Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Cranford.
Jennifer, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey began on Christmas day in 2014. I had been begging my parents for a new dog, specifically a beagle, for months and they surprised me with one that Christmas morning. At that time, I had no idea I would learn so much about myself and the world around me from a dog, but I did and still continue to every day.
I always research everything, so when I got this new beagle pup, I had to learn everything there was to know about beagles. This led to me to find an organization called Beagle Freedom Project (now called Rescue Freedom Project). RFP is an organization that focuses on rescuing and rehabilitating animals from testing labs. I learned that beagles were the most commonly used dogs for animal testing in labs due to their loyal and forgiving nature. My heart shattered with the thought of my sweet beagle, Belle, being abused in a lab and her gentle nature being taken advantage of. That same day, I decided I would do my part to be better and educate others on this topic.
Over the next few years, I made changes in my lifestyle, really focusing on the products I use in and around my home. I had learned so much about what it meant to be cruelty-free and reminded myself to take the extra minute to find a product with a certified cruelty-free label. I swapped out cosmetics, skincare, haircare, cleaning products and anything I could think of over the years to cruelty-free choices. Once I had done this, I realized my body was so much healthier and I felt better not only in my body but in my home, too.
Fast-forward to 2019, I kept having this feeling that I could and should do more with the knowledge I have. And not only to share that knowledge but to expand what I was learning about. I began learning more about sustainability and living with less. That’s when I gave in and created my blog ‘Good Natured Girl.’ I have always enjoyed writing (enough to minor in Journalism) and I thought if anything it would be a good, creative outlet for me. I chose this title because it’s important to me to be “good-natured,” meaning I always try to be friendly and conscious of others; but there’s also the double meaning of doing good for the natural life around us. I thought I would just write about what I knew and share products and ideas with others, but once I created an Instagram page for my blog, everything changed. Not only have I made many like-minded friends, but I have also been able to share my passion with people and show others how important it is to use cruelty-free products and to live simply. Most importantly, I have learned so much more about what it means to live naturally, sustainably and animal-friendly.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
To be quite honest, I’m still new to my own journey. I started my blog in February 2019 and continue to learn every day. Some days are harder and I feel like I’m not doing enough or I won’t achieve my personal goals. But, those are the days I have to remind myself that everyone starts somewhere and even if I only make a difference in one person’s life than I have achieved something great.
The best advice I can offer to any woman starting a new journey is to carve space out of your weekly schedule to spend time working to achieve your goal. Even if it’s only 10 minutes on a Tuesday night. Commit to a specific amount of time and solely focus on what you want to get out of your journey. Brainstorm the ways you can get there and how you can improve yourself along the way.
What should we know about GoodNaturedGirl? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My personal brand and work is to teach others about living cruelty-free, sustainably and naturally. I enjoy teaching people what it means to live this way and to see them taking steps to live a healthier life. Even more, I want people to just get outside and enjoy nature. Being outside is so good for us and it’s really hard to not be happy when you spend time exploring and experiencing new things.
I’m most proud of how far I’ve come in this personal journey. When I first started, I thought to myself, “Why would anyone care about this mission?”, or, “People are gonna think I’m weird.” But, that’s not the case at all. I’ve received so much support from people I know, and many I don’t, and that shows me that I must be doing something right.
What sets me apart from others is my ability to combine a cruelty-free lifestyle with sustainable living. Typically, people focus on one or the other but I really try to stretch my efforts to cover both.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
One of the biggest barriers women face today is being overlooked. Especially when you’re young and a female. People tend to think you lack credibility or you just don’t know what you’re doing. But we know what we’re doing and we have each other for support – that’s what matters.
- Website: Goodnaturedgirl.blog
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @goodnaturedgirl