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Mexico
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BIO

Our Story

Travel has always been a true passion of mine, and in Nov. 2018 I went on vacation to a place I would like to think  of as my second home ~ Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My dear friends who have lived there for about 10 years were opening up a collaborative space including an art gallery and artist studios as well as an event space. Qulture was unlike anything I had ever experienced before – and I realized on this trip that I was desperately missing a creative outlet. I was working 70-80 hours a week, exhausted and burnt out. I had a nice bank account but no energy to use it, and my relationships were also depleted as a reflection of where I was. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Looking back now, I see that this trip actually happened for reasons that I wasn't even aware of at the time.

I have always loved getaways to Puerto Vallarta, and feel so inspired when I am there. On this particular trip, I began to notice the abundance of street animals that were there & it really broke my heart knowing how my fluffy Shihtzhu Beau helped heal me after an aggressive bout with cancer a few years prior. I told myself that I had to do something to help, anything! At that point, I honestly didn’t think I could go back to this magical place ever again without a plan to help. My mind wandered for days on end – and I was using the workbook “12 Secrets for Highly Creative Women” while I was there so I had lots of creative juices flowing.

It was towards the end of my trip that I realized that I had thousands of photos that I had taken over the years stored away on by laptop, and that I would create the greeting card line that I always wanted and the proceeds would go to a rescue in Mexico who helped with the street animals, fostering them and getting adoptions lined up so they had a safe home where they would be loved & cared for. This quickly became my passion project!

I went back to PV for New Years that year, and met with a lovely lady by the name of Lisa Godfrey who runs the SULA Society – “Society for Unloved Loveable Animals.” I am so impressed by her & her Mom, Barbara Pearsey and what they do to help these defenseless creatures in that country. In Mexico, animals are left to tend to themselves many times as the funds aren’t readily available to care for them as there is in the United States. Many families aren’t priviledged enough to have a family pet, as it’s just one more mouth to feed. There is a whole animal society at the city dump, and many strays wander the streets starving, sadly.  Enter Lisa! She is a mother of two small children (who are very active in gymnastics etc.) and she works full time! She is originally from England, but had family here in PV so she relocated abroad. She is just so amazing! She gives her time without regard – and jumps in at every chance she gets to help an animal in need of rescue. See before & after photos above of some of her rescue furbabies. 

When I made the decision to do something to give back, I wanted it to be mutually beneficial and a good fit. It was important to me to make sure that honesty & integrity were involved, so that it truly benefitted the animals in need. Lisa and her kind mother are all of these things & were so blessed when I told them I wanted to work together!

It’s been a little over a year since we’ve met. I have visions of creating an art show and both a LIVE/Silent auction to spur donations as well as an opportunity to thank those who have given back to the animals in the community, and to other non-profit organizations as the SPCA, Spay & Neuter Network etc. There are so many people that contribute to the daily care of these sweet souls and for that I am forever grateful.

I still work full time in Real Estate, and I am a recovering perfectionist. Ha! I’m not as buttoned up as I would like, but I have produced hundreds of handmade cards which netted several thousand pesos in donations to the Sula Society. I created my website with the idea to tell the story to others and help spread awareness. I am also curating some pop up art events throughout the area so I can collaborate with other artists and showcase new works.  I’m not exactly where I want to be, but this process has taught me that I have something very valuable to give to the world especially if it’s helping others and I’m empowered to move forward and step outside of my comfort zone knowing just that.

So by helping me, you're also helping them. Thank you so much for your support!

Joanie, Beau and our friends at the Sula Society 


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