Fia is the talented artist behind Fianaturals Jewelry. After she received her Master of Fine Arts degree, she decided to start painting. She’s been at it for 10 years…oil on canvas and mixing materials like sand, raffia, recycled metal parts, calabash,dried leaves and seeds. Since childhood, she’s been drawn to beads and natural jewelry. The creation of her Etsy shop came naturally after she decided to make a business of what she loved, alwaysÂ keeping artistic creation at the center of her new activity.
How do you make your craft or Etsy shop eco-friendly?
My shop on Etsy is eco-friendly because of the materials I use in my craft.
Seeds, shells and wood are sustainable and have been used by Humans for centuries to make jewelry and art.Â I also include recycled glass beads from Ghana in my jewelry, made out of old bottles of beer and soda.Â Most of the stones in my jewelry are natural.Â I reuse as much as I can, including findings and beads from jewelry that I’m not using anymore.Â My wrapping is even eco-friendly, because I use tissue paper and African colorful fabric ribbon.Â Even my studio lamp is eco-friendly with a low power bulb!!!
Why did you join the Eco Etsy team?
I’m concerned about the environment not only in my craft but in my everyday life…from my cleaning products for the house to using reusable shopping bags. I’m also an organic gardener andÂ like to share eco-tips with others who have the same values.
Which piece is your current favorite?
My last piece “Seeds and Turquoise Necklace” is my current favorite.
But it’s hard to choose…I have so many favorites!
What are you currently working on?
I’m making a choker style necklace with a red glass pendant.
What steps have you taken to lead a green lifestyle?
I plant my vegetables in a raised bed without using any pesticides or chemical fertilizer. I educate myself and others in my community garden by going to gardening workshops about butterfly gardening or cover crops (organic improvements of soil), andÂ I’m also a member of a local food coop so I can support local agriculture.
For me the most important thing is the future: what are we leaving for the next generations? That’s why I educate my children with the environment in mind. I try to give them values for life.Â I’m from West Africa, Benin, where all the food is organic. There are no labels “certified organic” but everything is natural just because chemical fertilizers are too expensive for farmers. So being green has been normal for me since childhood. It is a necessity not an option.
What do you do when you are not crafting?
Taking care of my 2 girls.
What is the most eco-friendly purchase you have made?
A cruiser bike and a trailer to carry my kids and go to the garden to check if our vegetables have grown!
Where else can we find you?