Katie had a genuine interest and passion for art, carpentry and upholstery. To enhance her talents she took a number of relevant courses at Glasgow College in 2013 and 2014 to secure a series of industry-recognised qualifications. This led to her submitting a piece into the Trades House Craftex competition in 2015 and was presented with the Marie Haring Prize for exceptional work and effort. Katie leveraged her customer service experience and years of various work experience to go solo, and launched The Krooked Kat in Perth, Scotland.
She started off working in the comfort of her home workshop making smaller, bespoke items which could be sold on crafts stalls: bowls, clocks, egg cups, jewellery boxes and back massagers. Katie produced flyers and business cards and, along with a portfolio with, she took these to shows to give customers a flavour of the breadth of ideas and scope of her work. The only obvious competition was two local upholsterers and two restoration companies, and a handful of stalls selling wood items at craft shows. There wasn’t, however, a company in her target catchment area which offered the broad range of items that Katie was producing and intending to offer.
Growing customer demand for Katie’s unique handmade items led to the development of larger items –home furniture and restoration pieces- which she’d always envisaged as her long-term company goal.
She received some promising orders and, through the support of her loan delivery partner, Newable, invested in new specialist equipment and machines increase the speed that could produce and repair items.
Katie started using social media to promote her company, including a Facebook page that she has been running since 2013. She has also launched www.thekrookedkat.co.uk and focused on search engine optimisation (SEO) in a drive to increase awareness and engagement. Katie is getting a lot of orders via word of mouth, through her local fabric shop and online, with customers having done Google searches for French Polishing. In January 2017 she moved into larger premises to accommodate a growing number of orders.
Katie’s immediate plan is to continue business as usual and grow customer orders.