Interview With Tiffany Duong, Founder Of The Hungry Elephant

By Jodi Truglio — August 07, 2015

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“One of my favorite animals is the elephant and since we started with sweets, I figured he would always be hungry. He’s also hungry for change, for spreading love, and hungry for peace,” said Tiffany Duong founder, of The Hungry Elephant.

The Hungry Elephant’s mission is to spread awareness and love to animals and the earth, by dedicating a portion of its proceeds to different animal welfare organizations and sanctuaries. All charms and bracelets are nickel-free and lead-free, packaging supplies are eco-friendly. Each item is assembled with love by hand in Southern California.

This goes without saying how lovely, fashionable and thoughtful The Hungry Elephant  jewelry is. My new favorite piece is their dainty little pig necklace”Nia” which means purpose in Swahilian. Like their bracelets each piece is also 14ct gold plated which makes it sturdy yet at the same time it has a delicate feel.

One thing I adore about The Hungry Elephant is their pieces are appropriate to wear to any occasion, whether it is to accessorize a suit for a meeting or cute dress for a night out with friends or that date you have been looking forward too. Each bracelet and necklace add that little bit of understated glamour to every outfit.

Recently Global Looking Glass had the pleasure to ask the lovely  Tiffany Duong a few questions about her company.

Can you tell me a little bit about the The Hungry Elephant?

The Hungry Elephant came about from vegan dessert recipes, if you imagebelieve it or not! I was playing around with banana bread and pumpkin cheesecake for a while and giving the samples to family and friends. They loved it and suggested I start selling them. After the second order on Etsy, I knew it was too hard to keep consistency in taste since ripe bananas were always needed and the shipping cost was way too much for me. At the time, my best friend and sister were making and selling jewelry and I asked myself why there wasn’t something classy that represented the way I lived my life. I wanted to help animals and create awareness for their plights so I came up with animal designs I believed were the most exploited in our society today. I needed to feel like I was helping in some way and this was the perfect opportunity to dedicate our proceeds to various charities. It kind of snowballed from there and now we are in several retailers.

What inspires your designs?

The jewelry reflects my personal style – minimal and dainty yet imagemodern, and it represents a powerful message. I wanted to create pieces I would wear myself and would feel proud of showing off.

All of your animal charms have a little story about each animal it represents, how did that idea come about?

I gave each charm’s name a meaning and strength because in real life, they don’t have a voice. I gave them all a fictitious home on our sanctuary where exploitation and suffering weren’t seen. All animals have a birthright to be free, just like humans, and I wanted to give them that right by showing people how they would thrive if we all adopted a vegan lifestyle. I wanted to cover enough information about the hardships each animal goes through and to give them a story that is usually never connected with or seen. These animals had a father, a mother, and a face before they became dinner staples or used in entertainment or testing. I wanted to connect that for people because I believe we all share this planet and once they’re aware of what’s on their plate or where their money goes to support, they will realize we all want the same thing – peace and happiness.

Out of all the bracelets that I have worn your, Karuna V is the one I receive the most complements on by people who do not follow a plant based diet. How did the bracelet come about?

I knew there weren’t designs out there that embrace the V for Vegan icon and I wanted to create that since I knew people would love it. In my culture, red is the symbolic color of luck, joy, prosperity and abundance and knew I had to incorporate that into my jewelry.

What does compassion mean to you?

imageTo me, compassion means so much more than the definition. Compassion is putting yourself in someone else’s life, feeling their pain and wanting to reduce that anguish all at the same time. Compassion is feeling the breath of the Earth and wanting to conserve her beauty the best you could. Compassion is seeing past the sufferings of humanity and knowing we are all one.

What is your vegan or vegetarian food guilty pleasure?

I go through phases of guilty pleasures and right now its vegan Japanese ramen. But my forever guilty pleasure is of course vegan pizza!

What should we expect next from The Hungry Elephant.

You can expect our continued commitment in spreading positivity for a cruelty-free lifestyle and definitely donating to more animal sanctuaries in need. We will be expanding our line with more charms and necklaces, so stay tuned!

Courtesy Image: The Hungry Elephant

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