Jaime Drayer, Creator at Kitties and Cabernet
If you’re a cat lover in the Hamilton area, you have most likely heard of the cat-loving-company ‘Kitties and Cabernet’.
Jaime Drayer, the creator at Kitties and Cabernet, makes unique cat and wine themed products like: art prints, greeting cards, t-shirts, hand painted mugs, and wine glasses. Though the designs are geared toward all cat lovers, Jaime specifically has in mind those introverted cat mamas who like staying in and drinking wine with their furry friends, like her!
Drayer has always loved crafting and dabbled in different projects. A graphic designer by trade, she had been creating something a bit more creative and meaningful than her corporate world life. In April 2016, a craft sale at a local cat rescue prompted her to create some wine-drinking cat-lady themed products inspired by her two tuxedo rescue cats, Tux and Poppy; thus Kitties and Cabernet was born!
For the creation process, Drayer designs, prints, and cuts her own paper goods in her home studio and freehand paints every single mug and wine glass; no two are alike! When Drayer needs to outsource some manufacturing for her business, she always uses other local small businesses in Hamilton, preferring to support local.
Her products can be purrr-chased (pun courtesy of Jaime 😉 ) through her Etsy shop, at local craft markets throughout the year and at local retailers like Studio 205, Nest, Vagabond Saints, The Hamilton Store and The Hamilton Burlington SPCA here in Hamilton, and in Oakville, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Dover and more. You can feel good about your purchase from Kitties and Cabernet, because 10% of every sale goes to a local cat rescue.
We asked Jaime a few questions about business. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Any advice to women starting their own business? A: If you’ve been dreaming of trying something, just do it! It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can improve things as you go. There’s a lot you can do with very little money, start small and take baby steps. I’ve tried so many things that failed but I’ve learned from it each time. Be prepared to make some social sacrifices and work harder than you ever have, but it will pay off. I think of it as a short term sacrifice for a long term goal. After working about 100 hours a week for the last year and half, I’ve just resigned from my full-time job to focus on growing Kitties and Cabernet and freelancing as a graphic designer for other small businesses. I would also suggest joining some local Facebook groups like Hamilton Fempreneurs, there are a lot of wonderful and supportive women in our city who are happy to build each other up. I’m incredibly grateful for my local small business friends, we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and their feedback and support is invaluable.
Q: A business tool you could not live without? A: I would have to say Instagram, it’s free online advertising and cats are like royalty on the internet!
Q: Do you have a favourite female-owned business in Hamilton? A: There are a lot of talented women in our city so this is tough… I am however, extremely inspired by Sonia Seguin the founder of Body Brave. She left her career to create an accessible non-profit organization for women struggling with body image issues and eating disorders in Hamilton. We became great friends after I started attending the weekly yoga classes at her facility. Another awesome local woman, Sashaina Singh, leads the class and it has been incredible for grounding me and calming my anxious mind. It’s my favourite place to be aside from at home with my cats.
For more from Jaime and Kitties and Cabernet, follow the business on social media!