Last Updated on July 15, 2015 by Jenny
Interview with Tony van Stekelenburg Of SteksPets Etsy Shop
In 1996, I began to practise hand engraving by myself and after 12 months set up a stall at a local market hand engraving a wide range of items from bottles and glassware, trophy plaques, pewter mugs and pet ID tags. In the past 3 years I have started my own business specializing in pet ID tags and now feature in over 100 business across Melbourne Australia as well as infusing myself into numerous internet sites such as here on ETSY.
I have set up and work from my home studio and just love engraving specialised orders. Committed to providing a top quality hand engraving service that starts with the initial contact from customers for orders and continues throughout the process until the finial product is delivered onto you.
All answers are copyright of Tony van Stekelenburg.
1. How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
I was given my first kitten when I was 4 years old and have the most wonderful memories of my cat (KilMouskie) playing ‘catch the mouse’ and of the daily but unintentional scratches on my arms and legs and all the band aids to cover them lol.
2. How did you discover Etsy? Did you consider other ways to sell your products?
My friends wife was selling hand made aprons on ETSY when she suggested I look at the site, and once I had logged my excitment was immediate. I have since sold pet ID tags all over the world and am thrilled when I receive an order for tags that will be going on somebodys cat / dog in some exotic destination 1000’s of miles away from where I am here in OZ.
3. Do you sell your products in a local store in your area?
I have display boards promoting my products in over 100 vets / pet shops and dog grooming stores all across Melbourne. My goal is to have 1000 display boards in stores all around Australia by 2015.
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?
There is a LOT of competition for pet tag sellers and although sales were slow to begin with I have found that the longer I feature and the more sales I make the more business it seems to generate. I also think you need to get a good amount of feedback to make customers more comfortable in their dealings with us sellers – especially because I am sending their tags all the way from Australia.
5. Do your customers ever give you new ideas for products?
Occasionally I get some suggestions from customers about other products I might consider including in my range of products but at the moment I am solely committed to building my Pet ID Tag business.
6. Have you thought of featuring a Ragdoll cat is some way? (Had to ask.)
Hmmmm no hadn’t considered the Ragdoll cat… lol
7. Are you a one wo/man show?
Yes, I am a 1 man show 🙂
8. Do you have a blog?
No, I actually don’t have a blog, im a bit old-school and actually get my wife to do most of the Internet stuff… ( what is a blog anyway?)
9. Do you do custom ordering? Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?
I often get specialist orders and do offer a full refund minus the shipping costs, though i am proud to say i have never had an unhappy customer.
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?
I was approached by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to supply them with pet tags for all the strays that they get, and have even taken 2 cats home that were to be destroyed since being involved with such a fantastic organisation.