KISS MY MUTT® celebrated our 6th birthday this summer…with 5 of those 6 years being open for business! As many of you can probably agree, you sometimes forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way.
Walking down memory lane with my sister, Kristen, (as many of our store buyers and colleagues know, my tradeshow partner and photographer) this week, I realize that we’ve accomplished a lot in very little time, yet there have been mistakes and failures along the way, and there is so much more to accomplish now and into the future. We’re constantly asked how we started this business and what our journey has looked like so far, so here is a quick recap of the last few years!
In year 1, I had a dream to start a product line, and so KISS MY MUTT® began as a small operation out of my garage. Through endless hours of research and development, the help and support of family and friends, I finally manufactured a few dozen dog beds. Now it was time to bring the product to market, which was a whole new beast in itself. Who was going to purchase KISS MY MUTT® products? Were people going to like our products and name? Along with the support of my family and friends, I took a leap of faith (with the knowledge I had acquired about the pet industry) put the KISS MY MUTT® name, website, catalog and product out into the market in year 2, and quickly added reversible bandanas, collars and leashes into the product line.
I literally drove up and down the California coast for a good 2 months, going from store to store, asking buyers to bring the product into their stores. I was so nervous, but had success, and buyers were kind and receptive to the product line. What a relief!
The next step was to head to my first trade show and see what a large audience thought of the product, and thanks to our buyers in the pet industry, they were receptive and brought the product into their stores.
We’ve since attended dozens of trade shows (both pet and gift) and added a number of products to our product line, including apparel for people, bracelets, harnesses, and of course adding new styles in collars and leashes are always a must.
We’re now in year 6 and are proud to say we have an office location (we’re no longer in our garage as of year 4 – whoop whoop!), we have two part time employees, and you can find KISS MY MUTT® products in 2000 independent stores across the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and South America! We have a number of International Distributors and have worked with Petco on quartly runs in a number of their 1300 locations across the United States. We also work with a number of other companies including PetSmart, Wag, PawPack (coming soon!), One Kings Lane, GILT, Rue La La, TJ Maxx (coming soon!), HomeGoods (coming soon!) and national catalogs for pet and home.
From that first store picking up our products, to our first trade show, to successes and triumphs, and yes many mistakes and failures along the way, it’s been a wild ride so far! There are so many things I could say I wish I did differently, but it’s been a learning process and I’m just as thankful for the mistakes as I am the successes. Thanks to all our wonderful customers, colleagues, friends and family for supporting KISS MY MUTT®… you all make this journey special and worthwhile!
Where do we want to go from here? We have so much we would like to accomplish and perfect, and hope to continue to grow the product line for you all and your pups! We would like to spend more time with charities (our other passion) and educate the public on adopting pups from shelters across the country. So much to do, so little time!
We can’t wait to see what the next 6 years have in store for us…stay tuned!
xoxo – Jennifer, owner and founder of KISS MY MUTT®