Rebecca D. Thomas

A lifestyle blog, searching for innovative and forward-thinking ideas in food, fashion, travel, business, and beyond! Classroom-ready, values-driven content. Disrupting the blogosphere, one post at a time! ;)

Globally Savvy: My Interview with The Fuzzy Pineapple

Hello, friends! Show of hands, please: Do you consider yourself an artistic person? Obviously, I can’t see your hands, but my hand is down 😊 And I can barely trace the back of it! I have great respect for people who can paint, draw, build, and who are just innately crafty. That is one reason why I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Nef, Chief Creative Officer at The Fuzzy Pineapple.

In The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability, Designing for Abundance, the authors discuss how makers and manufacturers don’t think about how, a piece of clothing, for example, will work in its next life. We’ve been trained to think about making “one-cycle” products. But, cooking is one example of how we think about an items future function. When we buy food, we are thinking about what we are going to do with it (preparation), what the food is going to do to us (fill us up), how it is going to help us (provides energy, the ability for our bodies to function).  Many pieces from Nef’s line have been given a new life. She is taking a step in the right direction, learning to ask, “what’s next?” It’s a new way to open our minds, imagine, and create. And, it’s fun!
Meeting Nef at the local Saturday morning market!
Thank you so much for your time! Why did you decided to launch The Fuzzy Pineapple? I launched because I wanted to get a job, but my dad wouldn’t let me. He wanted me to focus on school. So instead, he gave me $100.00 to purchase supplies to make and sell jewelry. This love of making and creating soon gave birth to The Fuzzy Pineapple!
What is your purpose, and the mission behind The Fuzzy Pineapple? My purpose has shifted from just building my personal brand to helping others to build theirs. My focus is now on building and growing TFP Art Fest, because I get to help others join the art and business world and make those all-important people-to-people connections. Ultimately, I envision TFP to have an “Etsy meets Renegade Craft Fair” vibe.

My little promo video!

Can you tell me about how you’ve incorporated upcycling into your business?  Stained, old, or ripped shirts get a makeover through screen-printing and tie-dying. I also tie-dye shorts, to give them new life. I upcycle jeans, and jean material. I use the off-cuts, or fabric scraps, to create blankets and bags for people in need. I create tapestries out of old bed sheets, that can be used as tarps, picnic blankets, and they also make beautiful gifts. I collect bottle caps from bars, and I use them to make earrings (this is my favorite part of her collection!). I used to make jewelry from leather scraps, but lately, I’ve shifted my work to include natural plant fibers, metal, gemstones, wood, bone, and glass.
Anything else you would like to share? Our style is characterized as “Where Candy Meets Culture,” and we make customizeable, wearable art for the person on the go. We are aware of today’s “grab-n-go” society, and we want to offer products that are sustainably and ethically- sourced.
This is when I spotted the bottle-cap earrings! 

I really enjoyed getting to know Nef.
As mentioned in the interview, Nef introduced me to the Renegade Craft Fair. This fair features many makers who upcycle, while connecting people from around the world. As I was looking through their list of artists, I found Kiboro. I love their motto, Second Chances Do Exist. This applies to people, clothes, furniture – you name it! Their clothes are made from repurposed materials, and they evoke a sense of community and tradition. But what happens to the Kiboro, when the baby outgrows it? Do you imagine and re-imagine what your furniture, clothes, car, can become? It’s an exciting way of thinking that can create new and endless possibilities, for a variety of businesses.

I’m learning a lot from this young entrepreneur!

Beautiful, inside and out! Do you have a favorite local business? Are you a DIYer, or do you enjoy re-purposing? I'm really good at re-gifting (don't tell anyone!!) ;) Thank you for reading!
Reference:

William McDonough, M. B. (2013). The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability-Designing for Abundance. New York: Melcher Media.

23 comments

  1. I love the name of Nef’s Shop - the Fuzzy Pineapple and I would love to visit it the next time that I am in Tallahassee. I am totally onboard with global sustainability! I buy all of my clothes secondhand and donate them when I am done wearing them. I am currently trying to minimize- would love to see a blog on that. Thank you for a very informative and interesting blog! You rock!

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    1. Ah, that’s a great idea to write a post on minimizing. That would be a good topic for me to research! I stumbled upon a blog post from Bea, about how she makes 50 outfits from a 15-piece wardrobe!
      https://zerowastehome.com/2016/09/08/my-capsule-wardrobe-15-items-50-outfits/

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  2. Hi Dear,

    Such an interesting post ! Was lovely to read it , Anyway I wish u all the best and keep working because you do it right!

    I would be more than greatefull if u also check my blog and my new post
    https://madamedaria.blogspot.com/2018/09/what-next.html

    Kisses xoxo

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    1. Good morning, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to visiting your blog!

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  3. I'm all for DIYing! I like to sew, and I have re purposed many of my old shirts into cute tops. I also like to make decorative items out of waste or cheap materials. I believe DIYs are great for saving money and reusing things. Little tweaks can turn an otherwise not-so-useful product into something really awesome.

    I really like what Nef's doing and I truly admire her passion. The jewelries look really cool. And, as always, great job Rebecca!

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    1. Hi Jigeesha, so cool to hear about your DIY projects!! I love it! Would love to see pics! Nef helped me to re-think my definition of “trash” when I saw her bottle-cap earrings. Looking forward to seeing your work on Hopes Up!

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  4. Ich mag den Blog, können wir kooperationen haben, mehr können Sie Hier
    klicken.

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  5. I am not the least bit artistic either, so I also respect anyone who is A LOT. This is such a fantastic idea for a company. I love the name The Fuzzy Pineapple, and that she's using up-cycled things. That's awesome!

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    1. Yes, the name is so cute and creative! :) Thank you for visiting!

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  6. Oi Rebecca,
    Gostei da ideia do upcycle e acho que vou incorporar na minha vida.
    Beijos

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  7. The name and the concept are both perfect! Many success for her! She deserves it <3
    Many thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  8. Sehr kool blog und Ort! Ich bin begeistert das du hast auch Leute von Deutscheland interessiert!!

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    1. 😊 😊 Hi Dr. Culhane!! 😊
      Danke! I love Germany, I took a year of German in undergrad, and I’ve spent some time in Munich. I hope to go back, one day!

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  9. Great and interesting post, thank you for sharing!

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