Tell us a bit about yourself:
PB: "My name is Nikki Doran. I am an animal advocate. I design fashionable graphic tee's with strong messages regarding animal welfare and animal rights issues. This isn’t your plain old t-shirt brand. We live and breathe each message we put on our shirts."
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
PB: "I work full time as a CAD Artist for Lane Bryant. I am on the volunteer fundraising committee for a local rescue called PetPromise. I also do some volunteer work with Powell Animal Welfare Society. I am a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and Bowling Green State University. I love to travel, read, and watch documentaries. I also love just spending time with my husband, our 2 rescue dogs, family, and friends."
Where do you get your creativity from?
PB: "My whole family is creative. I was raised by parents who rarely told me ‘No’, they encouraged me to explore and create without boundaries. My older sister is an Art Teacher and my younger sister is an Installation Artist. I guess it’s just in my blood."
What got you into the craft hobby?
PB: "I loved the fast pace energy of the fashion industry and I have always loved animals. I came up with the concept for Personal Baggage when I was in college at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. When I started learning about CAD design with Lane Bryant I knew that I loved it and soon I started designing graphic tee’s at home specifically geared toward animal rights."
How would you describe your creative process?
PB: "LOTS of research on animal rights issues, I like to really believe in something if I am putting it on one of my shirts. Then I like to research what’s trending in fashion and what types of similar messages are already out there on t-shirt's so I don’t copy anyone else’s work. I like to be as unique and original as possible."
What is your most favorite item that you have ever produced?
PB: "I love all my t-shirt designs, but my favorite one is ‘GO FAUX’. This one really hits home because I work in an industry where animal products are so frequently used and animals are often mistreated in the process. I choose not to wear fur, wool, or leather because I believe there are great alternatives out there. I love my cruelty-free wardrobe."
What is your goal with your talent, what are you hoping to achieve?
PB: "Currently I just want to spread the message about animal cruelty issues in a fashionable way. I want people to wear my shirts and basically be a walking billboard for animal rights. And, I want to continue to help support local animal rescues through our donations; it’s nice to know that every time we sell a shirt we can give to an animal in need. However, someday when I retire I would love to open a vegan boutique in Central Ohio."
What got you into selling your art/craft?
PB: "I knew I wanted to make a product that made a difference. When people started seeing how passionate I was about the cause, they started to support it. I started selling shirts to my family and close friends. Now I ship shirts all over the U.S., it is very cool."
What is the message behind your work?
PB: "Education. I am a firm believer that you cannot fault someone for something they don’t know, all you can do is educate them and let them decide for themselves. I can’t change everyone’s mind about animal rights issues, but the way I see it I would rather be doing something to help then nothing at all. We are not perfect; we continue to learn and grow every day. Personal Baggage is a way for me to combine my love for animals with my lust for fashion."
How long have you been doing this for?
PB: "I came up with an idea in 2007, and then I started putting it into motion (very slowly) in 2009. Today my business has tripled and I continue to work with more local animal rescue groups and enter more and more shows. It is really exciting to see the response from people who support what we do. Personal Baggage continues to evolve every day."