|Kevin and Kelli Rutherford are the founders of My Voice, a t-shirt company that’s dedicated to bringing awareness to animal cruelty and supporting non-profits that stand up for Fido and his friends.|
Q. What is your company’s mission?
A. Our mission is twofold: Give animals a voice, and give back to non-profit organizations that are committed to helping them. Our goal has always been to bring awareness to these issues by making people think and want to learn more. All of the shirts we sell at My Voice are written from the perspective of the animals communicating what we think they would say if they could speak our language.
Q. What made you want to start My Voice?
A. Kellie: I’ve always had a love of animals and believe they deserve to live with dignity and respect. After watching the documentary The Cove, I was appalled at how humans treat what they consider “lesser beings,” and knew I had to do something to give these beautiful creatures that we share our planet with a voice. So I quit my corporate job and the idea for My Voice began.
Kevin: I too have strong convictions that our animal friends are abused and mistreated. Therefore, I decided to leave the Caldrea Company, as their CEO, and join Kelli on this mission to give animals a voice. I truly believe that we can, and will, be positive change agents for the animals, humanity, and the planet we share.
Q. When did the baby line first come out?
A. The children’s line was just launched in March. We heard from lots of people over the course of our first year in business who said they wanted something for their baby or toddler to wear. Many parents share our views about animals, and they want to instill those values in their children at a young age. Teaching kids about respect for all living beings is a common theme for most people who purchase our shirts.
Q. What organizations does your company donate to?
A. We give back to several different organizations. Some of these include:
- A-Rotta Love Plus: This group rescues pit bulls, rehabilitates them for adoption or trains them to become therapy dogs, and runs spay and neuter clinics in low income communities.
- Beagle Freedom Project: This organization wants to put an end to animal testing, and helps rescue Beagles from research labs so they can have a second chance at life.
- Gentle Barn: Here’s a group that rescues and rehabilitates abused animals (mainly livestock), while also spreading awareness about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
- World Wildlife Federation: This organization stands up for the protection of rainforests and the habitats of numerous endangered species.
- The Oceania Project: Preserving our water ways and bringing awareness to the decline in marine life are two goals of this organization.
Q. What are your approaches to giving back?
A. We have three approaches to giving back: The first is monetarily—every shirt purchased generates revenue to give back to these amazing non-profits. Our team also volunteers with several different organizations, because sometimes this is what is needed most. Our final approach is promoting awareness; we want to help non-profits get their message out so they can get more people and resources involved in their mission.
What do you think about this organization? Sound off in the comments section below, or tweet us @KIWIMagazine. Be sure to check out the My Voice shop online, and for more information about the company’s endeavors, read their blog here.