Erin Moffatt first conceived of her Poop Hearts art project because of boring bathroom walls.
“I was looking for funny art for my bathroom. That’s really where it started,” Moffatt says. “I was looking for something funny and couldn’t find anything that worked, so I thought about making a pooping unicorn, since that’s kind of a popular thing.”
Moffatt’s quirky creation, made from recycled materials, caught the eye of several friends, who asked for their own. She continued making pieces with bears, owls and other rainbow-coloured, heart-pooping fauna in her spare time. When the economic downturn put Moffat, a mechanical engineer, out of a job, it occurred to her that she might be able to turn her art into a business.
In April of last year, Moffatt met celebrity entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson as part of a pitching event put on by Uber. While Wilson didn’t invest, per se, he bought $5,000 worth of product, providing both some funding as well as motivation for Moffat to get serious. “While talking to Brett, I mentioned I was going to do a Kickstarter,” she says. “I thought, now that I’ve told somebody, especially someone like Brett, I’d better do the Kickstarter.”
The crowd-funding campaign raised more than $8,000, exceeding Moffat’s $5,000 target. She donated 10 per cent of proceeds acquired during the crowd-funding campaign to the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology [CAWST], a Calgary-based organization that helps people around the world get safe drinking water, and educates about sanitation and hygiene.
Moffatt continues to donate a percentage of her proceeds to CAWST. “I knew I wanted to use my artwork to be a ‘voice for sanitation’,” she says. “When I found [CAWST] I realized they’re exactly the kind of charity I had in mind.”
Asked about having her name inextricably tied to poop for the foreseeable future, Moffatt is good-natured. “I’m fine if I’m known as the crazy poop lady, I appreciate that,” she says. “It’s not something that people want to sit around and talk about; I want to be able to change that. Really, poop is the key to our health. I think it’s important to talk about it.”
For more information, visit poopheart.com.