|1. So give me a summary of what 'Cutesy Poo' is.|
Cutesypoo Toys is the company formed by me, Jocelan Thiessen and my husband Jayson Thiessen. We are both from Canada and work in the animation business in Vancouver. We started this company to expand our love of toys and design. All the designs are original and all the handmade toys are made with care.
2. How long have you been in this business?
I registered my company just last year, but i have been selling
my crafts on etsy since 2006.
3. What gave you an inspiration to start up with the arts and crafts business?
My Trip to Tokyo, Japan! I bought so many toys that i had never seen before
and it really made me want to make my own too. Before that i didn't even know how to
sew! I just went at it and improved each toy at a time.
4. How did you start up the business? With what kind of resources did
you use? Were you experienced before My Paper Crane was created, if so
for how long? (Sewing, knitting, etc)
I was not experienced at all before i started which was around the same time as paper crane i think, i am not sure.. Luckily so many resources are near where i worked downtown, there is a small business place where i registered my business and got a book on starting your own craft business which was helpful. Also there was many plush art shows that made me more well known to places i would never have gotten exposure in and gave me the venue to try out toy designs and see if people liked them or not.
5. For your products, do you use some (or all) recyclable materials?
Do you think it's a benefit towards your business (regarding price of
I find it is worth the extra money to be eco friendly, the only problem i have
is finding the material as it really limits what you can use and i hope that
there is more choice in the future. Particularly in toy stuffing material as i
have some eco friendly stuffing which i try to use as much as possible as well
i use eco felt and the SpoonFlower Fabric i order is printed with eco friendly inks.
In vancouver it is a huge deal to be eco friendly and organic..so i do my best with the resources i have.
6. With a economy crisis that we are in, do you think this is a
benefit for your small business or a lost compared to big corporations
Actually i find it is a benefit, as my business is more about quality than quantity the kind of customers that buy my toys are toy afficianados that appreciate that it is plush art. Sure you can buy a huge teddy bear at Wal Mart for 9 bucks but that is not near what i am about, and i think the whole DIY movement is a sign that people want something that you can't get everywhere..at any rate i am doing more business this year than ever!
7. Do you think do-it-yourself and handmade items will help frugal
families who are suffering in the economic recession?
I think it can for sure! I really appreciate handmade gifts and encourage them when
my birthday comes around and i think it could be something that everyone can do! Even Homemade cookies at christmas mean so much more than a stupid gift card and they cost way less!!
8. Do you have any advice for people who want to start a small business?
I would say do your research on what people like about your product! I really like to
sell at craft shows to talk to people and get feedback on what they like and what people ignore..it is really surprising to what you think will do well! Also you have to be out there socially, like a blog, website and twitter is a must!
9. What is your outlook for people who are starting a similar business?
When i started my toy business there wasn't many other people doing it, and it has really exploded in the last 2 years! I see a lot of the same things and i think you have to make something that is very original and well made. I have so many ideas and have always been creative and i always weed out anything that might be too similar to something else.
When i see other similar kinds of business succeed i am happy to have that inspire me such as anna chambers and my paper crane so for someone thinking of getting into this business i would say do your own style and you will do well!