Kitty Empire

Erin Bruce of Kitty Empire creates hand crafted purses, wristlets, wallets and messenger bags perfect for everyday use or a night on the town. All Kitty Empire products are vegan, made with vinyl and fabric.

The ever changing appliqué designs range from cherry blossoms, kitty cameos, anthropomorphic animals, mythical forest creatures and fairytale-inspired themes.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Erin.
I think I’ve always been into sewing and creating different things since I was really young. My mom is an artist and so we were always doing something crafty together. I’ve always made gifts for friends and then a few years ago I was trying to find a vinyl wallet and just decided to try and make one for myself. My very supportive crafty friend was making clothes at the time and really encouraged me to try to put a business together. She started selling my creations at markets and eventually at her store. I started on Etsy around that time.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I have quite a few favourite things to do: spending time with my friends, bike rides on my old Elgin cruiser bike, eating a really good meal, the rare day spent in pajamas watching movies with my boyfriend, sitting on a tropical beach with a good book….

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
I have a full time job besides running my shop so it is always very challenging trying to find time to sew and try out new ideas. My other constant struggle is trying to get my product photos to look professional.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Right now I like the new doily wristlets

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I was pretty sure I was going to be a veterinarian. Up until the point that I realized how heartbreaking it would be.

What other shops or artists out there do you love?
Clever fawn makes the most beautiful jewellery

My closet is brimming with amazing Dear Pony clothing

Poketto has a wide range of lovely items.

What does your future hold?
I would like to keep evolving, trying new things. I’m trying to branch out in some different areas like jewellery.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Animal rights are hugely important to me and I try to focus on that with this business.
I'm a proud member of Etsy for Animals
I donate 5% of my sales each month to a different animal charity.