Alum Raija Hansen Still Running Reptile Rescue, Still Competing with her Creations


Wes Hansen, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Since graduation in 2018 Raija Hansen continues to run a reptile rescue, educating others about species they may never have had the opportunity to meet before.

While attending Notre Dame she was known for her costume-making and Notre Dame’s reptile day.

  Hansen’s rescue is called Archie’s Angles in memory of a Savannah Monitor she had taken in but eventually lost due to improper care before he came to her. 

Her goal is to become a 501c3 nonprofit organization in the year 2020. 

Her main focus with Archie’s Angles is to educate people as to proper husbandry before purchasing a large reptile as well as give people the opportunity to handle animals and tackle fears of the unknown.

When not doing educational outreach, Hansen spends much of her time attending online college courses with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts located in Los Angeles, California.

Hansen is studying how to make movie characters for the big screen while still actively competing with some of the Midwest’s top cosplayers. 

Some of her teachers are the same artists that made characters for movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, Predator, Alien and Jurassic Park as well as many others

With over 600  followers, she thoroughly enjoys surprising her audience with each character she creates. 

Hansen has also been featured in the creators’ spotlight of Tawny Letts’ web page. 

Letts is one of the artists that worked on Jim Henson’s film The Dark Crystal.

Hansen’s next competition will take place in Green Bay, WI, at the KI Convention Center in July 2020.

Hansen states, “I have huge plans for this upcoming event including new things that I’ve never tried before, as well as improving upon old techniques and trying things to push outside my comfort zone.” 

Hansen has also taken a job at the Packers Pro shop at Lambeau Field. 

While there she works in custom apparel. 

Her job consists of pressing jerseys, shirts, pet apparel and engraving tags for the Pro Shop guests. 

This opportunity has given her the ability to meet many of the players and their families. 

Hansen says they are all very nice, friendly, and she enjoys interacting with the fans.

Hansen’s future plans include winning the world champion of cosplay and move on to create creatures for movies while helping others learn her craft.