Jerimi, creator of the Three Cat Limit shop on Etsy is full of fun ideas for your cherished furry friends. She has worked in a veterinarian's office and she strives for safety and high quality in her products. Being an animal lover, she regularly donates to animal charities. She has improved her designs over the years, taking suggestions from customers to create even more fantastic products!
I was delighted when I browsed through her shop. I love cats, and I always have, so spoiling them comes naturally to me. As I leisurely "strolled" through her shop, I found several items that my cat may need. My cat's name is Midnight, and he loves catnip toys. I can just picture him frolicking with one of Jerimi's refillable catnip toys filled with Organic Catnip! Wow! What a glorious treasure for cats!
|Refillable catnip toys|
So, what makes such a creative person tick? Let's find out together. She generously agreed to do an interview for me. Without further ado, let's see what she had to say....
What originally gave you the idea to create such an interesting Etsy shop?
Well, I hope it's interesting. In 2007, my husband and I had a brick-and-mortar shop where, among other things, I sold handmade items. One of our customers recommended that I try Etsy. I'm glad I did!
Ideas are often so hard to implement—tell us a bit about how you started and what were your first steps in creating your niche in the Etsy and handmade community.
I actually went to craft shows before opening an Etsy shop. I think that's influenced me quite a bit. We tended to be vendors at cat shows, for instance, and people constantly gave me ideas on what to make and how to improve my designs. Many of the things in my shop were originally custom orders that people requested.
Could you share some tips on how someone would go about growing an Etsy shop or online presence?
I added the URL of both my website and my Etsy shop to my email signature. It's been helpful because sometimes I'm a little shy of telling friends and family what I'm working on. I don't want them to feel pressured to buy from me, but I do want them to know what I do.
I've also found that consistency really matters. Blogging on a regular schedule has turned out to be almost more important than what I actually say. Isn't that funny?
What is your main hurdle in running your Etsy site to date?
Definitely the product photos. No question. I have no problem making lots of cute things for my shop, or writing the descriptions. I dread the photos. Five beautifully shot, perfectly edited photos for each listing means that if I want to list an item a day for a week, I need 35 photos. I usually take 2-3 times that, and pare it down. Say that takes me an hour to set up and shoot. Then the editing takes several more hours. It frequently takes me more time to photograph an item than it did for me to make it. It's a lot of work, and I procrastinate it given half a chance.
Committing to participating in a weekly linky party, where I have to have photos of my work, has gone a long way my procrastinating.
Tell us about the most interesting item you’ve ever made.
I got a custom order for some ENORMOUS catnip kicksticks. I listed them as "Lion Kicksticks." They were 30" long, 15" around, and I kid you not, I used a half-gallon of catnip in each of them. Shipping them was an exercise in ingenuity. I wound up getting out the packing tape and a box knife, and cut up some boxes to make one that would work.
What is the structure behind the scenes—how many people do you have working on your shop at the moment?
Right now, there's just me directly working on my shop. I have a dear friend I get together with once or twice a week. The two of us brainstorm together, and each work on our individual items, but help each other out. For instance, one of us might suggest a quicker or less expensive way to do a thing. Sometimes one of us will struggle to solve an issue and the other will help figure it out. Having that support has been helpful, and kept me going. She also makes me braver. I've been avoiding putting binding on my quilts, because I thought it would be much too difficult. She convinced me to try it anyway. What do you know? She was right.
How do you promote your business? Facebook, Twitter, blogging, or other?
I promote through blogging, word of mouth, always having business cards on hand to give out, and when I have a craft show, I email the details to everyone I know.
Describe the process of creating one of your handmade items.
I do a lot of improv piecing. I save fabric so long as it's at least 1" x 1", and anything that's smaller than 3" goes into my scrap basket. When my basket starts to overflow, I start piecing. Generally, I make it into a wonky log cabin. I make it as large as a fat quarter. Then I use that fat quarter like any other fat quarter. I really enjoy the surprise of it. I never know how it's going to come together.
|Improv fat quarter|
What do you love most about making your products?
Honestly, I love the planning and anticipation stage very much. It's second only to the finished, "can't take my eyes off it, did I really make that?" phase.
List 3 adjectives that describe you.
Freckly, introspective, game.
What is your favorite food?
I'm going to go with a flamingo. I gravitate to unlikely colors that come together in unexpected ways. Sometimes I sit very still and chase after minnows of thought while I figure something out. Then I'll strike like a fiend and get things done.
Also, I can frequently be found in gardens.