Hound Hub Australia

From personalised products to quarterly donations at different animal rescues, HoundHub is the perfect example of how to manage your business whilst still being involved and making a difference in the world of pets. 

What was your inspiration for Hound Hub?

My inspiration for Hound Hub started when my partner and I adopted our first Greyhound Nero.

Going through the process of adopting Nero opened my eyes up to how much work was involved by the rescue group and what a great job they were doing.

From that moment I knew that I wanted to find a way to give back and help raise money for a Greyhound Rescue Group here in Perth.

I decided that I would create some metal Greyhound silhouette key rings and sell them with all profits going to that particular rescue group.

I received a lot of good feedback and decided to take the leap and create a business based around personalised items that would also give back to a selected group each quarter.

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How do you make sure each item is personalised?

Every personalised item is created directly from a photo of a pets face.

I then draw these up via our software and capture each unique marking as close as possible.

Once our drawings are approved I then have them made into key rings, magnets and brooches in either plywood or acrylic.

There is a lot of time and care involved when making these items, as I want them to be perfect for each customer.

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What is the best part of your job?

That would have to be when I open an email and see the adorable pets that I get to use to create a personalised item!

I also love hearing about each individual pet’s backstory and why the item that is being ordered is so special to my customer.

I also often create items for someone whose pet has passed away and I find it incredibly rewarding being able to provide them with something that they can carry with them every day.

There are so many favourite parts about my job and these are just a couple. 

The list could go on and on!

How do you ensure Hound Hub stands out from other similar businesses?

I take pride in Hound Hub being a very personable business.

I like to treat each customer with the same amount of respect and service I would expect.

I believe this is why we have customers who return and spread the word of what we do.

Our products are one of a kind and each item drawn represents the personality of the pet we are inspired by. 

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What does being a pet owner mean to you?

To me it means that even when you’re at your worst, you have a best friend who’s there for you unconditionally and brightens up your day!

It also makes you responsible for more than just yourself.

I have two hounds who need me just as much as I need them.

If anything, my boys have taught me how to take time out to appreciate the little things in life such as smelling the roses or in their case, the light poles!

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How do you work towards making a difference in the pet world?

With every purchase from Hound Hub, whether it be a key ring or our treats, a percentage of our profits go to an allocated rescue group for the quarter.

I also try my hardest to help out and volunteer with that group during the time we support them.

I have even done a kennel sleep out!

I think exposing the great work these rescue groups do is so important as well as being able to show people the benefits of adopting or fostering an animal. 

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Dogfather and Co.

Meet Kristina – the Director of Operations and Senior Buyer at Dogfather and Co. 

Why did you choose the name Dogfather and Co.?

The company was founded by a couple who considered themselves to be the ‘dogfathers’. And then the business was purchased in 2008 by the current owner Nataly, who decided to keep the name. 

You’ve cared for street dogs in India. Tell us a little bit about what that experience was like. 

Caring for street dogs in India was tough.
It certainly was not an experience for the faint hearted. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime, and I learnt a lot about dog behaviour and psychology, as I was able to observe and work with dogs that live on their own without the interference of humans. 

Do you think the approaches used by holistic veterinarians work?

Holistic veterinarians are unfortunately extremely difficult to find here in Ontario. They not only go through vet school, like all other vets, but they also do years of schooling afterwards, usually at human holistic schools since there aren’t many available for animals.
Their approach is the only one I believe in, which is that the number one thing that leads to illness and disease is a bad diet and lifestyle.
Diseases can be significantly avoided or lessened with a change of diet and lifestyle alone. That goes for both humans and animals.

How do you ensure the services you offer at Dogfather are unique and one of a kind in such a competitive market space?

With the help of our passionate staff members we are constantly brainstorming and researching new products and services on the market.
Since we only hire staff who are completely dedicated to helping dogs live better lives, we feel that this gives us an edge over other companies who offer similar services.

From ordering pupcakes to one-on-one dog fittings, where do you get your ideas from, and what is next for Dogfather?

We have lots of ideas in the pipeline at the moment. With our second location opening soon, we will have more space to provide more innovative services and products. We are very excited to be announcing the launch of this new store in 2018.

What has changed within your business since you expanded by including a cafe and grooming facility?

The cafe and grooming facility came about because we want to provide all the services that one would need for their dog in one space.
While we are a tiny shop, we do try very hard to provide as many services and products that we possibly can.
Now that we’ve outgrown our tiny space, we have finally found a second location to help serve our customers needs better.

The products you sell in your boutique are very unique. How have you sourced these products and what made you decide to sell such a wide, creative range of dog products?

Some of these are our trade secrets, however, what I can tell you is that we won’t put anything on our shelves that we haven’t tested on our own dogs. Anything that we wouldn’t give to our own dogs, or that our dogs will not eat, does not make it to our store.
 

How do you ensure your products/ services appeal to a Canadian market?

We are always listening to what our customers have to say. Our customers are the most important part of our business.
If they recommend a product or a service, we look into it. If we believe it’s a product or service that the majority of our clients would also appreciate, we recommend it, or bring it in.

Tell us a little bit about K9 cafe and what makes it special? 

The K9 came about because of the strict regulations and rules around the prohibition of having dogs in restaurants and cafes in Toronto.
This can be extremely frustrating especially in Summer, when one wants to sit outside with their dog and have a coffee.
People can’t even sit on venue patios with their dog. So since we have a small patio out back, we decided to donate that space to our clients.
They can go get a coffee at any cafe in our neighbourhood and bring it back to our patio. They can also buy a treat for their dog to keep them satisfied and busy so the owner can relax, and enjoy the weather.
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Woof Sniff Wag and Co

Meet Megan the owner of WoofSniffWagandCo.

How did you come up with the concept for WoofSniffWagandCo?

It all began as a little obsession I had dressing up my pups with bandanas and bow ties.

After only a few months of adopting my dogs I had already purchased so many accessories for them that my husband made me promise that I wouldn’t spend another dime on them.

So I decided to start creating accessories myself!

Growing up with two grandmothers who were professional seamstresses and a mother who loved to craft, I wanted to give bandana making a go. 

We live in a quaint little town that is very big on dogs and cats and a tight community who loves to support small businesses.

And when the word began to spread that I was making dog accessories, I decided it was time to create an Etsy account and ship worldwide.

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Why did you choose that particular name?

I wanted a tongue twister- just kidding!

I wanted something simple and to the point and a name that would make people laugh when they read it out loud.

So far its done the job!

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Do you own any pets yourself?

Yes!

I have two adopted rescue mutts named Kona and Grizzly that both turned one this year. 

Having two puppies is definitely hard work, but they are the sweetest pups in the world. And as newlyweds, the greatest decision we made our first year of marriage was adopting them!

We adopted Grizzly first and found him in South Carolina. Then three months later, we found Kona at a foster home five minutes away from our house. 

And then after that, the rest was history.

We have no children of our own (hopefully not for a couple of years) so our puppies are our babies.

They are truly the inspiration for our shop.

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Why do you think people are choosing to spend more money on their pets, and spoil them with clothes and accessories?

I believe it’s because of the large influence of social media.  

Hundreds of pet accounts are popping up by the minute and people have a desire to make their pets famous.

And dressing up your pet and taking photos of them in different outfits is one way to do this!

Is there a big market for pet accessories in Florida? How does this compare with the rest of the world?

I would say yes!

There are tons of Etsy shops based in Florida!

Especially since we have big cities like Orlando and Miami.

I’m a vendor in different markets and there is a very positive atmosphere, and reaction, when people see the different ways that they can accessorize their dogs. 

In comparison to the rest of the world, I think Florida is up there. 

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What do you love most about your job?

1) Getting to see adorable dogs and cats from all over the world of different breeds and sizes, wearing something that I made. 

2) Seeing happy customers and friends completely gush over their fur-baby’s new look. 

3) Seeing people’s excitement when they purchase an accessory that reflects their pets personality. It makes it all worth while!

What would be your biggest success to date?

My biggest success so far is reaching 600 Sales!

This is through a combination of selling at farmers markets, on Etsy and selling my products at local businesses.

We are a small company that opened up a little over six months ago, and we cannot wait to see whats in store for us this year!

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Photo Credits: 

@dooditsmilo
@bandit_thecavalier
@maxbordercollie
@thesugarandbiscuitshow and
@the.dapper.duo
 
Feature image of Megan Jolly – owner and CEO

Pet Winery

We have Taryn Nahm, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Florida based Pet Winery, to thank for making our Cat-urday nights more purr-fect!

With Meow & Chandon and Dog-Tinis you can now share a drink (or two) with your pooch or feline friend! 

Pet Winery really stands out as an innovative company in a competitive market space, because they understand that in this modern era, pets are increasingly becoming a larger component of our daily lives. 

And because of this people want to experience new things with their furry friends – and this understanding really attributes to their success. 

So round-up the squad and open up a bottle of Purrgundy (one each of course) and lets cheers to their success! 

What was the inspiration behind Pet Winery?

We actually saw that a Japanese company had come up with a similar concept!
Unfortunately, they made their products with grapes which can be harmful to animals.
But we loved the idea so much that we worked with vets to come out with a healthy and fun formula!
And that was how our Pet Winery was born!
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Why do you think so many people indulge in purchasing these products for their pets?

People want to feel close to their pets because they are essentially part of the family.

We throw birthday parties for them, they sleep on our beds, we take them to cafes and resturants with us, and they even have their own social media pages!
I think people want to spend more and more time with their pets, and because of this, it is fun to be able to share different experiences with them.
And nobody wants to drink alone! So why not share a drink with your fur-friend?
What does being a pet owner mean to you?
I have two cats Sadie and Mia.
Sadie is a rescue who showed up at my door one day when she was just a kitten and has been with Kai (my BF and business partner) and I ever since!
Sadie and Mia provide me with comfort after long days at work because pets are there for you when you are feeling down or sick, and love you no matter what.
They are spoiled and a part of our family and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I think that being a pet owner is essentially about being able to give love and affection and care to an animal and in return being able to enjoy the benefits of the unconditional love they give back.
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Do your products have health benefits for dogs and cats?

YES!
Almost all of our products have salmon oil in them. And our dog beer has Glucosamine in it. You can find the various benefits of both ingredients on our website.

What inspires the team to sell at Pet Winery?

We LOVE ANIMALS! And we love the pet industry! 

I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they see our products for the first time and seeing customers enjoying our products with their pets.
I guess it is just a fun business to be in and makes us want to work hard, because we all enjoy it so much. 
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What is the most rewarding, and in contrast, most challenging aspect of your job?

We give back to a rescue each month and it is nice knowing that our hard work is able to help aid different organisations and provide them with things that they need to be able to adequately care for their animals. 
The most challenging aspect is probably keeping up with the demand for our products!
In 2 years, we went from 1200 square feet to 11,000 square feet!
It’s been crazy busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.