Interview with Christie Smith Of Craftsmith Etsy Shop
Hello! My name is Christie and I make wonderful, cozy places for our feline family members. I work full time as a graphic/web designer and I spend my evenings sewing and creating. Recently the thing I seem to be sewing the most are the fashionable kitty snuggle beds. I love to make them and best of all the kitties seem to love sleeping in them more. Each of the snuggle beds is quality tested for snuggling by one of my two cats. No bed goes out without their stamp of approval. When I am not sewing I like to enjoy the outdoors. I live near Lake Erie, so I tend to spend as much of my summer near the water.
Etsy Shop: Craftsmith
All answers are copyright of Christie Smith.
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
I come from a long line of cat lovers. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I didn’t have at least one cat in the family. When I graduated college and moved out on my own, I had to go out and rescue a cat. The home just felt so empty without a furry little one hanging out. Now I have 2 kitties. Wylie is my Maine Coon mix who is 13 years old and is living with diabetes – but he doesn’t let it effect his modeling career. Bella is my newest. She is a stray. She still has some training to do with modeling for me, but she loves the snuggle beds!
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
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A few years back, I was starting to learn to quilt and began to read online blogs for inspiration. One of the blogs that I frequented mentioned Etsy. I checked it out had have been hooked ever since! I didn’t have a specific product that I sold at the time, I just had a few purses, jewelry, and quilted items. It wasn’t until I came up with the Kitty Snuggle Bed that my shop took off.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
I have thought of selling my Snuggle Beds locally, but I have a hard enough time keeping my online store stocked, let alone make more for a local shop. I still keep it in the back of my mind that I may end up selling the Snuggle Beds in a local boutique. We will see…
4. Have you been successful at selling your products on Etsy? Have you always been successful, or did you end up getting a lot more traffic after being featured on a specific blog?
I did struggle when I first started selling the Snuggle Beds. It wasn’t until I was featured on moderncat.com that they wouldn’t stay on my virtual shelves. Since then I have been on many blogs, etsy front pages, treasuries and a photo in December 2009 Country Living Magazine.
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
I always welcome any suggestions. My pattern for the Snuggle Beds have changed a little bit since I started based on customer feedback. I believe that this makes a better product that consumers actually want. Customers are constantly giving me suggestions for color schemes, and I try to accommodate as much as I can.
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
I think Ragdoll cats are so very beautiful and I’m sure if I could I would love to do a photo shoot with one in a Snuggle Bed.
7. Are you a one wo/man show?
It is just me and my kitties. Occasionally I will look for help from my mother during the busy periods. I have a full time day job, so I mostly work on the Snuggle Beds on the weekends and some weeknights. I considered manufacturing the beds, but didn’t want to take away from the handmade feel of the product. I think that my customers have been happy with this decision because they keep coming back for more.
8. Do you have a blog?
No, but I do have a Facebook Fan page – Check it out!
9. Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
I would say half of my business is custom orders. I try my best at designing the Snuggle Bed as close as I can to what they ask for and so far, I haven’t had anyone that was disappointed.