Every week we have a fun “10 questions” session with one of our contributors to the Indie Craft Sampler. Some serious, but mostly fun questions. This week we are talking with another of our February contributors, Cristen from Bad Tags.
1. What made you decide to open a shop for dog & cat tags? I am totally going to admit to completely laughing like a dork at the sayings on your tags. Where do you get ideas/inspiration from when coming up with new product/slogans for your shop?– I felt there was a need for funny & colorful pet tags. There are many gorgeous hand stamped metal pet tags on Etsy but they didn’t fit my neurotic bunch. My pets snort, burp, and fart. They needed something different. Something funny and inappropriate.
– It helps to have 4 dogs and 2 cats that are bursting full of personality. The majority of my sayings are inspired by their quirkiness. I humanized them in my tags. I also get inspiration from pop culture and my dog crazy friends.
2. Best advice another crafty/indie owner has given you? Or something you’ve learned since opening a shop?
– I’m going to give a shoutout to my girl Gail Oliver on Etsy. I learned through her that you can’t have the mentality of “if you build it they will come”. It takes a lot of work. There are days when I spend 12 hours working on completing orders. She taught me the importance of SEO and good marketing skills. Gail can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AttentionGetting.
3. What’s the hardest part about being a shop owner?
– Shutting down. As a small business owner I feel like this is my baby and I have a hard time clocking out. If I get a convo message at 2am from a potential customer who has a question about a tag I wake up and answer it. My new year’s resolution was to set custom service hours, but I failed on the second day! I can’t help it. My shop runs 24/7 and I must admit it puts a strain on my social life.
4. If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which would you choose?
– My current obsession is The Walking Dead. Apocalyptic culture fascinates me.
5. Things that freak you out:
– Spiders, crowded elevators, and babies.
6. What are some things you love about the state where you live?
– I’m a Colorado transplant living in Minnesota. I must admit the Minnesota accent still cracks me. The first time someone said “Oofta” I nearly lost it. How funny is that word? The thing I love the most in Minnesota are the fireflies. In the summertime they are everywhere. I never thought a bug was so beautiful ’till I saw a corn field lit up at night by those things. It’s like nature’s natural fireworks.
7. Favorite quote from a movie or song?
– So the Finnish band HIM and their song “The Sacrament”. It was played at our wedding when my husband walked down the isle. You should have seen the look on my grandma’s face! Blue October is my favorite band. I tend to fall for humorous quirky movies, think Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Napoleon Dynamite, Pingpong Summer…
8. You obviously have a sense of humor, who do you think is hilarious?
– Conan O’Brian’s hair, Grumpy’s cat expression, Steve Carell’s character on The Office.
9. Tell us about all of your animal babies:
Moose: 8-year old English Bulldog. Loves to suck on tennis balls and lick toes. He barks at everything and is afraid of cardboard boxes. He’s my heart dog.
Napoleon: 7 year old Bloodhound. Commonly mistaken for a mini-horse. The great mystery of our house is who feeds our bloodhound in the backyard. During the winter months he comes in from outside with loaves of fresh baked french bread or hamburger buns. Our backyard is fenced in. It’s so weird.
Olive: 5 year old French Bulldog. She is my mini-me and at my side wherever I go. Olive was rescued from a puppy mill and has these huge dangly nipples from being over-bred. No dog should ever have to endure that type of life.
Fancy: 10 year old French Bulldog. Fancy gets gassy when she’s nervous and likes to fart under the covers. She’s also blind and deaf but the sweetest thing you’ll ever met. She hates cats and recently lost a nipple due to breast cancer (non-malignant thank goodness!). Fancy is also a rescue, our 5th foster failure.
Bear and Butters are my 2 cats. We’re also moving to a hobby farm and plan on getting a rooster to name John Wayne and 2 ducks Quakers and Gary.
10. And finally, why should people visit your shop?
– Laughter is the best medicine. If you need a good laugh, check us out. 😉