“My Work is My Life, and My Life is What I’m Working On.” – Madam Cat Faerie
In this week’s small business spotlight, we speak with Cat Faeries, an Endicia customer and successful online business devoted entirely to cats, offering everything from pet beds to catnip mist to solutions for litter box problems.
Madam Cat Faerie began her business in California in 1993 by selling wheat grass seeds and other cat-related products through a small, photocopied catalog distributed by mail. She would take orders by phone, box them, determine the weight and ship them using a private shipping company.
Following the catalog’s instant success, Madam Cat Faerie made the move to launch www.catfaeries.com in January 1995, during those pioneering and free-wheeling early days of the internet, and began serving the growing online community nationwide.
A year or so later, the first shopping carts hit the internet which allowed for true online shopping. Madam Cat Faerie laughs and says, “It seems so archaic now that we once could only order via the telephone and be limited to business hours. People, or maybe it’s their cats when no one is looking, can order in the middle of the night. Thanks to Endicia and the Post Office they can get their packages lightning fast.”
We recently spoke with Madam Cat Faerie to get the inside scoop on her online business success story, reflect on her business’ founding and discuss her vision for the future.
Endicia: If you had to pick one thing that is the secret to your success as an online business, what would it be?
Like the cats that we serve, I believe that my secret to success is my ability to land on my feet and my readiness to evolve, re-invent, collect my wits, and then move forward with the gracefulness, the keen vision, and the precision of a fearless cat on the hunt.
Endicia: What is one thing you wish you had known when you first started your company?
I’ve thought about this question over the years as I watched the world and technology change. But I’ve enjoyed the ride too much including the downs and difficulties. I’m glad I didn’t have a crystal ball to give me any hints of problems, or even triumphs. My company has been a ride into the unknown that helped me discover how creative my brain is. If I’d been given a road map, or were let in on a secret or two, it wouldn’t have been as much fun, and I’m not sure that any intuitive edge would have formed.
Endicia: Where do you see your company in five years?
Since day one, everything that I’ve invented, crafted, offered, or endorsed has always been:
- Unique – never a copy of someone else’s work
- The highest quality
- Good value
- Trusty & reliable
- Healthy, safe & environmentally-friendly
In five years’ time, my dream is that I’ll still be able to do this – plus – create many new thoughts, ideas, products and solutions for the greater good. I want to continue to be of service and benefit. I’m not sure that “retirement” is in my vocabulary. My work is my life, and my life is what I’m working on.