Interview With Laura Strickland Of The Cat In The Clover Etsy Shop
Laura is from Louisville, Kentucky, and shares her life with a wonderful husband and six cats. She graduated from Georgetown College in Kentucky and spent many years as an administrative assistant in the banking, aerospace, and engineering fields while living in Louisville, New Orleans, and Tucson.
She loves being creative, and over the years I have dabbled in everything from princess birthday parties to wedding musical slideshows. When Hurricane Katrina occurred, she spent almost two years working on-line with hundreds of other volunteers trying to reunite owners with their dogs/cats who had been moved to shelters all across the country. Another women and Laura focused their efforts on reuniting cocker spaniels, and during that time, Laura became aware of the Dogster and Catster communities. My dog and cats got their own webpages, made lots of friends, and we became very involved in that wonderfully supportive community of pet lovers.
Because the Katrina work was so emotional and at times, frustrating, Laura wanted to focus on happier things when those efforts were finished. The Cat in the Clover was reinvented and became an Etsy shop with items for cats and dogs. Her involvement with Catster continues, and Laura enjoys photographing her cats and writing “as them” in their diaries. In her spare time, Laura goes out monthly with a group of ten friends (calling theirselves the Red Hots), and she’s also training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a 60-mile walk this November in Arizona.
Etsy Shop: THE CAT IN THE CLOVER
All answers copyright of Laura Strickland.
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
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Cats and dogs have been part of my entire life. My mom and her twin sister saved every stray that looked their way. I never thought I would become so much like them, so I’m convinced it’s in my genes! As you can see from the photo, I was introduced to cats at a very early age. I know one of our cats used to sleep in the dresser drawer in my bedroom.
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
I believe I found Etsy when I started reading blogs and would see links to various Etsy shops. I thought the idea was less intimidating than selling on Ebay, and I liked the concept of a crafter’s community. There is a great forum area on Etsy where I got many questions answered when I first opened my shop.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
I don’t sell my products anywhere but Etsy. I like the way it fits my schedule!
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 have been part of the wonderful Catster community for several years. My Catster friends have been very supportive of my Etsy shop, and it has been so nice to actually know the cats that receive and enjoy my products. Of course, being featured on a few blogs has also helped my business.
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
I have had several great ideas passed to me from my customers. I’ve tried to incorporate not only products for cats (and dogs), but also fun items for pet lovers!
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way?
I have several loyal Ragdoll friends/customers, and if you look at my Etsy shop banner, all the animals featured are The Cat in the Clover customers. Two of them in the banner are Rufus and Scooter – adorable ragdolls! I have a soft spot for the breed’s gorgeous eyes!
7. Are you a one wo/man show?
I am a one woman show, but I have six pawsome feline assistants! They test toys, watch me cut out fabric, and hang out by the sewing machine. And they are very cooperative when I ask them to model for photos.
8. Do you have a blog?
I currently maintain three blogs!
One is to showcase The Cat in the Clover customers – http://thecatintheclover.blogspot.com/
One blog is about my life in Kentucky – http://mylifeinkentucky.blogspot.com/
My third blog is to share my journey as I train for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure 6o mile walk I’ll be doing in Arizona this November – http://lauratreks.blogspot.com/
9. Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
I have done special orders on beds, snooze sacks, stray cat softies, and collars. And of course, if some cat isn’t happy with their order, I’d do whatever I could to make it right!
10. Can you share a story with us behind any of your products that you especially enjoyed working on? Maybe because of the story behind the kitty?
One of my sweet cats, Calvin, made his journey to the bridge last October at the age of 18. Our Catster friends were so supportive during this sad time. Calvin was loved by many Catster Moms, and I wanted to do something special in memory of him for his friends. I designed a “Calvin Collar” which is a soft crocheted collar with a charm, button, or emblem on the front. One dollar from the sale of each collar is set aside, and when $25 is reached, a cat is sponsored at Best Friends Animal Society. I’m so thrilled that we have already sponsored three cats and are very close to sponsoring another kitty (which will be the 100th collar!). I’ve had Moms tell me that their cats don’t like wearing collars, but when they put on a Calvin Collar, they don’t want to take it off! These special collars are my way of keeping Calvin’s spirit alive!