Interview with Susanne Karg of feltforcat Etsy Shop
My name is Susanne Karg. I live with my family, including two children, two birds and two cats in the Heidelberg area of Germany. Ten years ago we bought a wonderful little hotel with the name”Pension Dornröschen” and renovated it as we liked. We love the country life here and I am passionate about gardening. As a matter of fact my original profession was an engineer of horticulture. But right now I dedicate myself to the art of felting. I’m always full of ideas and always love art and music, too.
Once a week I love singing in a gospel chorus which name is the “Riverside Gospel Singers”. I have many interests, maybe I will do other things in ten years, I don’t know. I see life as a horn of possibilities.
Etsy Shop: feltforcat
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
I got my first cat at the age of six. It was a friend of my mother who offered it to us. Her name was Minka, she was black and white and lovely. Some day she just smply disappeared. After that the “cat virus” got the family.
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
I discovered Etsy by chance, googling around to find marketplaces for my products, which were at first fashion accessories and since 2008 cat caves and toys of felt. After having a successful shop at daWanda.com, I tried to complete the selling by opening a shop at etsy.com.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
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In addition to my online marketing I sell my products in local handicraft markets during spring and autumn.
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?
Since September 2010 I have sold just one product on etsy, which is not much but no problem at all, as a matter of fact at present I am reluctant to promote myself more intensely as I work by myself and have almost too many orders from all around the world to be able to cater to them in a timely manner. This is the reason why I offer only two types of cat caves on etsy.
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
Apart from the catcaves I really love to produce hats, scarfs and other accessories, always to lighten up our days with colourful and beautiful creations, which are never boring.
It’s not often that I get new ideas from customers, but I do love when I get them because I like to bring their ideas to life. I remember one customer who wanted a sleeping mat in the form of a leaf of a waterlily with three blossoms inside. The result was very beautiful and the lady who ordered it was happy with the result. For me customer’s satisfaction is key.
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
I produce sleeping places and toys for cats, not particular breeds of cats so I haven`t thought about it.
I am a one woman show. At times I get some additional help. As a matter of fact I would love to have somebody working for me on a permanent level-but so far it has been difficult to find the right person.
8. Do you have a blog?
I don’t have my own blog, but a website which is called www.die-katzenhoehle-eberbach.de, which shows a part of my work.
Of course I do custom ordering. in general customers can return unused products, but not custom-made products. But so far my customers and their cats, of course, are very happy and do not want to return their purchases.
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?
As a matter of fact originally I just wanted to make one example of cat cave for my own cat Lissie. Once I finished it , it was still wet, Lissie crept inside and I took this wonderful picture of her inside the cave, the photo which everyone saw in my shop at dawanda.com. People who saw it literally freaked out and started ordering it. It was the first “felted” catcave on the Internet markets, so people were and are very happy about that unique and a little crazy design, which describes my style.
At Floppycats.com we feature Etsy sellers on Fridays by interviewing them about their work. If you would like to read more interviews and see some of the wonderful hand crafted items related to cats that are made by Etsy sellers, please feel free to check out our other interviews with Etsy sellers.