We are Adam and Katheryne Chase, owners of Trafalgar's Square. We sell original, hand drawn and painted artwork that I make out of our home in Riverside, CA. I personally design, draw, and hand paint each and every piece we sell. Adam is responsible for all other aspects of the business, like our website, sales, and financials.
I have been drawing my entire life. When I was a kid, I was homeschooled and a large part of my education was art. Drawing is a huge part of who I am. My particular style of art is something I have always enjoyed doing. It's whimsical, fun and unique. When we had our first daughter, we were looking for things that would inspire her and we couldn’t find anything kid friendly. So, I decided to make the art for her room myself. That's really what planted the seed for our business.
In 2007 we found out about Etsy. We noticed that other artists seemed to be doing well on this particular marketplace, so we decided to give it a try and make some extra money.
We started out small in 2007. Then, in 2008, we came up with Trafalgar's Square. We were still selling on a smaller scale, but saw our numbers increase the more time we put into it. In 2009 we did a little re-branding and have been selling full-time ever since.
With all of our art, I start with a list of ideas. Then, I sit down and start sketching. It’s funny because I will typically start with one idea and it always turns out differently, but that’s what makes each piece unique. It usually takes 3 to 4 days from concept to production, to get a piece ready. Once it’s painted we get it digitized, touch it up, and then it’s ready to go!
One challenge we face as a small business is cash flow. Up until August of 2012, we paid out-of-pocket for everything. We didn’t have a ton of money to invest, so we always tried to be wise with the money we had. That business model worked quite well for us until we started to get bigger orders. Aside from Etsy, we also do wholesale orders for other online places, like Zulily. To meet demand for these orders, we need more materials on hand and trying to balance cash flow before the orders are completed can be tough.
One day, back in the summer of 2012, Etsy had a feature about Kabbage on their blog, so we checked out the website, did a little research, and figured we’d try it out. We signed up with Kabbage in August of 2012, and our bottom line has significantly improved. Kabbage is very small business friendly. It really caters to our needs, time and cash flow. If we need money, Kabbage can get it to us right then, with no wait. We used our first Kabbage business loan to buy a decal machine and materials needed to fulfill orders. It has been a tremendous help.
Kabbage has been a great experience for us. We would recommend it to any small business out there.