This week I am chatting to Deb, fibre crafter and owner of Etsy store Crafty Cat Knitty Bits.
Deb launched her Etsy store in 2011 as a place to initially sell her stitch markers for knitting and crochet, but this has progressed into hand dyed yarns, copper shawl pins, hand spun yarns, spinning fibres and all the other yarn related items you never knew you needed!
With over 8000 sales to date and with business going strong I wanted to ask Deb some more about her business and what it’s like to have an Etsy shop.
What first got you interested in fibre crafts, where did you start?
My mum taught me to knit when I was about 6 and as she knitted left handed I have no idea how she managed to teach me, lots and lots of patience I guess! I also blame Blue Peter for my love of all things crafty....empty washing up bottle and toilet rolls still hold lots of possibilities as far as I'm concerned!
What is the story behind the name Crafty Cat Knitty Bits?
At the time I thought about the business I was a cat foster mum and to date we've had over 30 kittens stay with us and then go onto their new homes......cats were featuring a lot at the time! Crafty as I'm a well known serial crafting addict and the knitty bits 'bit' I felt could cover quite a lot of ground for my plans for the future.
What made you choose Etsy as a platform for your shop?
This all started with spotting a knitted vegan tea cosy for sale on Folksy which then led me to Etsy. What delight it was to discover these handmade havens in our man made world. But once I realised the worldwide potential for my business I opened an Etsy shop as well, alongside my Folksy one.
What are the benefits of being an Etsy seller?
It's an easy way to start an online presence. The amazing SEO they offer, plus the ease of listing your items. The teams can also offer a lot of help and advice too.
Do you take custom orders?
I do indeed, I am happy to make stitch markers for knitting or crochet and for any size needles. The largest I've made were for 20mm needles!
What aspect of running your business do you most enjoy?
Making the products, whether that's stitch markers or a day spent dyeing yarns or spinning fibres, I'm happiest when making something bright and colourful.
What has been the most challenging aspect of running Crafty Cat Knitty Bits?
All of it! You need to be an accountant, marketer, packer, buyer, promoter, maker, photographer and tea girl...sometimes all in one day. It really hones your skill set running your own business!
What advice would you give to someone looking to open an Etsy store?
Research your chosen field properly. Don't compare yourself to others, just do what you do as well as you can. Do your math regarding profit margins to make sure you're making money and I can't emphasise enough, how important good photography is.
What’s your WIP at the moment?
I'm knitting a shawl for my sister in my own hand spun yarn and I'm designing it as I go too...I hope it works out!
What can we look forward to from Crafty Cat Knitty Bits in the future?
Yarn spinning is my latest skill and I've only dipped my toe into the fibre side so I think I'd like to explore spinning and all that entails a little more.
You can check out more of Deb's gorgeous crafty knitty bits by following the links below.