At 23 years of age, Hannah Russell is a published author and the founder of Russell Rhino, an online clothing and accessory store, dedicated to raising awareness for rhinos. So far, Hannah estimates she has raised well over £100,000 for charities, including those who help save rhinos. Incredible!
Hannah was born in 1997 in Scarborough—a northern coastal town in England. For as long as she can remember, animals have been a part of her life, including many she has rescued and rehabilitated. She credits her mom, Sharron for inspiring her love of animals.
Hannah now lives in Yorkshire Dales, which she describes as ‘a very scenic part of the UK’. She shares her home with sixteen animals—horses, guinea pigs, chickens, rabbits and dogs!
One of her animals has become rather famous. Little Alf, a miniature Shetland pony, is the subject of eight books for children Hannah has published. At 28 inches tall, Little Alf is the size of a large dog.
When Hannah was sixteen, she wasn’t certain what career path to pursue, but thought teaching sports might be a good match for her. As such, she studied sports education at college. Unfortunately, she developed severe back pain and had to drop out of school.
As is often the case, when one door closes, another opens. For Hannah, this new path led her to writing the first of eight books about Little Alf. Her first book, The Magical Adventures of Little Alf—The Discovery of The Wild Pony, was published in 2014, when Hannah was seventeen years old!
In addition to being a successful author, Hannah knew she wanted to do something to help animals. With her knowledge of business (Hannah has had businesses since she was 16 years old) she founded Russell Rhino in January of 2018.
Russell Rhino donates 100% of all the profits to Helping Rhinos, an organization dedicated to rhino conservation.
Hannah creates all the designs for her clothing line. Though she doesn’t have a background in art, she most likely inherited her natural talent from her mom, an artist.
I personally own one of Hannah’s gorgeous creations—a T-shirt of a mother rhino and her calf.
Rhinos aren’t the only animals Hannah is dedicated to help.
Like many of us, Hannah was heartbroken to hear about the devastating forest fires in Australia. As an animal lover, she was determined to help the wildlife. Using her business savvy and creative side, she designed a line of clothing featuring koalas. And just like she does with her rhino designs, Hannah donates 100% of the profits from the sales of the Australian clothing line to charities helping animals injured by the wild fires.
When I asked Hannah what inspired her to help the animals in Australia, she said,
‘I’m an animal lover and knew a way to help so I did. There isn’t anything special about what I did. I kept seeing the ongoing emerging images in the news of the horrendous wild fires and couldn’t stop thinking about the animals getting injured and killed but also the long-term effects of them losing their homes and habitats, it’s awful. I thought of a way to help through my creative side so set about it and worked on some Koala designs.’
To date, Hannah has raised over £65,000 for this cause.
Hannah has already done so much to make the world a kinder place for animals. I look forward to cheering her on as she continues to find ways to improve the lives of so many animals in need.
If there is one thing in the world Hannah could change, she would want ‘everyone to be nice to animals and one another. We have one shot on this earth and it takes nothing to be nice to someone. Just smiling at someone can make there day. Equally for animals, I have always said they were here before us. We are the ones who have come along and disturbed them. We need to leave them alone in their habitats. We have no need to hunt, to poach and to distress them.
It’s a sad world and unfortunately there is more and more sad news emerging each day about what someone has done to another person or an animal, and it’s awful.’
Hannah is right—there is much sadness in the world. But I also believe there are people like Hannah, who do everything they can to make a positive difference in the lives of animals and other people. Hopefully, these caring people will inspire others to do whatever they can to help those in need—both human and non-human animals alike.
To purchase one of Hannah’s awesome designs, please check out Russell Rhino’s website. https://www.russellrhino.co.uk/
To find out more about Hannah, her books, her many ventures, visit her website.