Q. Tell me about the kind of products you sell.
A. I sell one-off drawings and paintings mostly, but I enjoy doing so many things that invariably the shop sells a bit of everything, from hand-knitted mittens to embroidered Christmas decorations. At the moment I’m working on a new series of affordable, ready-framed pieces.
Q. What inspired you to come up with the name “BackwardCatStudio”?
A. When I was little my mother used to draw pictures and doodles for me. She claims that she can’t draw faces so whenever she drew an animal for me she drew them backwards. That has stuck in my mind ever since and when I decided to start trying to sell art I named my studio in honour of her backward cats
Q. What made you decide to start selling on Etsy?
A. I think originally it was for the challenge. I’ve been making art for years but I never had the courage to show it to people and offer it for sale. I took the plunge one day and decided to have a go.
Q. Do you sell anywhere else, in person or online?
A. I sell at a lot of craft fairs around South Wales and I’m lucky that I have friends with taste!
Q. Where does your inspiration come from?
A. I know this is going to sound really pretentious, but I get inspiration from everywhere. Nature is my biggest inspiration, but I also find other artists have a big influence on me.
Q. What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
A. I’m still fairly new to selling online, so I’d really like to hone my shop and create a recognisable brand. I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was 4, so for me this is just the beginning. I hope to exhibit my work in galleries next year and branch out into more design-based projects.
Q. What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?
A. The hardest thing for me as an Etsy seller is getting new people to look at the shop. Social media helps, as does listing new items frequently, but it can be a bit disheartening sometimes when traffic has been really slow.
Q. All of your reviews have been 5-star so far – what is your secret to getting such great reviews?
A. I think that’s because I try very hard to provide a nice experience for my customers. People who buy something from my shop don’t have to- they choose to. My customers aren’t just money, or numbers – their support is allowing me to do what I love. A little care with packaging and presentation, maybe a free gift or two- it’s the least I can do.
Q. What words of advice would you give to people thinking of opening an Etsy shop?
A. Know what you want to sell, and know the market. Nose about on other people’s shops and learn. Think about presentation- that can make all the difference between making a sale and not. And be 100% honest – people don’t like unpleasant surprises. Oh, and be prepared for the bad days as well as the good. There will be both and it’s so easy to get discouraged. Most importantly – love what you do.
Q. Where else, apart from Etsy, can readers find you?
A. They can find me on:
And I’m in the process of getting a website sorted.
It sounds like exciting times ahead for Noel! We wish him the best of luck with building Backward Cat Studio into a recognisable brand and exhibiting his work. If you would like to purchase any of Noel’s beautiful designs, be sure to head on over to Backward Cat Studio’s Etsy store. There are lots of gorgeous, unique pieces for you to fall in love with. Hurry, before they sell out!