It’s been awhile since I’ve posted Shop of the Week. Now, I’m happy to introduce you to AnneMarie Minardi- owner, designer, and maker from The Rover Boutique, a fabulous clothing line for dogs and cats. If you’re a pet lover, then you’ll want one of these fashionable outfits for your dog and cat!
How old is your shop?
The idea to start a clothing line for dogs that was based around classic pieces was first formed in 2007, however it took a few years to get things up and running. The Etsy shop has only been open since August of 2010.
What inspired you to start your own home business?
I’ve always been a creative person and have a background in art and design. I’m a Martha Stewart addict and love to make most things by hand, so it just grew out of my love for making gifts for people to being able to draw an income from that passion.
Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft?
For the Classics Collection we looked at iconic fashion pieces – a trench coat, peacoat, shirt dress and so forth, and transformed fashion patterns to dog patterns. We search for great fabrics and fun trims and buttons to make each piece truly tailored and unique.
What was the toughest challenge you faced so far and how did you overcome it?
To be honest there have been a few sidetracks here and there, but really we love what we do – coming up with the patters, sourcing the materials, and making the clothes – so there really has not been many tough challenges. We just try to have fun, make smart choices and try to look on the bright side of every situation.
Name your top 3 favorite picks from your shop:
Skipper peacoat, Westerly trench coat, Starboard anorak
the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop:
I work at a design museum by day and spend my nights crafting.
stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without:
I can’t leave home without my moleskin agenda (I’m lost without it & it doubles as a sketch / idea book), Chap Stick, my cell phone, measuring tape, and fabric swatches (I carry them around in a small envelope).
your favorite shops:
J.Crew, anything Martha Stewart, Designer Fabrics in Toronto, Fabric and Buttons (Toronto), Cath Kison, and of course a million shops on Etsy.
What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?
If you have an idea, research your field as much as possible, make a business plan (no matter how simple it is), find good suppliers (that offer great prices, but also quality and are loyal to their customers) and above all be willing to take some risks.
Any message to your customers and the people who support you?
Support from the Etsy community has been overwhelming, in as little as a few weeks we have grown a large fan base and I have talked to some great people who where more than willing to offer advise. I can’t thank everyone enough for their kind words and support – keep posted links on your facebook page, blogs and twitter accounts (they really do help!)
Thanks much Anne Marie!