Monday, September 16, 2013

Featured Artist: The Twisted Cow

Hi Linda! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Linda Jean Gordon and I own The Twisted Cow. I currently reside in Upper Marlboro, MD with my chow chow Admiral Chester "Chet" Nimitz.

How did you get started in your handmade business?
I have always been a fan of crafting. My great aunt used to sew and do little crafty things around the house to make our modest house into a home for me and my extended family.

As for The Twisted Cow, when I moved to New England with my then hubby, I met a childhood friend of his who was into dogs and was a breeder of Chow Chows. She took me to my first dog show and I just feel in love with dogs and all the crazy crap that you can get for them at dog shows. Dog shows have plenty of great (and often crazy) products that you seldom see in the big-box stores and that includes all things doggie fashion. I loved what I saw and even though 
I could find plenty of wares for my puffy dogs, I was inspired to create my own line of collars. I get such a 'fabric high' when I find a great textile that has texture and pattern.

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
I am always tempted to say, "I don't know my aspirations and hopes", but then break out into a dissertation of my dreams of world domination. The Twisted Cow has giant dreams!!! I am looking at developing my own line of textiles; you know fabrics, ribbons, etc... I really want to use my own fabric and ribbon designs to don my collars and leashes (and of course sell to the masses!).

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition? 
Not yet, but that world domination is coming soon! 

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
My sewing machine, rotary cutter, and my full glass of wine. 

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened?
Every time I start a project it is a craft disaster. I don't have any specifically, but trust me there are hundreds of 'protypes' that are waiting to be dismantled and re-used for successful products. 

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you? 
Social networking is a huge time suck (you know it is!!), but it is so much fun. I am a consistent social networking butterfly, but I believe that what is posted should have some meaning and be useful. I am not someone that checks in when I am eating lunch (nothing against those that do), but I don't like network overload. 

I am sorta proud that I have learned to link everything so that I can just post one place and it updates my entire network. I am especially in love with Pinterest, I can post pictures, get ideas, see what is trending, and get a good laugh at some of the stuff that is out there. 

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
Marketing is a beast; there is a fine art to it and it is very very important to me as well as any small business. Although I consider myself to be part of the crafter community, the marketing for me is a dog of its own breed (pardon the pun). The rules for reaching the right clients who value 1) those that value made in USA, 2) a more luxed out collar/leash, and 3) don't mind the cost for my products. Every single person can find a more economical 'widget', but marketing allows me to capture the audience that wants my kind of 'widget'. I found my 'widget' lovers are dog shows and similar pet focused venues.

I am always looking exploring different marketing strategies; as I said before it is a fine art and I am still finger painting! 

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
I love the neon. It comes and goes, but for some reason I am just loving it this time around. I kinda miss Madonna... 

What is your favorite item from The CraftStar? What do you like about it? 
Since I am a new homeowner I am really into vintage / rustic looking furniture and art to give my new home some character. This coffee table from RusticCraft is amazing!

Thanks for taking the time to join us today Linda. We appreciate you taking time out of our busy schedule so that we could interview you. Happy sales!
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