I may or may not have mentioned that Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium in London was stocking a few of my necklaces. They got in touch about a month and a half ago about stocking some cat jar necklaces, which I didn't currently have in my shop because they didn't exist, aside from Leopards and Snow Leopard jars. Well, I made a small batch for them of general moggies and sent them off. They were to be a Lady Dinah's exclusive but were going to be put instore when they opened up, not on their website. Being that I sent these pieces on consignment, I was going to see any money for my work until they sold, but I had the utmost confidence in Lady Dinah's and their ability to shift them.
They contacted me a few weeks ago and said that they'd been holding onto them for a while and wanted to put them onto the website because they didn't know when they'd be opening (it was all up to the licensing people and inspectors) and they figured I'd like to see something come of it. I agreed to it, and up on the website they went. About 5 sold in the first hour, and given that I'd only sent them 8 I was pretty chuffed! I'm working on a much larger batch now, and I'm in a hurry to get them out the door because Lady Dinah's was able to open theirs on the 1st of March and are seeing a massive success.
I only really sell through my Etsy website, though there was a little shop in Tokyo that stocked my products for a while, but it was only for a short time because they move from one artist to another all the time. So Lady Dinah's is a pretty big deal for me.
I have to admit that I'm not 100% satisfied with the cats from the original batch (above picture was taken from Lady Dinah's Instagram) so I've been working harder on these pieces.
If any of you are wondering why I'm so excited about a cat shop, it's because of this: it isn't a cat shop. Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium is a café with live-in cats, just like so many in Japan, and is the first in the UK. They have I think about 13 cats, all healthy and spayed and neutered, everyone working there is qualified to work with animals, and all the cats have wonderful temperaments. They've had their inspections, they've got their license, they've got places for the cats to stay if they've had operations so they can get peace and quiet, and there are many hidey holes for the cats to hide in in the café itself. Everything has been adapted to be cat-friendly, but it still looks amazing. The bookcases have cat beds, there are cat steps and walkways along the walls - the place is made for cats. There's also a cornered off garden so they can get fresh air but can't get out of it. The whole place looks gorgeous, the furniture and decor is beautiful, and the whole place is cat-friendly.
I really wish I could go, but my boyfriend is really allergic to cats, which sucks for him because he loves them and has two of them back home in The Netherlands, but if I can get him loaded up on benadryl maybe we can look through the window! Plus, to be honest, I am a dog person. I've got little trust for cats, though I do think they're sweet. I just don't quite trust them near me.
You have to book in advance and it costs £5 to get in. You can't just turn up. This is to prevent the place getting too busy, especially at the beginning, to get the cats used to people and keep the place safe for everyone. Animals can be unpredictable, especially around lots of noise if they're not used to it.