What’s the story behind Schneblies®?
It all started at summer camp on Cape Cod when Susie Sheftel was a young girl. In the woods, by the lake—that’s where her fascination with those little hoppy toads began. Many years later, on a hot, summer afternoon in the high desert, she painted a frog on a river rock. As an aspiring artist she felt a strange connection to this new creation. What was she making? Could this charm serve as a reminder to all that we share this earth with other living creatures? She dabbled with her frog drawings for months –until she had amassed a substantial collection of painted frogs as display art. She was offered space in a local gallery and the frogs hopped off the gallery walls at an unexpected rate. Schneblies® was born. Susie had struck a nerve with a simple frog and began to develop other frog creations including jewelry. This jewelry and art, reminiscent of early cave drawings has evolved into a symbol for environmental action. Schneblies® is one-of-a-kind representation of a simple and loved creature that also comes with a reminder to protect our fragile environment.
Susie grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts and attended the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Lesley College. She worked as an art teacher and raised her family. With her family and outdoor surroundings as support and inspiration, she concentrated on photography, drawing, painting, fabric art and jewelry making. Whatever the medium, her work leans toward fresh, whimsical, often abstract designs that incorporate her love of color and design. While day to day life can sometimes feel routine and drab, Susie’s creations bring whimsy and inspiration to life.
Protecting the environment has always been important to Susie and she realized early on that Schneblies® could be used to make a difference. Not only can they serve as a reminder to reduce, reuse and recycle, but with each sale, the proceeds can directly support education and conservation efforts.
The rapid disappearance of many species of frogs is just one sign that something is going wrong on our planet. Every day new species of frogs disappear forever. In Canada, for example, The Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens) was once one of the most common animals in the National parks. Then, in the 1980s, the frog population plunged. Today, leopard frogs, along with many other frog species, continue to be at risk of poisoning by pesticides, herbicides, and other water contaminants. They have nearly disappeared from the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. For more information on the plight of frogs and how you can get involved with saving the species, visit www.frogs.org