Yes, it is THAT time of year again! The famous Earth Garden Festival is approaching and there are only 6 days left until we will meet you all in the lovely Ta’ Qali National Park!
As usual, the preparations are underway. Mal and Rita have been working really hard to bring you the fifth edition of the ever popular The Cat Shop – and this year we can honestly promise you, it is very, very much different! We have completely and utterly rebooted the idea behind the store and we have some seriously cute cat-friendly artwork to prove it! You can expect a lot of great, innovative ideas from the organizers of the festival as well. One of the new things implemented this year are the small interviews with all stand owners from the Ethnic Market, which will help you to learn more about the artists and their works. We have been interviewed as well and we are proudly presenting you with the Introduction to The Cat Shop!
Earth Garden: What’s your name/ the name of your team, Business or Brand?
Vanadian Avenue: We are twin sisters: Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz. The name of the stand is The Cat Shop – because all our items have a cat pattern. Beside the stand, we also run a blog, organize events and promote independent artists on social media, all under the name “Vanadian Avenue”.
Earth Garden: Tell us about your business. What is it? What inspired or motivated you to start this venture? How long have you been doing it?
Vanadian Avenue: We started The Cat Shop about five years ago, just to see if any of the painting would sell. We got a very positive reaction (and quite a few sales!) and even have people coming back each year to say hi.This will be our fifth Earth Garden edition. We can’t wait!
Earth Garden: Did you have any green initiatives in place before Earth Garden? (For example is sustainability part of your business model? What about the packaging you use, the source of your products, OR any energy or water saving efforts, waste management – recycling, composting etc., do you tell people about it? Do you include customers in these initiatives? – Feel free to answer what applies to you as these are just ideas to guide you)
Vanadian Avenue: Think globally, do locally – this is what we believe in. We try to reuse items when creating new cats (check out the lovely clay sculptures – the eyes are made of old bulbs and they fit perfectly!) or use organic materials in our paintings. We also have the policy of cleaning the site before we leave so no garbage is left behind. You don’t have to have a big ecological procedure to be effective. Not leaving a mess is good enough. Remember that Ta`Qali is a national monument and is to be enjoyed by everybody all year round!
Earth Garden: Do you have any hidden talents most people don’t know about?
Vanadian Avenue: We have been in a church choir. Rita is a mezzo soprano, while Malicia is an alto.
Earth Garden: What are you selling at Earth Garden?
Vanadian Avenue: We will be selling paintings, posters, fridge magnets and a variety of fantastical cats. You have to come and see them before they are all adopted!
Earth Garden: Are you In: What are you doing to make your part of Earth Garden Greener? Tell us about your product, your brand and/or your stall (for example the materials for your stall, your packaging).
Vanadian Avenue: We try to keep things simple: one table (aluminium – lasts for years), two old rattan boxes (perfect for storage and moving things, also add character to the stall), some decorations: balloons, some string, paper bags for packaging. Green and ecological also means that you don’t show up with an entire caravan and take too much space!
Earth Garden: Why does going greener matter to you?
Vanadian Avenue: Going greener means being responsible: about your actions, about your surroundings, leaving things as they were after you leave. There is nothing uglier than leaving mess in a beautiful garden!
Earth Garden: What would you tell other people who want to start similar projects – any words of encouragement or advice on how they can do things more sustainably?
Vanadian Avenue: We would like to tell people to start making art, no matter if they think of themselves to be artists, craftsmen or just mere amateurs. Do it, train, practice, create. Don’t listen to what others say. On our stand we keep a guest book and we encourage people to draw in it. People leave fantastic artworks and ideas and do not even realize how talented they really are! We need more art in our lives. Otherwise, life will be boring!
Earth Garden 5th-7th June 2015 Ta’ Qali National Park, Malta
Please come back soon as we will show you some of the wonderful artworks that we have prepared for The Cat Shop A.D. 2015!
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz