It’s safe to say you can make anything you want if you set your mind to it, but making something you love is always a lot more fun and when you are your own boss there is nothing stopping you. Some of our most recent items have been created purely because of a passion I have.
Anyone who knows me will tell you ‘she loves animals, especially horses and dogs’ . This is very true, but there is another animal that I have adored and have been fascinated with since I was 8 years old. October 1988 I was having a child’s dream holiday to Orlando, Florida. However it wasn’t Mickey Mouse that had me mesmerised, it was the orca whales of Seaworld. I had never heard of an orca whale before this and watching them swimming past us through the glass was captivating. One of them stopped and looked right at me, a memory that will stay with me forever. The whales were just magnificent and even the baby whale Shamu was huge. I was simply hooked.
After a fortnight of amazing sights and thrills I was back in England with a head full of dreams of how I would see an orca again, perhaps I’d become a whale trainer? In my need to learn more about whales I came across a charity called The Whale and Dolphin Society (WDCS) and as quickly as I had fallen in love with the orcas I quickly learned that they were not meant to be in captivity. They belonged to the world's oceans and nowhere else.
For my 12th birthday after years of pleading I was ‘adopted’ an orca through the WDCS. I chose Holly, she was born the same year as me, a wild orca living off the coast of British Columbia. With a quarterly magazine and a print of Holly on my bedroom wall I received regular updates of her and her pod and learned more about orcas. With aspirations to become a whale trainer firmly replaced with becoming a marine biologist, clearly this never transpired. I am actually a useless swimmer and quite frankly scared in the sea.
When I turned 14 the movie Free Willy was released and I remember thinking finally now everyone will feel what I feel about the orcas. I grew up watching the likes of Michael Jackson advocate for the freedom of the real ‘Free Willy’ Keiko and years later I rejoiced when he was finally returned to the ocean. It was bitter sweet though as he never found his family again in his time back in the ocean before he passed away. For me I would love to see the end to captivity for whales and dolphins and for the ones still living in the tanks if they can’t be released then to be moved to ocean sea pens where they can live a more natural life and not be made to breed or entertain.
As we grow up many things change in our lives but one thing that has never changed is my love for orcas. I follow a number of groups on Facebook such as the ‘Shetland Wildlife’ and ‘I Love Orcas’ where I am always amazed by the amazing images and footage they share and one day I hope to see an orca again but this time I’d love to take my son somewhere where we might catch a glimpse of them in the wild.
So now that I have shared my story behind the whale and dolphin products we would love to know If you have a passion for whales and dolphins too we’d love to hear about it or maybe another animal has captivated you and you would love to see more items created with them too? As always we love your feedback so please get in touch.
Some of the products we've created behind this inspiring animal can be found here.