Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spotlight on Bax Cat & Co.

It is no secret by now that I am a cat lady. I was searching for organic catnip one day and I found this shop! I LOVE it! She has some of the absolute cutest cat toys I’ve seen on Etsy. If you want to pamper your kitty, this is the place to go!

About Us:
I am a cat person with an educational background in art history, who loves to create. My shop allows me to pull from all three of those when making new items. Each item in my shop plays with colors, patterns, textures, with the ultimate goal of having cats enjoy safe items. I have a great husband, three cats, a rabbit, and a lizard who are always there to make me smile!

What Inspired You to Start Your Business?
During the winter of 2011, Zazu (one of my cats) [LOVE the name!]  was looking to play, but was not interested in any of the toys in the cats' toy basket. I had fabric stored away from when I used to make purses years ago, so I tied together a no-sew dangly cat toy that she immediately started chasing after. The response she had to the toy I made was a real inspiration, and I immediately realized that I want to make unique, safe, and durable toys for other people's cats to enjoy! Winter is chilly, so along with the toys, I decided to create comfy cat mats, too for them to snuggle on. The first mat was a hit with the cats - it is a white fleece paw print mat (a duplicate of which is now in my shop); my cats still use it and fall fast asleep on it all the time. 

What Inspires Your Creative Process?
A lot of my subject matter and colors are inspired by nature, while others come from seasons of the year. In New England, we see a huge change from season to season, so it's fun for me to try to translate that into cat toys and mats. Recently I sat down to make Halloween toys, and came up with an autumn maple leaf design that incorporates foliage colors. My cats are a big inspiration in my process as well; I try to keep quality and their safety in mind when making items for my shop. My items are made to stand up to lots of hyper cat play time, and are made with materials that I would feel safe about if I were buying them for my own cats - cotton and fleece are my two favorite materials to work with. One toy sample I made for my cats even survived getting sucked up by the vacuum cleaner! [lol!] During my creative process, whether drawing up a pattern or sewing , it is almost a sure bet that at least one of my cats will be sleeping at my side assisting. They bring a certain calm to my studio, and they certainly are more than happy to help once the organic catnip comes out!

What is your Favorite Thing You’ve Made and Why?
This is a difficult decision! I am really proud of a Union Jack British flag cat mat that I made. It was a challenge to design, and a challenge to initially figure out how to sew - what edges to leave raw, what pieces to make... lots of construction and many hours went into making this piece, and I still feel proud each time I make another one.

Another item I am proud of is a red heart I made when just starting out with my shop. It came out well, is extremely durable, and Mr. Miyagi was even cool enough to let me photograph him posing with the toy (that shot is now my avatar!) 

(Isn’t he precious!?)

What Advice Do You Have For Other People Who Want to Start or Grow Their Etsy Shop?
Early on I was given a few bits of advice that have still been very helpful: list lots of items - the more you list, the more opportunities people will have to find your shop; photographs are very important - try a lot of different shots, and you will find the ones that work best for your shop; tags, titles, and key words are important! join teams and be active in them - I have learned so much from some of the teams that I have joined because people are there to help, and some have already asked the same questions so the answers are already available to you; and lastly, be patient! My Etsy shop is still growing and is still a work in progress. Don't give up if your first sale does not happen your first day/week/month of opening your shop!

Thanks so much for sharing with us! And thank you for making stuff for our fluffy babies! We spoil ourselves on Etsy, now we can spoil our “children” too! =)

Be sure to Visit Bax Cat and Co. on Etsy!

These are my personal favorites from her shop!

I wish I could get my babies to wear these, lol! Aren’t her babies so cute!? I love when cats get involved in the photography, my own sweet Georgie loves to get into the shots when I do my photographs! =)