Success Stories With Kathy Webster
Kathy Webster owner of Dotty Dog Art
I was very excited to interview Kathy and share her success story with you. I find Kathy’s business journey so inspiring and I am extremely proud that she is a Woof Woof Network Member.
Kathy is an Oxfordshire based artist and illustrator, creating bespoke dotty portraits of your dogs.
Kathy lives with her husband and their children. The household is run by two unruly poodles… Freya a poodle x springer and Dandy a special rescue miniature poodle. They keep Kathy company in the Dotty studio… sometimes sleeping, sometimes noisily play-fighting and sometimes destroying something important while I’m not looking!
Why did you start Dotty Dog Art?
I was already painting commission in my spare time when I worked for the Guide Dogs. I then got made redundant and instead of looking for another job I thought I would try making my side business work.
Tell a little about your business journey so far
When I first started painting dogs it was for people that I knew so it felt weird and uncomfortable charging them. Then people that I didn’t know started asking me to do commissions for them and I knew I had to charge but again it felt weird and felt that I was good enough. So I charge them peanuts. I still saw my business as a hobby and treated it like a hobby still.
Over time my confidence grew and I had some fantastic feedback from my commissions. I knew I had to put my prices up and with a little help from the Woof Woof Network Members Club I did just that.
I then stopped treating my business like a hobby and started to get really busy and even had a waiting list for commissions. I then knew I had to grow my business so that I could other things other than commissions. I love doing commissions but they are very time consuming.
For 2017 I launched a calendar and developed a new greeting cards range. I started to approach local shops in Oxfordshire asking if they wanted to stock my cards. Then I approach Waterstones and they said yes!
How do you stay motivated in your business?
My love for dogs! I love receiving photos of dogs that people send to me for commissions and hearing all about them. I love being able to work from home, the freedom it gives me and of course being able to be home with my own dogs.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
The biggest challenge that I have faced is definitely pricing. Putting a fixed price on a commission however has helped me. I also have technology challenges. Everyday I am still learning something new.
What is your favourite quote?
The more you do, the more you think you can do.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own pet business?
Always stick to what you want to do and love what you do.
Kathy’s cards can be found in Waterstones from Summer 2017. You can check out Kathy doggy dog art and get your very own dog portrait commission over on her website doggydogart.co.uk.