Updated: Wednesday, 07 Nov 2012, 1:41 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 07 Nov 2012, 1:41 PM EST
Grand Rapids, Mich. (WOTV) - I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for a call with Elizabeth Olsen of Olsenhaus Vegan Shoes and Accessories to discuss her work and her vegan lifestyle. I'm excited to share with you this interesting interview.
Michele Fife- Elizabeth, thank you for speaking with me today. I am a fan of your work. Please tell me more about yourself and how Olsenhaus came to be.
Elizabeth Olsen- Olsenhaus was founded in New York City in 2008. Prior to this I was employed by Tommy Hilfiger to launch a new line of leather purses. Being a vegetarian since age 15, I had never really thought about animal skin. As a part of launching this line I had to travel the world to factories and tanneries. What I saw there sickened me. Not only is the process of creating leather (skin) torturous and harmful to the animal beings but the humans who works there are at risk for sickness and disease. It’s a completely toxic environment.
We started wearing/using leather as cavemen. We are no longer cavemen, we have cell phones, and we have choices. There is no reason why we should still be eating and wearing animals.
So witnessing this I had what you would call a moment. I quit my job with Tommy Hilfiger and started my own line. There were already successful vegan handbags and I had previously designed shoes so I went there.
Michele Fife- That is wonderful and amazing that you have turned your passion into a successful career. Aside from the success of Olsenhaus, what other benefits have you experienced from your Vegan lifestyle?
Elizabeth Olsen- Heath wise, I previously suffered from allergies and endometriosis. Both of those physical ailments have disappeared since I am no longer consuming dairy products. I will soon be turning 40 and I do not take any meds at all. On another plane, I notice a sense of clarity and higher level of awareness of myself and the world around me. I no longer feel bogged down with life and enjoy a sense of peace and wellbeing.
During my 30’s I was not living a happy life. Now I am much more laid back and calm. I have been through a LOT in my life. But now I am able to stand back and feel like. “Okay that happened, now lets move on.”
I feel like I am finally doing what I was put on this planet to do, and that is be a voice for animals, animal rights and offer people insight into a better way to live.
Michele Fife- I know that you are also a Yogini; can you please share a bit about that aspect of your life?
Elizabeth Olsen- Yoga brought me, back to me and without the "me"...
My Yoga practice is an instruction manual on how to care for the human physical body. It’s not about the poses, but about the movement, flow intention and separation from the mind. If you watch human babies, children and animals they naturally do yoga moves. When I was little I trained to be a skater and we did lots of yoga moves in warm-up stretches, although at the time, I had no idea it was yoga. Then in my 20s I was really into yoga, it came naturally, I was strong and flexible. In my 30s I totally fell out of it...and if I did do it, it was hard and I felt sick. My body was just so toxic.
Since moving back to Florida from NYC, I have done Yoga nearly everyday. And I get it now more than ever. I have regained flexibility, strength, poise, total body awareness, confidence, balance, mental clarity, peace and joy.
I cannot wait to get on the mat every morning and check in with my body and see what is has to say.
Michele Fife- So Elizabeth what is your vision of a perfect society?
Elizabeth Olsen- My Utopia would be a place where humans understand how we are connected to every living thing. A place where we come to realize that every moment is a magnificent experience.
Learn more about Elizabeth Olsen and her products on her website: http://www.olsenhaus.com/about
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