Interview With Nathan DiPietro Of Feline Inquisition Etsy Shop
I have lived in the pacific northwest for most of my life and currently live in west seattle with my wife, son, and two maine coon kitties. By day I am a stay at home dad to our one year old son and by night I am a professional artist. We have a very creative home between my art and my wife’s crafting (she knits and dyes yarns) so it was only natural for us to move into makeing cat toys. There are just so many toys out there that do not get cats excited, we wanted to create somthing kitties will love and enjoy.
Etsy Shop: Feline Inquisition Etsy Shop
All answers copyright of Nathan DiPietro.
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
I have had kitties my whole life with my first one at age 6. However my real love affair came in 2003 when my wife and I got our beloved kitty Basil from the small local pet shop in Ellensburg (he is featured in our shop as the kitty with the white paws and the white chest). We got him when he was only 6 weeks old and quickly started taking him everywhere, he was even leash trained! 6 months later Our big Ernie arrived (the larger all tabby kitty in our shop), he was a rescue from a very bad cattery. His mama was sick and all of his litter mates died very soon after birth. We took him in during finals week when he was two weeks old. We bottle fed him, bathed him, and got up with him every two hours for many weeks. My wife even took him to class with her in a small shopping basket on days when she would not be home all day. These two boys became our wonderful little children and have even moved cross country and back again with us over the years with stops along the Oregon trail.
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
I discovered Etsy in 2006 though my wife who also sells hand dyed yarns to knitters in her own shop. She was very successful with her shop and I have been thinking up ideas for cat toys that were big enough for my 25 pound boys. So we decided to give it a shot.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
Not yet although it is a goal for the future. I would love to see a feline inquisition love sock in every house. We do however participate in local craft fairs, shows, and in two weeks we will be at a regional cat show in Bellevue which I am so excited for!
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?
We were successful right away which was very encouraging. We have been featured on the DIY network for out spinners as well as on moderncat.net. While we certaintly have high and low seasons as long as we keep new and exciting products coming we do well. Additionally we have a large amount of return shoppers who once they get a taste of our toys and top knotch catnip keep coming back for more!
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
We have not had any new product ideas however we do get the best feedback in the world! Some kitties have scared neighbors with their toys, destroyed packages before mail men can evern leave the stoop, and one special boy was sent to kitty heaven with his favorite toy. We love getting pictures of kitties appreciating their toys as well as reading stories of crazy kitty play.
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
Not yet since our Maine Coons are our featured model however we always welcome guest models!
7. Are you a one wo/man show?
I run the business with my wife who does most of the production. I am the idea man and graphic designer. And of course we would not have a business if it were not for our amazing research team of feline experts. Basil and Ernie are the real stars of the show.
8. Do you have a blog?
No but we are on Facebook posting tons of funny videos, products, and guest kitties.
9. Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
We can do custom orders and have done them in the past and we are always happy to make a return or send out a new piece if it is just now a specific kittie’s cup of tea. However we have never had an unhappy customer.