|Saya sporting a Swarovski crystal on her collar.
Sandpiper Cat Blog got a chance to interview Shannon and learn about Saya Papaya and how it all came to be. Shannon has graciously offered a giveaway and coupon code for my readers. All information will be at the bottom of the post.
Sandpiper Cat Blog (SCB): How did you get involved in making jewelry? Is it something that you always wanted to do?
Saya Papaya (SP): I have been crafting and making jewelry my whole life. I have always made jewelry for myself and as gifts, and I like to try new trends in jewelry because what I am able to produce is usually less expensive and of better quality than mass-produced options. When I started making Swarovski jewelry, I quickly learned that not only that people want it, but also that it's not really feasible to make a small quantity just for personal use. Thus, Saya Papaya was born, largely by accident!
SCB: What made you use Swarovski crystals?
SP: I use Swarovski crystals because they are the worldwide standard in crystals and nothing else has been able to compare since their inception. Daniel Swarovski started the company in the 1800s, invented cubic zirconia, and created the standards and methods by which Swarovski crystals are produced - something that no other company has ever been able to replicate. By using Swarovski crystals, I feel like I am part of that rich history. Additionally, Swarovski is the only company that produces totally uniform, flawless crystals, with regards to both cut and color. I purchase my crystals in factory-sealed packages to ensure authenticity, but the truth is that any layperson would be able to tell the difference between Swarovski and their competitors. They're that much better.
SCB: What was your first creation? What is your favorite creation?
SP: When I started Saya Papaya, it included beaded jewelry, which I made for years before I got into Swarovski jewelry. I learned quickly that my Swarovski designs literally outshine my other jewelry, so I donated the remaining inventory of beads to a secondhand clothing store that is a nonprofit organization and donates to dozens of animal shelters and rescues in the Pittsburgh, PA region. I am a corporate sponsor of that charity and continue to have a wonderful relationship with them.
As for my current favorite, I don't think I could choose! I produce a new collection biyearly, and I literally spend hours on each design before it is finalized. Because of that, I have come to love each one for it to make the cut!
SCB: I read that Saya came into your life from a no-kill animal shelter and that a portion of your proceeds goes to that shelter. What made you adopt Saya? How does she inspire you?
SP: I grew up with primarily purebred pets, and I didn't know anything about pet adoption or the number of homeless animals that are euthanized all the time. Because of that, educating people about the plight of homeless pets is very important to me and is the reason why my business has a charitable component.
After moving in to my first apartment, I met and fell in love with my first cat ever, as I had grown up with dogs. With my new found love for cats, my boyfriend and I visited Animal Friends to meet some cats we had seen online. When we visited, those cats weren't available but a little black cat was in a pink cage (pink is my favorite color). Her name was Mamasita, and it suited her. I knew immediately that she was the one, and the rest is history!
I like to make clear that Animal Friends is a no-kill shelter. Pet overpopulation is a serious problem that is everyone's responsibility, not just the responsibility of shelters. The shelters that are forced to euthanize pets take excellent care of as many animals as they can and they do great work. The thing that I love about Animal Friends being a no-kill shelter is that they are able to take in pets from other shelters where animals would otherwise be put down. They see pet overpopulation not as an issue of euthanasia but of education. If more people knew about pet adoption and speutering (spay/neuter), then we wouldn't need to distinguish certain shelters as being "no-kill."
SCB: What dreams/aspirations do you have for the future of Saya Papaya?
SP: One of my favorite parts of owning a jewelry business is the people I get to meet. I love getting to know my customers and their preferences, and I hope to continue making jewelry that people love.
Readers can use the coupon code "RSHUBIN" to receive $5 off. Please do note that this coupon code can only by used one time per person only.
Shannon has graciously offered to give away one pair of the two-stone drop earrings in one of the color combinations pictured below.
|Choices exactly as pictured: green, pink, purple or blue.
You can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway will run from Monday 12/2/13 12 am EST to Monday 12/9/13 12 am EST. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Only open to US residents. Winner will be notified by email.
Receiving free earrings did not persuade my review or opinion. In fact, I wanted to do a review after receiving the earrings. All opinions are mine, honestly.