What’s your name and who are you?
Cathryn Wills and I’m the Founder of vegan fashion brand Sans Beast.
At this moment, where are you writing from?
Our HQ/Studio in Kensington, Melbourne, Australia.
How long have you been vegetarian for and what was your inspiration behind the switch?
After being vegetarian from early 2015, I moved to a vegan diet towards the end of 2017. The move came about through education – watching movies and reading Peter Singers’ Animal Liberation. More recently I watched Dominion and it solidified my views even further. I realised that liking the taste of food wasn’t enough of a reason to contribute to animal suffering.
What is Sans Beast and where did the inspiration come from?
Sans Beast is a vegan fashion brand; we design and produce bags and wallets. I was inspired to create the brand after much ‘think time’ post leaving a long term executive role within the fashion accessories realm; leather handbags being a major category of the business I led. I didn’t want to work with leather any longer, yet I still had a yearning to create.
You support some great organisations such as Edgar’s mission – how do you give back to ‘the beasts’?We support
Edgars Mission in a small but committed way, by donating the gross profits from sales of our bag charms to the animal sanctuary. Being a
new brand (launching March 2018), we needed to start small – profit is not a reality for a brand-new business – but I wanted to ensure we walked our talk from day 1. We will continue to brainstorm and action ideas for raising funds for this not-forprofit entity and I hope, in time, we will make a positive difference to the sanctuary.
What’s next for Sans Beast?
Surviving and thriving in year 1 of business is a priority right now! It’s been an exceptionally huge year leading up to our launch, and then driving growth and brand love. I’d like to see us expand internationally in early 2019 and then, extend our product range further by summer 2019. Collaboration is also top of mind, as it feeds the spirit and adds a new element to the brand for our community.
What does success mean to you?
A sense of peace and fulfilment in what I do each day. I enjoy working hard and dedicating most of my time to this business. Success, however means (eventually) carving out time to nurture hobbies and passion projects that I’ve been remiss in building for many years! Success is also
very much linked to building a dynamic, passionate and committed team who work towards the same animal loving, yet style seeking goal.
Do you have a personal or business mantra?
Make a difference, have impact, stand for what you believe in.
You’re going on a road trip and you have a desperate need to stop for fries, who are you travelling with and what’s your LOTF order?
I’d be travelling with my partner John and we’d both get a New Guru burger, then 1 portion of shoestring and one portion of sweet potato fries.
Lastly…shoe string or classic fries?