By Jenn Heller
We’ve all heard it said, “When you support small business, you’re supporting a dream” and nothing is more true of this spotlight business.
The Volen Group was fortunate enough to receive custom serving platters from a vendor this Christmas. I personally fell in love with them and just had to know where they came from. A little internet trolling brought me to Cami&Cat, where I found some of the best personalized gifting gems out there. I love receiving personalized gifts. There’s thought put into it and a splash of love from not only the gift giver but the creator as well. I was curious and wanted to learn more about the talent behind Cami&Cat, so I reached out to owner Cami Stone. If you’re looking for personalized gifts, I highly recommend you take a look at their products.
How did Cami&Cat get started?
I bought a cheap wood-burning pen in 2015 to make myself a serving tray. I loved it so much that I made one for all my family and friends that Christmas. They all loved it and started ordering and sharing with their friends and that’s how it all started.
Describe the vision of Cami&Cat.
I want to provide the most thoughtful, personalized, and affordable gifts for everyone.
What products do you provide?
I make engraved wood products – signs, boxes, trays, cutting boards, etc.
Where are you from?
I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil but moved to the United States for college over 20 years ago. I graduated from Jacksonville University in 2004.
How long have you been in Jacksonville?
I have been in Jacksonville since 2001 and don’t ever want to leave. I love our city!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher, which I was for many, many years before starting Cami&Cat. I have taught all grades from Pre-K to sixth grade.
Is Cami&Cat your full-time venture?
Yes. Cami&Cat has been my full-time job since 2016.
Who are Cami&Cat?
I’m Cami, a wife, and mom of 3 teenagers. Cat is my amazing sister-in-law who started with me in 2016 but had to stop soon after to take care of her mom full-time. Cat’s a mom of 3 big kids and grandma of 6 little ones. I’m hoping she comes back working with me one day.
Where do you work from?
I work out of my garage in St. Johns. It’s the best of both worlds – I can do laundry, cook dinner, and overall be around for my kids while I’m working.
What is your favorite creation to work on?
I love working on anything that has a special story behind it. For example, I made a sign from a daughter to a dad who is battling cancer, another was a poem a mom wrote to her son for his graduation, one celebrating a great-grandma’s legacy, a box celebrating the life of a baby that got her wings, and so on. I have tons of these stories, they’re each so special and always my favorite to work on.
What drives your passion for what you do?
I love knowing that the pieces I make will bring joy to people. My husband always jokes “Cami&Cat – making the world happier one box at a time” but I feel like it’s true.
How long has Cami&Cat been open?
Officially since the beginning of 2016.
Why Cami&Cat? What made you decide to do this?
I quit my “real” job and started Cami&Cat so I could be around more for my 3 kids. I love what I do so much that I can’t imagine ever doing anything else again!
Where are Cami&Cat products sold?
Online, at www.camiandcat.com (new and improved website coming soon) and also at Vintage Arts on San Jose.
Can we find you at a local town or county market? If so, which is your favorite?
I don’t do a lot of markets but one I do every year and absolutely LOVE is Vintage Market Days at the Clay County Fairgrounds the first week in December.
Describe your Cami&Cat customer.
I make a lot of closing gifts for realtors and mortgage companies, both local and out of town. Anyone that wants a forever gift, or a custom wood engraved piece for their house is my potential client.
Do you do any special events or crafting parties?
I do! I do a watercolor workshop that’s super fun. I’ll come to you with all my supplies for a couple of hours of painting, fellowship, and you get a finished product at the end.
How can you be reached for orders?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/camiandcat
Etsy page: www.etsy.com/shop/camiandcat