Friday, May 27, 2011

Feature Friday - Featuring Animals

Name: Renee Baker

General Location: We are located in sunny Central Florida - near Orlando.

Business Name: Featuring Animals

What do you create/sell? Our products include photographs of exotic animals from our worldwide trips as well as our own personal exotic and domestic animals.  We also have apparel, mousepads, notecards, and gifts that also feature our beautiful animals.  Our "featured" animal is Cairo, our white bengal tiger cub.  He is the master behind all of our creations!

What inspired your shop name? Our love for our animals as well as those we have the opportunity to photograph in their natural habitat inspired our name.  Our white tiger cub, Cairo has inspired many of our creations and continues to be our muse!

How long have you been creating and how did you get started? The is a multi-level question as there are many great minds collaborating in our business.
I have always had a passion for animals.  All I ever wanted out of life was to be with animals - domestic, exotic, and farm animals.  I have had many dogs and cats throughout my life and have been riding and showing horses for over 20 years.  I have worked for many years as a vet tech with small, large, and exotic animals.
My boyfriend's passion for exotic animals started 40 years ago as a child.  As he matured, his love for animals grew and he was able to turn his passion into a career - he provides weird, wild, and wacky insurance for animal transport, special events, and private owners worldwide.  His travels for work (and sometimes play) have taken us on many wonderful adventures, allowing us to experience and photograph many incredible animals.
My mother, Danielle, started her pet embroidery business - Chilly Paws - a few years ago on etsy and at local craft fairs.  Her business is dedicated to domestic pets - beds, sacks, shopping cart covers, towels, etc.
The three of us put our heads, hearts, and passions together and decided to enter into a new shop dedicated to exotic animals.  Thus Featuring Animals was born!

Tell us about your work space: Our workspace is truly two locations:
1) The world is our canvas and backdrop.  Through our travels, as well as in our own back yard, we are able to capture incredible moments with many different species.  These photos and experiences serve as our initial ""work space.""
2) Once home, all photos are loaded onto the computer and evaluated for their superiority.  The best of the best are kept and printed as well as used for other mediums (notecards, mousepads, etc).  We also use some of the photos as inspiration for apparel - embroidered shirts, socks and sandals that need some extra bling, etc.

Any advice for those thinking about starting their own business? Patience is a virtue.  No one becomes a great success overnight.  Put your heart and soul into what you love....and be patient and persistent.  Success will come in time!

Fun facts about yourself: My daily smiles and inspiration come from our four legged white bengal tiger cub son, Cairo.  We raised him from 2 days old - he is now a magnificent 6 month old cub who is full of life and has an opinion about everything!  He is our muse....and our boss!