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April 28, 2015

Seller Spotlight with Cristin of Kozy Komforts



You can really get a sense of what a kind person Cristin is, the love she puts into Kozy Komforts and the care she has for her customers. She's always coming up with something new & creative and working with beautiful variations of colors. To check out her creations or get in touch with Cristin, visit her Made Urban Storefront: www.kkomforts.madeurban.com. Some of her items are snatched up in minutes so be sure to follow Kozy Komforts on Facebook too so you can stay in the loop. Cristin was also one of the winners of our contest with Tamarra of Canu Productions and you can check out her custom video at the end of this article.

Tell us about your company

I am located in Leduc, AB and I design, create and sell handmade knit and crochet items. My mission was to always find items that are marketable and functional.

Why did you start your business?

Fun, Functional and Handmade. That pretty well sums it all up. I'm a mom of 3 located in Leduc, AB and I am always on the lookout for items for my kids that are useful but still fun. My love of creating items has always helped with that and I found myself brainstorming in my spare time items that I could make instead of buy. It was never meant to be a source of income, more of a hobby that I shared with others but it has definitely grown exponentially in the last two years.

A coffee shop that supplies your caffeine fix or a local designer that wowed you…tell us about a local company that has been a lifesaver to your business:
Honestly, I am going to have to say Brickbubble from Stony Plain, Alberta. Diane has an extensive background in graphic design and I still remember the day she mentioned in a Facebook networking group that she could make buttons. I asked her if she could do custom buttons with my business name and she could. It grew from there into a friendship that has continued to form over the last three years. She's absolutely amazing and unquestionably talented. Definitely my go to for business branding ideas.


Where were you previously working and how did you build the skills for your craft?
I am a full time working Mom in the agriculture industry. It's a job I am very passionate about and one that I love. At times it can be quite busy and I knew I needed an outlet to help me unwind. From the minute I picked up my crochet hook I was, well...hooked. It's my favorite thing to do when I kick back and relax.

What was the first product you offered and how did you begin selling it?

Hats. I started with hats. Winter toques mostly and since I began creating in January 2011 hats were an easy sell in Alberta Winter! It started with one person, a friend, asking me to make one and then it spiraled from there based on word of mouth and referrals. From there my work grew into blankets and sourcing ideas for Spring and Summer that would be marketable.





How have you set your business apart from others doing something similar?

I don't just market the things I create. I market myself. I allow my personality to come through on my posts and in my dealings with customers. I've been told repeatedly because I'm a mother as well I am relateable to others. I also donate time, creations and proceeds to charitable causes on a regular basis. Not only does it feel good to do but it also helps someone in need. There is the added bonus of having my business name connected to something like that. It's my way of thanking people for their support and giving back whenever I am able to.


What’s an interesting fact about you or your business, reporters would deem newsworthy?

Interesting fact....hmmm...it's hard to say what someone would find interesting. I suppose the single most interesting fact is that I have done a promotional video for my business and I have participated in many celebrity giftings. I have created items for famous Canadians that were included in gift baskets and once even received a shout on on social media from one. That's definitely pretty neat.



How do you stay ahead of the curve?
I am constantly learning. Constantly brainstorming new ideas, listening to my customer's comments and finding solutions to meet their demands. I never want to be stuck in a pigeon hole where I only make one thing and that's it. That's not fun to me, that's work and it gets boring pretty quick.


Tell us about a business disaster you learned a valuable lesson from and can (hopefully) laugh about now:

Business disaster....I think I've been lucky in that I haven't had too many that I would consider too horrible. Mostly it's just been a misunderstanding about sizing for a customer. I did have a lady once that came to me in tears after she had an extremely negative experience with another vendor. I remember I was full for orders and I couldn't really take on more work but her story was heartbreaking and I was horrified at the treatment she had received. I felt like I needed to step up and change her opinion about handmade vendors and assure her that not everyone is like that. She continues to be a customer to this day.



What has been the biggest challenge of running your business and how have you overcome it?

Balancing my full time work life, motherhood, home life and running my business. Time management is a must for sure as well as organization.



What’s been the most important aspect to growing your business?
 
Making myself memorable. Branding that clearly identifies a creation as my work. Smiling and engaging customers at craft sales, taking the time to answer their questions and most of all, remembering who they are. I have a lot of repeat customers and I can tell you every thing they have ever ordered from me. That's a skill I've always had and it's one that surprises them. They think I will not remember and are stunned when I do.



We like to help hold people accountable so tell us one of your goals!

Right now I surpassed anything I ever thought I would accomplish and there are days when that still leaves me speechless. I do have a goal of eventually creating a ladies stitch night. Inviting over a few crafty ladies or those who would like to learn and sharing my knowledge with them. Who doesn't like to get out, have a few drinks, eat some snacks and visit? Our home currently isn't set up for that yet but we are planning to expand and move to a larger home eventually and that will definitely be on my "needs to have" list when house shopping.


Made Urban teamed up with Canu Productions to create promotional videos for 3 Made Urban members. Here is Cristin from Kozy Komfort's video:


Contact Tamarra of Canu Productions if you're interested in having a promotional video created for your business!

Thanks for sharing Cristin!
Kozy Komforts


Comments
Cristin
2015-04-28 02:16
Thank you so much Made Urban! What an amazing article and so humbling. I appreciate being selected and the time you took to put this together. Thank you!
Erin
2015-04-28 08:14
You are SO welcome! It's been incredible to have you as a part of the Made Urban team and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions :)
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