Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Heraver.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been passionate about animals and the environment since I was eight years old! Surfing is another one of my greatest passions because it’s the most amazing feeling getting to ride waves and share space with happy animals in their natural habitat. In 2016, a back injury kept me out of the water, which was devastating.
Shortly after that, I ended up losing a few people that were really close to me. It was that extremely challenging time that had me looking to animals for comfort, and I decided to seek out ways to connect with them. I was amazed to learn how much exploitation was happening in animal tourism (that caused so much suffering) and how it was destroying their habitats across the globe.
I realized I needed to use my skills and talents in any way I could to make a difference. I began an Instagram campaign called, End Animal Slavery, to bring awareness to this cause and published my first book, An Elephant’s Story, which gave a voice to elephants in tourism. I want to spark awareness and compassion in children because by doing this, I believe they will grow up to be kind and caring members of society.
Has it been a smooth road?
In general, it has been a smooth road. It was extremely therapeutic to use art and writing to get my mind off of what was going in my personal life and not being able to surf. It has also been really rewarding knowing that my work is helping the planet and animals and putting smiles on kids’ faces. I have also connected with a lot of like-minded people, and have made so many new friends, which has been really awesome.
I’d say the hardest struggle I’ve faced doing this work has been coping with the reality of the tragic state our planet really is in. Creating and working on these projects requires a lot of research, exploration, and interviewing. When I learn about things like the state of the ocean and how quickly its most majestic creatures are disappearing, it’s a tough pill to swallow. As much as I think there are so many amazing souls doing great work and more people being awakened to this need daily, there are still many more who aren’t aware or who don’t seem to care. That can be hard to deal with at times, but I just remember that every little bit counts and that we are truly making a difference.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
The heart of what I do brings the community together through events and readings and teaches people of all ages how they can help animals. It has recently evolved into a foundation called Angel of the Animals, which will focus on bringing compassionate education and my books to my community and surrounding areas. My books are beautifully done with original poetry and artwork that is all based on research. They empower readers to become part of the solution and inspires them to play their part in making this world a better place.
I also run the End Animal Slavery campaign, which is a great way for people to easily get involved at the touch of a button and spread awareness about what’s going on. I sell awareness shirts and screen print the “End Animal Slavery” logo on repurposed clothing so that my products do not add to the water problems that devastate our planet. All of the proceeds from my shirts, books, and art go toward making this planet a better place and funds all the projects that will reach our future generations-kids!
I think what sets me apart from others might be the fact that I spend a lot of time outside and on the water. I am reminded daily of the great needs our planet faces. Yesterday, I saw a young seal washed up on the sand, surrounded by a shoreline littered with plastic and styrofoam. I am proud to create a foundation that will bring awareness to issues such as these and hopefully make a difference with my time on this earth.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I definitely think Orange County can be a great place to start a business. It is highly populated with consumers, creatives, and other entrepreneurs; it’s a great place for people just starting out to network. It’s also extremely beautiful with great weather and provides for all sorts of awesome event ideas both inside and outside. I’d say the greatest challenge might be the high cost of living on the Southern California Coast. So, it’s important to have a good business plan and be prepared to work hard.
- An Elephant’s Story is available to order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all other retailers for 11.99.
- To book a guest author reading or donate to Angel of the Animals, visit www.angeloftheanimals.org
- End Animal Slavery Campaign Tees $25 Visit @end_animal_slavery to join the campaign and shop!
- Website: www.angeloftheanimals.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/end_animal_slavery/ and www.instagram.com/angel_of_
- Other: Campaign Blog: www.endanimalslavery.net
Surfing Photo: Michael Latham, End Animal Slavery Campaign Photos: Joseph Barber Photography