The Conservationist was born out of my love for wildlife, devotion to making a positive difference in this world and career in merchandising.
Like many children, I fell in love with animals at an early age, glued to any show on Animal Planet or National Geographic. I was fascinated by the animal kingdom and how remarkable all of earth's creatures were. In third grade, I remember proudly declaring to my friends and family that Cheetahs were my favorite animal. They were the fastest land animal and were endangered- a new term I learned after selecting them as the topic for my first ever research paper that year. My love affair with wildlife continued to flourish throughout my adolescence and adult life.
I became increasingly aware of our impact on the planet and the urgent need to correct it. I have championed endless causes over the years, but always felt especially committed to animal advocacy. I was drawn to protect them because of their innocence and inability to defend themselves from our destruction. It became apparent to me that animal advocacy was a part of my purpose. This calling started to influence the decisions I made; from changing my diet, attempting to educate others through social media, trying to influence friends, family and colleagues, to choosing the companies I'd support, boycott or actively petition, the politicians I'd vote for and ultimately what led me to launch The Conservationist.
I spent the first part of my career in merchandising. I saw firsthand how a company's success was determined by consumers. It became obvious how powerful our buying decisions are and the impact that they can have on the planet, be it positive or negative.
I always had trouble finding eco-friendly alternatives to replace new purchases I wanted to make. I often thought I wish there was one destination that featured a collection of premium eco-friendly products only that I can purchase from. Ultimately I decided to I would create my own one day. It wasn't until a few years later that I finally realized it was time for me to commit to launching this passion project of mine.
The name, The Conservationist, came to me while visiting The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya (now called Sheldirck Wildlife Trust). This trip had been a dream of mine since reading Daphne Sheldrick's book Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story. Some people save for clothes, cars, homes etc., I save for traveling. Five years after reading her book and being foster parents to orphaned elephants under SWT's care, I finally got to visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and meet the newest orphans in person! After a few days of visiting the orphanage in Nairobi we embarked on a seven day safari. It was during our safari that l heard our guide, James (a name that is near and dear to my heart- another story on its own), call himself a conservationist. He said it with such pride and suddenly it clicked for me. My entire life conservationists were my idols, but I had never heard anyone my age that didn't work directly with animals self identify as one in person before. It resonated with soul.
A conservationist is a person who advocates or acts for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife. This identity is the guiding force behind every decision we make. We hope our mission inspires more people to proudly call themselves conservationists.