The Kennel Komforts Story
In 1997 Maverick, my champion, took his first BEST IN SHOW. He won over 1498 dogs that day in Richland, Washington. Now we were into the big times. I needed a dog handler. Example, you may own a race car but you hire a driver to drive it. I needed a dog handler to take Maverick to all the AKC dog shows he could go to. I went to most of them.
My husband at the time said “You need a way to support this dog habit of yours”. I agreed. Campaigning a Best in Show Champion is quite costly. I needed to be at the Dog Shows. My Mom had taught me how to sew so I figured out a way to put my sewing skills to use and combine it with my love for dogs. I sewed crate pads, donut beds, jackets, tunnel beds etc. In all, I created a total of 280 types of stylish, quality dog beds and products.
The business boomed. I was a vendor at the dog shows and went from a 10 foot tent to a 40 foot tent in two years. I hired employees to sew for me to be able to meet the demands of both the dog shows and the web-site. A true woman owned business was born. I learned quickly that it is very important to always listen to the needs of my customers.
Eventually BELLYBANDS & BRITCHES came into the product line. I made the basic BELLYBAND & BRITCHES and sold them. It was a customer of mine that approached me and said “We need the crotch to be wider than the band”. That was it. The new wider crotch was invented. The dogs are more comfortable, the disposable pad fits better, and the band stayed on. It was what we needed. Success!
The same thing happened to the BRITCHES. I made the britches and a customer said “We need you to put a little bit of elastic around the back legs”. It also was a success. The perfect fit was born. My customers were using my products every day. It was like they were doing all the product testing for free. The result was a well tested, customer approved, and used product. What I learned was that listening to customers ideas will give you the perfect product.
During the over 20 years of showing dogs and selling dog products I made all kinds of friends with all different dog breed owners. Eventually I learned a little about all of the 173 AKC breeds. So when I say we know dogs, I mean it. But we are careful to always be open to customer’s good advice. We sell to Vet clinics, pet shops, pet owners, dog show owners, dog show vendors and my favorite, dog rescue groups. More adoptions are in “forever homes” when a Bellyband or Britches are sent with the new dog. Bellybands and Britches can save a dog’s life.
As for my husband at that time he eventually worked for me and I signed his pay check. It was all too much for him and we eventually divorced. Eight years later at the age of 56 I met and married Scott, the love of my life. When you find your niche in life, things come together!