Every Wednesday The Folksy Blog will be finding out a little bit more about one of our sellers in this our ‘Shop Talk’ series. This week we’re talking to Beth Foster from Folksy shop ‘The Linen Cat‘
“The Linen Cat – Textile designs with an emphasis on style and quality”
This shop really does exude quality! Everything about ‘The Linen Cat’ is styled beautifully. Beth has a degree in theatre design, specialising in costume – this is so apparent when you look at the detail of the clothes that Beth makes for her linen cats!
Could you describe your shop?
The Linen Cat offers a collection of textile designs ranging from softies to soft furnishings, with an emphasis on style and quality. I like the contrast of plain, natural fabrics, such as linen and wool against bright cotton prints and I’m a little bit in love with tweed. A lot of my influence comes from children’s drawings, Scandinvian design and nature resulting in a simple, retro feel.
Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?
People who are looking for individual pieces for their home, or special gifts for children. I imagine most of my work to stand the test of time and ideally for some pieces to become well loved heirlooms.
Is this your day job?
I’m a full-time Mum, with 2 young boys so I run The Linen Cat on a part-time basis, both to give me a creative outlet and with a view to taking it further once both the boys are in school.
Be warned an hour or three will be easily lost while looking through The Linen Cat Blog!
Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?
All my life. I have a very creative mother and my Gran was a great influence, she taught me to cross stitch and sew. It was clear from a very early age that art was my main interest and twinned with a love of sewing, I knew my future would be based in this area. I was always making things, dresses for my dolls
or padded penknife holders for my Dad (seriously!) and after an Art Foundation course, I naturally progressed to a degree in Theatre Design, specialising in costume; it seemed the best way to mix my loves of art, design and vintage.
When you’re not selling online where do you promote and sell your stock?
Most of my sales are online, although I sell direct and through a few craft shops. Being a full-time mum means my time can be very erratic so I like to have the control that selling online allows. I also tweet and blog both of which help to promote my work, but I mainly do them for pleasure.
Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?
Absolutely, once both my boys are in school I will have more time to focus on my work. I intend to create a wholesale line and to sell at some of the larger craft fairs, I also want to expand the range to include more products, I already have aprons and tea cosies on their way.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?
I believe it’s been said many times but photographs are so important when selling online, they need to be clear and show your product well. I also think it’s worth establishing a design style and sticking to it, I like the idea that people know what to expect from my shop, I try to introduce new products often but they always have a similar feel and I think it makes the overall appearance more coherent and professional. Lastly, don’t lose heart if it takes a while to make a sale, it can start slowly but if your products are well made, well presented (I’m obsessed by packaging) and correctly priced people will come back for more, most of my ‘customers’ are repeat buyers and that’s always the best compliment.
We’d love to hear your comments!