Interview With Lynn Turner Of Angel Cat Beds Etsy Shop
Etsy Shop: Angel Cat Beds
All answers copyright of Lynn Turner.
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
I think there’s no explanation as to how I got interested in cats… I have always loved cats (interested is not a strong enough word) just because cats exist. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love cats. I have a photo of the first time I ever held a cat – I was 3 years old. I am totally smitten with my new-found love but the kitty is less than impressed with my affection – note the ears angled back and the paw poised to strike or escape!
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
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I first saw Etsy mentioned in a Cute Overload story and thought that it would be ideal for me. I have also sold many cat beds locally by word of mouth. I donate them to local rescue groups for fundraisers and get a lot of direct exposure out of it, besides helping out homeless cats. A few times I have taken a load of beds to area cat shows and have sold a good number that way. People really like using them in their show kennels since they are unique and help really show off their cats.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
No, I have never tried to sell them wholesale before.
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 think I was very successful on Etsy up until the economy did its’ Thing. Sales have not been as good since then since the beds are sort of a luxury item. I have been featured on a couple of blogs but the biggest boost I had was when a bed was listed on the Etsy front page. I didn’t even know what had happened when I suddenly started getting 10 times the item views and hearts and the sales really jumped up. Someone had to email me and let me know.
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
I would say no. They do sometimes request certain colors that they want and a few have special ordered more expensive larger beds for their really big cats. A woman from Canada ordered 5 coordinating but different beds and that was fun to work on. Someone once suggested a square bed once but it didn’t work out.
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
I have never thought of a Ragdoll specifically. I do name my beds after rescue cats in the area (the groups I am loosely affiliated with) and I would certainly love to feature a needy Ragdoll. I would probably select one of my cream/chocolate/teal/blue beds for them.
7. Are you a one wo/man show?
Yes. Or rather, a one woman/3 cats/3 dogs show. My animals love to help me crochet at night when we all watch old movies together and hang out on the couch.
8. Do you have a blog?
No. I haven’t had time for that. I work a regular job, take care of all my creatures, and my 2 college age kids, and rescue cats when I can. I wish I could do more.
9. Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
I mentioned custom orders above and will do them within reason. I’ve never had a request for a return but I would do that if the person were unhappy. With custom orders I keep in touch with the customer all along the process so that are no surprised when they receive their bed. I don’t want to end up making a blue and green bed only to find out I used the wrong shade of blue.
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 instance comes to mind… a volunteer for a local rescue group has a web cam set up for watching her adoptable kittens. She has fans all over the country who spend hours watching the babies and chatting with each other. Several of these people contacted me to order a couple of beds as a surprise for the volunteer. They had taken up a collection amongst themselves – even though they didn’t physically know each other or live in the same area. I sold them the beds without any shipping charges, then hand delivered them for free to the surprised volunteer. So these unknow fans of hers got to see the beds in use by the foster kitties on the webcam. It was so much fun; I love it when people really care about the homeless cats out there.