Creator, bunny advocate and all-round amazing woman, Yolandi Strauss
I love chatting to interesting people within the local and global bunny community and Yolandi Strauss, creator of The Virtual Bunny Club is one of those people.
I regularly contribute blog content for The Virtual Bunny Club’s website and wanted to share a bit more about this unique concept, it’s mission and values, and the wonderful lady behind it all.
Hi Yolandi! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me. Please can you tell me a bit more about the VBC and what it stands for?
Thanks really honoured and humbled to share more about myself and VBC. VBC stands for Virtual Bunny Club and the bigger meaning behind it is to support bunnies virtually. We live in a digitally transformed world, where everything is happening online, virtually and on social media.
VBC aims to use this virtual and online environment to create awareness around bunnies through our website, online shop and social media presence.Yolandi Strauss
Lauren’s note: I absolutely love the message of (bunny) love, care and positivity that Yolandi and The Virtual Bunny Club promote via their online channels.
How did you get involved in the VBC? Where did it all start?
Being a bunny mom, supporting rescues and with my background in project, product, and brand management I quickly realised that one person can only do so much. Then I thought, what if we could create a global and virtual attraction to raise bunny awareness? It started off as experiment where I developed a platform for people to donate Christmas gifts online to a bunny sanctuary.
I soon realised people are reluctant and afraid to use a virtual platform, but they understand the concept of online shopping. I changed the strategy of the platform to include online shopping, blog content and also built a social media following to support our goal of bunny awareness.
We are still new and everyday we’re learning new ways of providing virtual awareness campaigns to the world!
I love that you’re also a bunny mom! Please can you tell me a bit about your bun and your story of “bun-momhood”?
Before I became a bunny mom I was a selfish person that never understood animals well. One day I took my god child, Zoye, to a park to play and she started creating a fascination for bunnies. I informed her that I will get a bunny for us, but the bunny will stay with me, because I wanted to take ownership of the bunny.
I got two bunnies, so that they could play with each other. I also initially researched through YouTube how to take care of the bunnies and slowly started falling in love with them, so much that I wanted to do more in the bunny community.
The VBC website has a ton of stunning local products and services as well as a donation option. Please tell me a bit more about this. And how does this help raise awareness?
With the products, I try and include as many local suppliers as possible. From small start-ups to well established, bunny friendly suppliers. I want all the South African bunny suppliers to support each other and want to stock as many items as I can from various locals.
Our natural pellets have no sugar and preservatives, which many people said they did not think their bunnies would like, but after the first sample they came back saying their bunnies loved it. We are also starting to produce our own Critical Care.
Our stock list is growing each day as we find wonderful people supplying bunny or bunny themed goods.
Here are some to name a few:
- Pellets and critical care (manufactured by rescue center – so we support the rescue center in this way)
- Pinky’s Omnoms willow goodies, their proceeds also go towards rescues
- Honey Buncoco handmade pet accessories
- We also sell popular Njom Njom goods online
Bunny Themed goods:
- Handmade bunny themed socks, beanies etc. for babies
- We are also soon adding handmade cruelty free Bunny Soap from Bigheart.
- Bunny earrings from Hunny Bunny (proceeds of their goods also go to rescues)
- Bunny themed towels
- Bunny themed masks
- Bunny themed T-shirts, kids & baby clothes
How can people get involved with The Virtual Bunny Club?
We are going to make some involvement roles more formal, for example:
- You can become VBC Ambassador – your role will be to represent and spread awareness for VBC on social media. You can become a VBC angel by volunteering to assist rescues through VBC (become a foster, adopt a bunny or help with a rescue project).
- You can become a VBC partner by supplying goods or services or using VBC for goods and services.
- You can become a VBC content creator by providing written or visual content that can be used in social media and online platforms.
- You can become a Facebook or WhatsApp member to share, communicate and enjoy the company of other bunny owners, virtually.
I ask this question to everyone I interview 🙂 What are your top 5 favourite things about bunnies?
- Their cheeky nature wrapped in fluff and delicate heart
- The way they make you feel when you enter into their presence
- The fact that they are so quiet, don’t make a noise, only speak through their soul
- How they make me laugh with their flops, binky’s and quirky personalities
- Their distinct personalities, not one bunny is the same, each one is so unique
Donate or sponsor a bunny
Many of their bunnies which you can support from as little as R50.00 have severe disabilities ranging from blindness, deafness and seizures and have been rescued from unfortunate circumstances.
The Virtual Bunny Club makes it easy to either donate to the upkeep of these bunnies, or sponsor one of the following:
- Bunny food
- Food & grooming
- Vet care
- New enclosures
I love what The Virtual Bunny Club stands for and encourage to you take a look at their stunning website and either donate or sponsor one of their gorgeous buns, or support a local supplier for a worthy cause.
If you enjoyed this article, you may like some of my other interviews with prominent people within the bunny community.
- Lorelei Carlson – Lennon The Bunny
- Jenny Janse Van Rensburg – Founder of The Strawberry Foundation
- Amy Pratt – AKA The Bunny Lady
Bye for now!