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History of Hanimals with Hannah Isenhart

When I was younger, I loved taking pictures of anything, especially my family—not much has changed.

Something I loved to feature in my photographs were my stuffed animals, and at that age I seemed to have an endless supply. My favorite stuffed animal to take pictures of, was my Polar Bear “Po” and he was my first animal that got his own card.

I started putting more of my pictures on cards and mugs to give to my friends and family on special occasions. When my parents had a going away party (we were leaving to Panama for a year), I decided to see if I could sell some of my cards since people were enjoying them. Believe it or not, I earned around $50, which was quite a lot for a girl of six, and I decided right there that I would donate most of my money to Polar Bears and Prairie Dogs.

Pretty soon I started taking pictures of animals in their natural habitat. When I was six, I went in a photo contest and won it with the classic: Foxey and Mousey!

Then when I was 8, I was in Teton National Park and a buyer for cards told me she really liked my idea. She wanted me to take pictures there and in Yellowstone, so, following her request I did—lots!

When I got back into Boulder, I decided to talk to some local store owners and soon enough I was selling my cards at seven local stores. I also decided that I would now only be donating to Polar Bears–they were starting to really need help—and I got in contact with Polar Bears International and have donated 1/3 of my profits to polar bear research ever since.

Now, a new history of Hanimals is taking place. From the years of running a business, I learned so many crucial and important skills from customer interactions to finances. I also love getting out into nature and taking pictures! Through different kid camps I ran, I quickly realized many other kids have similar passions to mine! So, I started coaching kids on photography and entrepreneurial skills. Some are even interested in selling their own branch of Hanimal cards and helping to run Hanimals when I am in college. (Read more in Hanimal Kids). 

-Hannah Isenhart (founder)

Taking photos in China

Chikadee & Me

This was typical in the beginning, shooting large groups of stuffed animals

An early shot of "Beary"

Early on, I used to take lots of group photos.

Concentrating!! (I think there was a bug in the flower).

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