry department on Etsy and so I gradually added different media. I love working in stain glass and painting was my 1st passion. Basically, I love whatever medium I happen to be working on at the moment. Therefore,my shop tends to be eclectic.

4) Who or what inspires you?
Nature has always inspired me. And continues to do so today. I also have favorite artists who I love because of the colors they use: van Gogh, Chagall, Max. I love color and I think that comes through in my shop.

5) How many pets do you have and what are their names (any interesting stories about how they came to be your pet)?
Bill and I currently reside with Yogi (17), Samson (14), Dotty (12) and Sophia (7). Sophia is my Etsy avatar and somewhat of a celebrity in the EFA threads along with her virtual friends,Franklin, Moses and Tala.

Yogi and her brother, Max were left on the steps of the animal hospital because as Manx cats they had undesirable tails. She's a stumpy (a bit of a tail ending in a hook); Max was a rumpy (no tail, just a puff of hair). They were absolutely adorable and we fell in love at once. They kept us in stitches as they had the ability to jump 5 feet high from a sitting position because of their longer back legs. Sadly Max went to kitty heaven last year. He was "my boy" and I still miss him. Yogi is blind now but gets around quite well. She spends most of the day on Bill's lap as he works at the computer.

We inherited Dotty and Sam. Dotty and her brother, Spotty, were adopted by my brother in Florida and when he passed away he told his friend that he wanted his babies to live with us. Dotty has beautiful white fur and blue eyes. She is a real sweetheart and helps me check the EFA threads every morning. Her twin brother, Spotty, now lives in San Francisco with our daughter, Deborah, and her family.

Samson lived with an elderly friend and even went to assisted living with her. She made me promise that I would take care of Sam if anything ever happened to her. She was 89. He was a nervous wreck every time I visited with them (my presence = trip to the vet). But now that he lives with us, he hangs with me day and night. Part of his successful assimilation is due to Sophia. Each of the other cats might have issues with one another but everyone gets along with Sophia. She's a peace maker, that is until she wants to play and then she rips loose. She's been like this since kittenhood and is just plain fun. She was such an active kitten that I nicknamed her "the whirly-dirly girl" after the whirly digs that spin in the wind.

6) How do you give back to our animal friends? What charities do you hold near and dear to your heart?
We have been rescuing, adopting and finding homes for stray cats for many years. I was very excited when I heard about T-N-R (trap, neuter, return) and took one of the first courses offered by Neighborhood Cats. There were a lot of feral cats wandering through our back yard when we moved to Queens, so it seemed like a smart thing to do. Subsequently, we discovered that the cats belonged to a managed colony in our community so, I never had to put these skills to use. But the knowledge gained has been invaluable in introducing others to the benefits of T-N-R.

Bill and I have always donated to a number of animal organizations. Once on Etsy I saw that other Etsians donated portions of their proceeds to animal charities and decided to donate $1 for every pair of earrings I sell to Neighborhood Cats. I feel that this is a way of giving back for the training I received. Education is as important as implementation.

The next thing I found on Etsy was EFA (Etsy for Animals). The concept of donating to different animal charities appealed to me and I joined, although not being computer savvy slowed down my participation at first. Now I'm a regular thread bumper and a participant with product donations to the EFA shop and to organizations that need a helping hand. It suits me well and when I see the donations made by EFA members to the charity of the month, I feel proud to be a part of such an amazing street team.

Here is a photo of one of Lynn's paintings that she did of the Na Pali coast in Kauai, Hawaii, just one of her many talents!

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