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Innovative Fundraising: Creating Bracelets for Lemur Conservation at Just 12 Years Old!

Dylan from Creations 4 Wildlife. Photo from their website.

Dylan from Creations 4 Wildlife. Photo from their website.

Today, we chat with Dylan from Creations 4 Wildlife about his fundraising work to support the conservation of wildlife. At just 12 years old, Dylan is determined to do his part to protect the earth and the creatures that call it home.

The mother and son team create and sell beaded bracelets that are inspired by some of Dylan’s favorite endangered species, with 40% of each bracelet’s sale donated to a chosen conservation organization.

October 1st, he launched a new bracelet inspired by 3 types of lemur: ring-tailed lemurs, sifakas, and ruffed lemurs! Funds raised from bracelet sales will benefit the Duke Lemur Center.

Over the past three years Dylan, age 12, has raised more than $3,500 for conservation. As Dylan continues to grow, so do his dreams of saving endangered species and changing the world. One project at a time just won’t do anymore, there are too many endangered species out there Dylan wants to help.

 

How did Creations 4 Wildlife get started? How old were you?

A coquerel's sifaka in Ankarafantsika National Park in Madagascar. Photo by Lynne Venart.

A coquerel’s sifaka in Ankarafantsika National Park in Madagascar. Photo by Lynne Venart.

We started the Creations 4 Wildlife business just 3 months ago, in July while on vacation. The idea was born in our hotel room while discussing better ways to raise money for wildlife conservation. I was 12 years old.

 

Had you fundraised for wildlife conservation before? What inspired you to start this project?

A: Yes, I have raised money for tigers, rhinos, leopards and giraffes, all through San Diego Zoo Global. I have also adopted many animals from different organizations, including Fatu, a Northern white rhino from Ol Pejeta.

I was inspired to start Creations 4 Wildlife as a way to help all animals at one time; specifically for “boots on the ground” conservation projects. I think it is important to not only give to a zoo, but to give to the wild as well. It doesn’t matter how many animals we save in zoos if there are none in the wild.

 

The first bracelet: the Sumatran Tigress. Photo courtesy of Creations 4 Wildlife.

The first bracelet: the Sumatran Tigress. Photo courtesy of Creations 4 Wildlife.

What was the first bracelet that you created with Creations 4 Wildlife? Do you have a favorite bracelet or species that you help?

A: The first bracelet we created was Sumatran Tigress to benefit the Tiger Conservation Campaign. My favorite bracelet is Crash of Rhinos and it has become one of our most popular bracelets. I love all species and it’s impossible to pick just one as a favorite.

 

We are very excited that your newest bracelet is inspired by lemurs, with proceeds benefiting the Duke Lemur Center!

Sales of this bracelet, called "Madagascar's Jewel," will benefit the Duke Lemur Center.

Sales of this bracelet, called “Madagascar’s Jewel,” will benefit the Duke Lemur Center.

We obviously love lemurs. Why did you choose lemurs as your next animal to highlight?

A: I chose lemurs because they are they icons of Madagascar… without lemurs, Madagascar wouldn’t be the same. I grew up watching Zoboomafoo and when I saw the movie Madagascar: Island of Lemurs, I knew I wanted to help save the species.

Lemurs are really a fascinating species and there is nothing else like them. In my opinion they are more elegant than a monkey, and let’s face it, their golden eyes are truly unique.

How do you get the word out about your project?

Sifaka. Photo by Jeff Gibbs.

Sifaka. Photo by Jeff Gibbs.

A: My mom gets the credit for this one. She created the website and runs all of Creations 4 Wildlife social media. We connected with people on Twitter and Facebook and asked friends to help spread the word. Instagram has also been a big part of our advertising. We are still pretty new, so right now it’s all about spreading the word and getting people to know who we are. We have a monthly newsletter that people can sign up for to stay informed on what we are doing.

Knowing that 40% of every sale goes directly to conservation helps sales too, because people know that their purchase is making a difference.

We like to keep our customers updated too, so they know where the money is going. For example, we just raised $400 for International Rhino Foundation and that was a big campaign through social media.

 

It’s inspiring that you started this project at such a young age and have raised over $3500 for wildlife conservation the past 3 years.

Ring-tailed lemur. Photo by Mathias Appel.

Ring-tailed lemur. Photo by Mathias Appel.

What advice do you have for others, young or old, who care about wildlife conservation, want to help, but don’t know what to do?

A: My advice would be as long as you are very passionate and determined, you will be able to make a difference in the world, big or small; it doesn’t matter because every little bit helps.

I feel with that advice you can do pretty much anything you set your mind to.

A simple donation or symbolic adoption is a great place to start. I also suggest looking into different organizations and doing your research to find the best match for you. This way, you can help the species you want to live a better life.

 

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