Please join us in welcoming Designs by CnC, our featured member!
- Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Catherine Clifford. My husband and I live in Bristol, Indiana. We are the proud parents of three wonderful daughters. Two of which are married and the youngest is still at home. In the spring, we will become grandparents for the first time. The season that I enjoy the most is autumn. I love the profusion of color provided by all the colorful leaves. The cooler days and nights approaching and the excitement of the upcoming holiday season. My favorite quote is “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” by Maya Angelou.
- When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so? Any new exciting news you’d like to share? What makes your business stand out from others?
I have been creating handmade greeting cards for many years. In 2006, I was given the opportunity to design and create 300 Christmas cards for my employer to send out to clients. This was so successful that it became an annual event!
Family, friends and co-workers have given me support and encouragement to begin selling my greeting cards. After retiring from my day job, I was able to spend more time in my card studio and opened my Etsy Shop, Designs by CnC on May 16, 2011.
This year my shop has begun to stand out because I have increased my inventory to over 100 items and have begun several new product lines. I have added more of the camouflage designs and have begun to add some children’s designs as well. In addition to my online store, my greeting cards are also available at Curly’s Bead Emporium in Trinidad, Colorado.
- Tell us a bit about the products you have available.
I offer many different styles of greeting cards. Some have hand stamped images such as the Steel Blue and Silver Japanese Temple Birthday Greeting Card.
One of my favorite styles is the photo greeting card, which incorporates my love of photography into my card making. A wonderful example of this is my Bonneville Mill Birthday Greeting Card.
Designed originally for my son-in-law’s birthday, my most popular Etsy item is one of my die cut designs, Buck Silhouette Camouflage Birthday Greeting Card.
In addition to my single cards, I also offer greeting card sets. My prices range from $5 to $57 and I ship internationally. At the moment, I am working on some new designs for children.
- What materials do you use and which is your favourite to work with?
A wide range of materials is used to create my greeting cards. Primarily, I use Stampin’ Up products, core’dinations cardstock, Martha Stewart punches and my Circuit. My favorite are the Stampin’ Up products due to their high quality and vibrant colors.
- What inspires your work and new products?
My work is inspired by life. I love nature, all the beautiful colors of flowers and the many different textures of the trees. Basically, I just look around and get ideas from my surroundings watching people, architecture or movement. I would describe my style as eclectic. Some days, my designs are on the serious side and others totally whimsical.
- Tell us a bit about your workspace.
My workspace has been an evolving process. In the beginning, I worked on the dining room table. My husband built a nice studio area with a long counter and lots of storage. I now have a designated space all to myself and can leave a project out until it is completed. At the moment, my favorite tool is my Cricut machine. It is very versatile and helps me create some unique designs.
- Do you have a favourite artist or genre to listen to while you work?
My taste music is also rather eclectic too. It’s usually a mixture of every one from Bon Jovi, Queen, and Janice Joplin to Keith Urban. I guess it just depends on my mood.
- Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your own work, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores?
I believe that handcrafted items are a gift from the heart. Someone has taken the time and effort to create a unique piece and that makes it truly special! A handmade item is usually of higher quality than one that is mass produced. Handmade goods are way more original and are often times a one- of –a- kind piece.
- What are your future goals for the business this year and in the coming years? What is your dream?
One of my goals for my business is to turn it from just a hobby into a full grown business. This year, I have taken steps in this direction by attending photography workshops to improve the quality of the photos of my items and have given my shop a complete makeover with all new photos and descriptions. I would also like to be able to get into the wholesale aspect as well.
- Do you have any advise for someone thinking of opening their own business? Any advise for those wanting to sell on Etsy?
If you believe in your product and yourself, then you should take the plunge and open your own shop. Make sure you spend some time and do some research, such as knowing your market, pricing to make a profit and branding. Selling on Etsy is great. They provide a wide range of support and resource information. Also being connected on Etsy Teams is very helpful too. Fellow team members provide a wealth of knowledge and experience.
- Besides your business, what do you like to do with your time?
When I am not working in my studio, I manage to stay quite busy. I enjoy knitting, crocheting, floral design and also photography. At the beginning of the year, I entered my very first amateur photography contest and took third place. I also like to get outdoors and go fishing with my husband. Usually, I don’t wind up catching any fish, but I sure get some great nature pictures.
- Where can people find out more about you and your business?
- Do you have any up-coming promotions/sales or anything else you’d like to share?
I will have two upcoming sales in my Etsy Shop. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, receive 10% off of your entire order.
Some fun questions
- What is your dream vacation?My dream vacation would be to travel by car around the United States and visit all of the great historical places such as Mount Rushmore, The Lincoln Memorial, Ellis Island and Gettysburg.
If you would like to be featured, please contact admin Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.