How Failing to Launch a Vegan Shoe Line Created Amare

For those of you who followed me here from The Fit Frequent Flyer and continued to support me during the vegan shoe research, thank you!  I appreciate all the love, support, and encouragement.  If we are meeting for the first time, welcome!  I appreciate you too.  Here’s a little background about what brought us all here.

The very first blog

In 2015 I launched a blog titled The Fit Frequent Flyer.  It was the scariest, most vulnerable, and publicly personal thing I had ever done.  It was the first time, since college, that I put myself and my writing out there for public consumption.  In the process I learned a ton about myself, content creation, and even a little bit about photography.

The idea for The Fit Frequent Flyer was conceived from the notion that work travel is synonymous with weight gain.  Travel is necessary for my career, and fitness is my passion.  I found a way to incorporate my healthy life style with the travel demands of my job, and because so many traveling professionals struggle with this balance, I started thinking about sharing my secrets via a blog.

My sister-in-law came up with the name and gave me the courage to start writing.  I didn’t know it then, but I needed The Fit Frequent Flyer more than my followers needed me.  I needed the creative outlet.  I needed the project. 

I needed to feel like I was making a difference in the world, regardless of how small.

The blog had a modest following and mostly motivated friends and family to incorporate fitness into their busy days.  It also fulfilled and energized me.  It became a remarkable escape from the mundane day-to-day of my job.  And, it was something more. Something grander.  The blog exposed something buried deep inside me that had always been there, but untapped: entrepreneurship.  My mind was a torrent of new ideas and inventions.  I couldn’t shut it off, and I didn’t want to.

A New Awareness

Something else was transforming in my life at this time, on account of watching the Netflix documentary ‘What the Health’.  Already a pescatarian I had heard the messages before, and I knew the reasons to move to a plant-based diet, but something about hearing the message was different this time.  I REALLY heard it.  It resonated with me.  I connected with the message.  I promoted the message.  I adopted the message.  And most importantly, I connected with the animals at the heart of the message.

I decided I could not, would not, stand by passively any longer.  

I gave up fish.  I abandoned eggs.  I started exploring cruelty-free products. I found fun and fashionable vegan handbags and faux leather.  I found faux suede and fur alternatives.  I went as far as the research and development phase of launching a luxury vegan shoe line.

Vegan shoes were the answer, until they weren’t

I was accepted into a Fashion Start-up Acceleration program, Factory 45, which by the way, I would highly recommend for fashion entrepreneurs out there.  Shannon Whitehead, Founder of Factory 45, only accepts brands committed to sustainable fashion.  I was accepted because of my vegan mission statement, but I have to admit, I didn’t know squat about sustainable fashion at the time.

I learned a ton during the 6-months with Factory 45.  Not only did I learn about sustainable vs. fast fashion, I sadly learned how wasteful, unethical and inhumane the mainstream fashion industry is.  Unfortunately, I also found that vegan-leather alternatives are not durable enough yet for luxury shoes, and therefore wasteful and not at all sustainable.  I felt defeated.

At one point I was afraid I was quitting out of fear of failure.  Ironic, I know, but it was a real concern.  I didn’t want to give up after putting so much time, money and effort into the project, so I meditated on it – A LOT.  I kept coming to the conclusion that while vegan shoes weren’t my calling I was on the right track.

Finally, it was crystal clear.  The last several years were preparing me to create Amare by Heidi, a digital sustainable lifestyle magazine.

This magazine is for everyone, whether you are living and breathing green lifestyle or mom of three looking for easy and adoptable eco-friendly hacks. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle does not have to be at the sacrifice of style or self-expression.  We don’t all need to wear hemp clothing and make our own nut milk to contribute to the health and longevity of our bodies, minds, and the planet. 

Conscious consumerism, vegan diets, and eco-friendly living can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

I’m not a perfect sustainable consumer, vegan, or spiritual person, but I am a conscious consumer and eater and a committed work in progress.  I’m not perfect first and foremost because I’m human, but more so, because it’s extremely difficult to go against mainstream industries like fashion, meat and dairy, hospitality, etc.

My mission to educate and introduce small and easy eco-conveniences that will collectively make huge impacts on the wonderful world we live in.

This site is dedicated to you.  For caring enough about this life to take care of it.  Amare is Latin for “to love”.  Amare by Heidi is a place for all of us to appreciate, nurture, and To Love the Life We Live.

Sincerely yours,

Heidi

2 thoughts on “How Failing to Launch a Vegan Shoe Line Created Amare

  1. I am so proud of you for everything, and now for taking on this important issue. Hugs to you from me and all creatures.

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