Luxurious, Hand Crocheted
Meet Anete, The Founder Of Mame.design
Laura: First things first, tell me about your business? What do you create and who do you create it for?
Anete: Mame.design is a brand for dog moms who appreciate beautiful design and are fed-up with ugly dog products. We crochet chunky cord dog toy baskets and dog beds exclusively for small dog breeds like french bulldogs, pugs, pomeranians, beagles, corgis & many more.
Laura: How did you first get started in your industry?
Anete: I have a degree in Computer science, never imagined myself as a crafty person. When my son was born I was home with him for the first couple years and started exploring my creative side. I started with learning how to sew, but at that time the sewing hobby didn’t transform into a business. I wasn’t mentaly ready.
Then my daughter was born, and with her a new hobby – crocheting! I remember as it was yesterday. November 2019th, Christmas was slowly coming closer and closer. I thought about what I could make as gifts this year. Wanted them to be special, handmade. Came upon a course of crocheting a hat. Made one, then two, then three and many more. I put pictures up on my instagram, remember how the hats reminded me of baskets.
Soon after that a friend contacted me asking to crochet a basket for her son’s toys. That’s when I realised – this could be a business and I am ready to risk and “dive into the new world”.
I started researching materials as I had been crocheting with usual, soft chunky yarn, but wanted something that would hold its form better. I found thick organic cotton cords that were perfect for this. And on 1st of February 2020 I opened my Etsy shop with the first 6 baskets! Sounds easy and short, but this was just a start to a journey of constant learning and experimenting! It is not easy, but I love looking back at what I was (and knew) then and what I am now.
Laura: What is one thing you want people to know about you, that they may not already know?
Anete: Two things come to mind.
I come from a small country in Europe – Latvia – full of beautiful forests and sandy beaches.
I have a yellow Labrador “Beta”, she is, as I call it, my first child. Since I remember myself, I have wanted a dog. Animals were not allowed in my household. Had to become independent (living on my own, being financially stable) before I could get her. She is the most obedient of all my children. 😀
Laura: What do you struggle with most when it comes to running your own business?
Anete: First would be – time. It is never enough. I work together with my daughter and that is double-trouble. She is 1.8years old now and likes my crochet creations so much, she always comes and feels the nice crochet texture.
Second would be – marketing to foreign markets like the USA (as I am from Europe). When I started the dog basket and dog bed business I wasn’t sure who is my ideal client, where my client lives, how old is he, what gender, with children or with dogs.
When I started, I marketed to EVERYONE and in reality my message didn’t reach anyone. Then I started seeing a pattern – most of my sales were from dog owners.
My brand evolved from being interior design baskets for moms, interior designers, Montessori lovers and all dog owners, to dog toy baskets and dog beds for dog owners with small dog breeds.
Laura: What is one thing that comes really easy for you?
Anete: Technology. My knowledge and enthusiasm about technology. I like reading about the newest updates, gadgets and apps. I like testing them out, seeing what I like, what I would improve, how to do processes more effectively. I often contact technology brands and give them feedback on how and what could be improved based on my own professional point of view as a small business owner.
Laura: What aspect of your business is the most rewarding?
Anete: Customer feedback about the customer service and product quality!
Dog owners are the best people out there. Kind, positive, with a longer life span (that’s how positively dogs affect their owners). 🙂
If you are a business owner, here is a tip for you – always listen to your customers as they are the main product users. Ask them additional questions on how they found you, what they like and what they would improve. The more you do that, the better your brand will become.
Laura: How do you manage the stress and overwhelm of running your own business?
Anete: I haven’t found the perfect recipe. Running your own business is mentaly hard. We all should have practices and routines to counter the stress and overwhelm, but the thing about practices is – you have to do them – not think about them.
I do meditations, morning yoga sessions, laying on an acupressure mat, going outside for a walk with my dog. As I work together with my daughter most of the time, I think there is no perfect work-life balance. It’s about reminding myself why I am doing this. What is my vision, what are my goals. And most importantly – working on my mindset!
Laura: Who influences or inspires you the most in regards to your industry?
Anete: I look at Latvian brands with great success and wonderful women behind them like
“Amoralle” brand creator Inese Ozola (with her cute Charles Cavalier Spaniel – dogs are always a bonus for me)
“Mammalampa” and “DeTales” brand creator Ieva Kalēja.
I get inspired also from outside Europe, following businesswomen Reese Witherspoon (she has a cute french bulldog), Jennifer Garner, LD Shoppe brand owners Melissa and Sacha Leclair. I love seeing aesthetically pleasing home interior accounts where I see my dog beds and dog toy baskets fitting in flawlessly.
Laura: You have “a worthy brand,” I can see that, but why do you feel your brand is worthy? How do you remind yourself of your worth to continue building your business each day, how do you remind yourself, you are worth it!
Anete: Mame.design appreciates our four-legged family members, but at the same time doesn’t forget their owners. Dogs live for about 15 years and all this time they are with us in our homes. We want you to have the best experience living besides your pet with aesthetically pleasing dog beds and neat dog toy baskets. Inspiring & comfortable environment is a real value. And I don’t have to remind myself of it, because I have a dog and I see it in my everyday life.
Laura: And last… if you could give new or struggling entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?
Anete: Niche down and work on getting clear on your ideal client. If you are too broad, it gets hard to reach your ideal client. Also – be authentic and be yourself! You can inspire from others, but we all want sincere connection and see who YOU are!
Photography By Anete Kozule-Dziluma
I’m so impressed by Anete and the brand she has created. As a dog mom, whose obsessed with her pups, I’m 100% her target market too.
Anete gives such great advice when it comes to how important it is to niche down. When you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
I’ve never met anyone from Latvia, until now. I just received an order from a customer there a few weeks ago and wondered to myself what it was like in Latvia. Now I know… beautiful forests and sandy beaches, sounds heavenly.
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