Interview With Linda Of AllAboutCats Etsy Shop
My name is Linda. I like to sew, knit, crochet, paint and scrapbook. I live with three cats, Jerry, Maggie and Brady. I rescued all three of them from barns. I began making cat toys for my cats and for cats of friends and family a few years ago. It didn’t even occur to me to sell them until someone suggested the idea to me. Since I’ve retired, designing and making cat toys keeps me busy. Jerry, Maggie and Brady love to help. Jerry usually lays on the sewing table while I am sewing, and Maggie and Brady both come running when I open up the organic catnip container to stuff the toys. Brady can be very sneaky. He has stolen a few cat toys I was making to sell. Once he has played with them, they are his. Taking pictures of the cat toys is another time when the cats want to help, but somehow I manage to hold them at bay and take pictures at the same time.
Etsy Shop: AllAboutCats
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
There have been cats in my family my entire life. The first two cats I remember from childhood were Bobby and Bunny who were orange bobbed tail cats. I’ve always loved cats. I like dogs, but I LOVE cats.
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
I discovered Etsy a couple of years ago when someone in a crafting group I belonged to said she was going to try to sell something on Etsy. After reading all the material I could find about Etsy, I opened my All About Cats Etsy Shop. Etsy is a great venue for selling handmade items. I also sell cat toys at craft fairs and by word of mouth.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
No, I’ve thought about it, though, and probably will at some point.
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?
Etsy is a great place to sell handmade items, but… it is also a lot of work. You can’t just put items in your Etsy Shop and expect them to sell. You need to advertise your shop and your items. The ways I promote my shop is through my blog, my Facebook page, the Etsy Forums, through Etsy Street Teams I belong to, and by holding giveaways. My shop has been featured on blogs before, but I don’t think I’ve gotten a lot more traffic because of it. Perhaps that will change after being featured on your site 🙂
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
Yes, sometimes. I love designing new cat toys, so ideas from others is welcomed.
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Rag doll cat.
7. Are you a one wo/man show?
That I am… A one woman show! (with a little help from my cats).
8. Do you have a blog?
Yes: All About Cats Blog.
9. Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
People are welcome to request custom orders. I’ve done a few, and enjoy making special requested items. People can return items if they are not satisfied with them, though, I am happy to say that has never happened.
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?
When I design a new catnip toy, the first one does not always turn out the way I plan. Case in point: The below picture shows my first attempt at making a frog:
Since it clearly was not a frog, I created a fictional creature I call Groogles.
Here is the tale I wrote up about Groogles:
Groogles are creatures that live in the Green Mountains of Vermont. They are rarely ever seen by humans, but it is said that if a human ever does spot a Groogle in the wild, that person will have life-long good luck. For some unknown reason Groogles love cats and will come out of hiding to play with them. Groogles come in many different colors. Their most prominent features are their eyes which protrude out of the tops of their heads. Female Groogles have large, bright red lips, and males have paler, smaller lips.
The Groogle cat toys are actually very popular.
I have since created a frog pattern that really does look like a frog.