Sink Or Swim Custom Kicks
When I recently saw Sink Or Swim Custom Kicks featured in Alternative Press, I knew we had to work together. One-of-a-kind, hand-painted shoes featuring designs inspired by some of my favorite bands, like A Loss For Words, Paramore, and Set Your Goals? Sign me up! So you can only imagine how excited I was when I discovered that Sink Or Swim owner Jill Forie is vegan, totally backs peta2, and wants to donate a pair of custom designed shoes to auction for peta2. She’s pretty much the best. 🙂
Check out Jill’s interview below to learn more about how she got started and what animal rights means to her, and then find out how you can win a custom designed pair of peta2 shoes!
1. What was your first introduction to animal rights and/or peta2?
I’ve always been an animal lover. I will never understand animal cruelty nor do I feel that it is ever justified. I began taking a stance on animal rights as a teenager when I learned about vegetarian/vegan lifestyles through friends I met by going to local music shows. I eventually discovered PETA/peta2 via informational booths at events like the Vans Warped Tour.
My main passion within animal rights besides my diet is due to my Pit bull. In 2007 I adopted a six-week-old all white Pit bull on a whim. He was abandoned and due to be euthanized at a shelter within 24 hours. Within those 24 hours I scooped him up and he’s been the love of my life ever since. Since getting Leroy I’ve become aware of and actively educating people on the false stereotypes of Pit bulls. I fully believe in the “punish the deed, not the breed,” philosophy.
2. How long have you been vegan? What influenced you to make that decision?
Four years animal-product free and feeling good! I grew up not knowing that having a meat-free diet was an option. It wasn’t until I was exposed to vegetarianism/veganism that I realized there are all sorts of ways to live without meat and animal bi-products. I first made the lifestyle change for health reasons. I wanted to lose weight so I dove right into giving up everything including dairy and other bi-products. I dropped weight quickly and in a healthy way, not to mention my energy increased. From there I realized how much better I felt both mentally and physically. Before making the switch I was always one of those people that said “I love animals but I could NEVER give up meat!” When I hear people give that excuse now I just laugh to myself. It’s so much easier than you’d think it is. Especially nowadays; there’s a cruelty-free substitute to match any craving. In fact, I just ate a vegan “meatball” roll with Daiya mozzarella cheese and green peppers. In case you were wondering, it was delicious.
3. When did you start Sink Or Swim Custom Kicks? How did the idea come about?
I call Sink or Swim my happy accident. I never intended for it to become anything more than me painting 10 pairs a year for my friends. The idea blossomed because I made myself a pair and the more I wore them around, the more people would ask for a pair of their own. I was able to turn my artworks into moving canvases. Now I’ve made almost 300 pairs and have sent shoes all over the world. I’ve been so lucky to be constantly surrounded by people who support what I do and love my work.
4. What inspired you to want to work with peta2 to create these one-of-a-kind peta2 shoes?
The animals of course! It’s always nice to work with people who feel so strongly about similar issues. I create art every day, even if it’s just a doodle. The need to create consumes me, which is why turning the shoe painting into a company fed that need. Now, being able to make a pair of shoes for peta2 to raise awareness and funds for animal rights fulfills not only that drive to create a piece of artwork but to create artwork that will help issues I profoundly support. Becoming involved in charitable causes, especially for those that directly impact my life is something I’m taking more action with. peta2 seeking me out affirmed that doing what you love eventually opens doors to helping other people, or in this cases animals.
5. What can fans do to get more involved with animal rights or to learn more?
Educate yourself! I feel that too many people take a stance on things because someone told them to. When you feel strongly about something, you need to take a firm position. There is so much information about animal rights out there. If you’re interested, start researching! You should keep in mind that animal rights extend far beyond changing your diet. For example, I am extremely passionate about Pit Bull rescue, the adoption of discriminated breeds, and continued efforts to stop illegal dog fighting and breeding. Whether it’s animal rights or any other issues you feel strongly about, be active. I’m a firm believer in people making change in their lives on their own accord. I don’t agree with shoving information/propaganda down people’s throats. That’s not the way to make change. If you feel strongly about animal rights like I do; educate yourself, and then educate others who are curious, then go out and do something about it!
Head here to bid on a pair of custom hand-painted vegan shoes. The winner of the auction will receive one pair of Slip-On Vans in his or her size, featuring the one-of-a-kind peta2 design pictured above. All proceeds from the auction go directly back to peta2 to help continue our life-saving work for animals. This one-of-a-kind design is the perfect way to show your peta2 love everywhere you go and make a contribution to animals while doing it!