Monday, December 20, 2010

Marvelous Mom!

 Meet Val of katekatenyc

Tell us about yourself!
I am mother to two of the coolest kids, Luke and Kate. My hobbies are playing with monster trucks, stacking blocks and knocking them down, and jumping on the bed. My favorite song is “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” And I have the following books memorized: Where the Wild Things Are, Moon Plane, Alligator Boy, God Bless the Gargoyles, Big Little, and Posey Prefers Pink.

What makes you unique?
I’m not sure I can concisely or objectively answer that question. Ask my husband. Or my mom.

What do you love about kids?
I think it’s amazing how exciting things are to kids. Seeing a garbage truck is just as fascinating to them as witnessing a shooting star in the night sky.

What are you currently doing besides your shop crafts?
A few months ago I began to crochet. Without knowing how, I successfully followed instructions on how to crochet flowers. I have since made my children matching hats and gloves. My nephew was the recipient of a monster ball. I’ve also made and remade Bella’s LaPush hat from Twilight several times over. I just can’t seem to get it right! Crocheting is a very generous craft. You can just unravel the whole thing and start over!

What is the link to your etsy shop?

What do you offer in your etsy shop?
kate kate nyc features headbands and hair accessories for infants and toddlers. I offer mostly headbands with very large flowers. I have several felt and crochet flower clips. I recently began crafting a line geared toward tweens, teens and adults, after several, “Oh, these are so cute, but my daughter is too big!” and “Do these come in adult sizes?!” It’s been an exciting venture for me. It’s definitely added some breadth to my personal collections of hair pieces, too!

Where do you create?
Anyone who has ever been into an affordably priced apartment in NYC knows that space is limited. And since I am lucky enough to have a kitchen that’s larger than a postage stamp…that’s my workspace!

Where do you find your inspiration?
My daughter Kate. She is unbelievably precious and innately girlie.

How did you get started in your current line of business?
So (confession) I seriously love, love, love the Duggar family. A couple of seasons ago, I noticed some of the baby girls on their show had adorable headbands with outrageously large flowers on them. I couldn’t find them in stores but I thought, “Hey, I could just make them!” So I did. I made a few. Kate wore them on our trips to the park and to pick up bread from the bakery. No joke, I had five people stop me in one outing and ask me where I got her headband. Then my sister-in-law suggested opening an Etsy shop. I’d never heard of Etsy, but by the end of the week I had set up shop and had my first sale.

How do you promote your business?
Well, my daughter wears the headbands every time we go out. She’s kind of like a strolling advertisement. I am very fortunate to have a large group of supporters, my family, friends I grew up with, a few of the mothers from the neighborhood playgroup. They all seem to promote my shop with unfailing stamina. I also try to take advantage of commenting on blogs, making treasuries, favoriting shops that I like, and participating in team events. I have found that these are all very effective ways to get my shop name out there.

What is one of the most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
Being friendly and courteous is not just important with respect to shop etiquette. Customer service is a huge part of a successful business, of course, but it is just as important to extend niceties to other shop owners. Also, never touch the tip of your glue gun to see if it’s hot.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Wait until your kids are sleeping before crafting!

What are some of your favorite online shops, both etsy and non-etsy?
Just last week, while making a treasury, I came upon Hot Lava Clothing. I love her little girl clothes and her prices are amazing. Country Chic Cottage always catches my eye. I just envision all of these beautiful things in a home in which the owner is sipping mulled cider by a crackling fire. As far as non-Etsy shops, I am a big fan of . They have adorable tutus and pettis, which make great gift items and party favors and cost next to nothing. And I can’t act like I don’t shop for myself at

Thanks for visiting with us Val! It's great to get to know you better. 
Everyone go to katekatenyc and take a look at her adorable headbands, and give her shop some EtsyMom love!