Today We Introduce You to Cathy from Babbidge Patch
Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
I began marketing my knits through the traditional craft fair route. My kids were young and my lifestyle was flexible which aided pursuing sales via local events. Fast forward a few years (after a stint with wholesale and other opportunities) - slogging my wares to local craft fairs became somewhat of a burden, so I was thrilled to discover the wonderful world of Etsy in 2008; a global venue for crafters, vintage and suppliers! Craft fairs can be great venues however are particularly weather dependent and subject to the local economy. While I maintain my membership with two juried organizations, I much prefer the convenience of selling online. In fact, my first Etsy sale was a delightful international sale, my little mouse hat shipped from Maine to Spain.
Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
Babbidge Patch. We moved into a house on 13 acres on Babbidge Road in Falmouth, Maine. With our 3 children, we built a bountiful raised bed garden and converted a tractor shed into a cute bunny barn. I needed to come up with hang tags for my knit product, so I incorporated a bunny in the logo which represents the angora bunnies that we raised for a time, Babbidge from the road’s name and Patch from the garden plot --- Babbidge Patch, which became the name of my Etsy shop.
Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Creating good quality photographs has been a challenge for me – if you look back at some of my initial sales, my first photos are not nearly as nice and bright as the newer pics. Also, over the past couple of years, I’ve traded product for photos in order to obtain professional pictures with the adorable models.
Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
My designs are nature inspired, with many woodland creatures captured in the designs. My favorite and inspirational artists include Jane Thornley, Regine Faust, Dahlov Ipcar. I offer a variety of fibers which include: natural - wool, cotton, silk, bamboo; organic, and vegan options. Abundant texture and colors are important elements, as well. And the most important philosophies – create and offer quality product, fast shipping and outstanding customer service, and to Keep it Fun- take time away if it becomes stressful; slow it down by closing shop for a period of time.
Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
I’m trained as a biologist and I’m a Registered Maine Guide – so my hobbies include many outdoor activities - I tend an organic veggie garden and a perennial flower garden. I like to fly-fish, canoe, kayak, road bicycle and camp. I make time to visit with family – my 3 grown children and their families – we all live within 10 miles of each other so visiting is frequent. My husband and I have card night once a week with my parents and sister; and a movie night with a sister-in-law and her husband. Then, there is the day job – I work as a Regulatory Affairs Specialist for a Maine based company that provides products and services to the companion animal industry, and to the dairy and water industries.
Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I manage 3 additional Etsy shops – you may notice their names all start with bp (short for babbidgepatch) and they focus on vintage, yarn supplies and photo shoot props:
My blog - http://babbidgepatch.blogspot.com/
Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/BabbidgePatch