Toys & Training

Westminster enterprise homeowners use summer time to make, market objects for canines


WESTMINSTER – The canine days of summer time are proving to be a great time of yr for 2 native businesswomen who focus on offering canine-related merchandise to pet homeowners.

One enterprise options home made bandanas to assist canines look their greatest on-line, whereas the opposite gives home made wholesome treats for canines. 

Canine in bandanas are an web favourite

Fifteen-year-old Cali Laliberte of Westminster began her firm, the Aussie Pup Co., after she adopted her canine, Charlie, in the course of the peak of the pandemic. After establishing an Instagram account for her new pet, Laliberte realized simply how common images of canines in bandanas have been on the platform.

After shopping for a number of bandanas for Charlie, she determined to attempt her hand at designing and creating some handmade “dogwear” equipment of her personal.

“I had a stitching machine, however I had by no means sewed earlier than in my life,” Laliberte defined. “However I made an Instagram web page for my new enterprise, and I began stitching. It took some time to get the grasp of it, however finally I did.”

Utilizing social media to market

Orders for her bandanas started to roll in, little question helped by the truth that the merchandise have been being modeled by Charlie, an Australian Shepherd who had over 1,000 Instagram followers even earlier than Laliberte made her first bandana. She additionally created an Etsy web page for her new enterprise.

“I used to be in a position to construct my enterprise Instagram by way of Charlie a little bit bit at first,” stated Laliberte, who will start her sophomore yr at Oakmont Regional Excessive Faculty within the fall. “And it was superb once I began to get the primary orders.”

Callie models a bandana created by Cali Laliberte of Westminster.

Phrase of her new enterprise started to unfold on-line after a number of clients ordered bandanas for their very own canines to mannequin for his or her Instagram followers, Laliberte defined. These clients who included a hyperlink to the Aussie Pup Co. acquired a reduction code that they might move alongside to their followers. Prospects who received at the very least 10 of their very own followers to comply with her firm acquired a specifically designed scrunchie for his or her canine, she added.

“That turned out to work very well as a result of (these clients) would normally purchase at the very least one bandana from every assortment, and that actually helped to spice up my enterprise,” she stated.

Designs sustain with the instances

Laliberte consistently updates her assortment of bandanas, with most of her designs reflecting upcoming holidays or the seasons. Her present summer time line contains bandanas adorned with flamingos, sun shades, seaside equipment, the celebrities and stripes, and patriotic paws.  She has additionally begun including canine bow ties to her stock.

Laliberte, who works a number of hours every single day on stitching her bandanas and developing with concepts for brand spanking new designs, stated she was shocked at how rapidly her enterprise turned successful. However she says she’s loving each minute of it.

“I like seeing the completed merchandise, I like seeing the canines having fun with it, I like once I’m bored simply having the ability to sit in my room and do one thing productive as a substitute of simply sitting there on my cellphone or one thing,” she stated, including that she had plans to broaden her enterprise within the close to future. “I’d like so as to add canine bows and perhaps collar covers – and doing extra with personalized bandanas.”

Laliberte can be exploring methods to donate a few of her earnings to charity. Charlie, whose breed impressed her firm’s title, has epilepsy, she defined. She stated she wish to use her enterprise to lift consciousness of canine epilepsy sooner or later.

To maintain up with the Aussie Pup Co.’s new merchandise, comply with @aussie_pup_co on Instagram and TikTok.

Katie Alden of Hubbardston and her German Shepherd, Kovu.

A Chick and Her Homestead

There’s nothing a sharply dressed pup enjoys greater than a scrumptious home made deal with, and that’s the place Katie Alden of Hubbardston is available in.

Alden began her firm, A Chick and Her Homestead, after her German Shepherd, Kovu, started getting rashes that weren’t going away with conventional veterinary therapy. After making an attempt allergy pictures and prescription medicines to no avail, Alden determined to modify her canine to a uncooked weight loss plan – and Kovu’s signs cleared up inside per week.

“And it’s been two years since I’ve needed to convey him to the vet,” stated Alden, who added that the expertise impressed her to do extra analysis about pet vitamin, particularly when it got here to what sort of substances went into pet food and treats. She stated she started making her personal canine treats, primarily so she may management what her canines have been consuming.

“I additionally started making canine treats for my family and friends, and everybody was telling me that their canines cherished them and that they have been so good for his or her canine’s pores and skin and coat, and that I ought to be promoting them,” Alden stated. “After which every thing simply type of occurred.”

Bringing canine treats to summer time markets

Alden, who’s the college nurse on the Sizer Faculty in Fitchburg, started promoting her single-ingredient canine treats this summer time, primarily on the Road Market in Sterling on Saturdays and the Farmers Market in Westminster every Friday. The response, from each pets and homeowners, was overwhelmingly constructive.

“I like the canines which are coming over to my desk and getting a deal with – I’ve a variety of samples – and I’m very enthusiastic about what I’m doing,” Alden defined. “It’s enjoyable, it’s not work.”

She stated she hoped to make her treats accessible at a number of extra native markets if she will match them into her schedule.

Getting state approval

Alden’s canine treats are available three flavors: Dehydrated Candy Potato, Freeze-Dried Smelt, and Freeze-Dried Beef Liver, and she or he produces about 10-15 luggage of every taste weekly. She stated that every time she comes up with a brand new recipe, she sends it off to a meals laboratory for testing, after which sends these outcomes to the state Division of Agricultural Assets for approval.

Alden stated she is hoping to broaden her enterprise to incorporate on-line gross sales within the close to future, however she stated she wished to additional educate herself in regards to the vital necessities of promoting canine treats over the web.

“Massachusetts has a variety of necessities, it’s truly actually loopy,” she stated. “There are literally extra necessities on promoting pet food than there may be for promoting human meals. They wish to know the quantity of proteins, the quantity of moisture, and stuff like that.”

A change of coronary heart

Alden admitted there was a sure irony in the truth that she has constructed a profitable enterprise particularly catering to canines and had an curiosity in increasing her providers to incorporate doggie daycare and coaching classes sooner or later.

“It’s humorous as a result of I used to be deathly afraid of canines once I was little however, now I like them,” she stated.

For extra details about Alden’s canine treats, go to her Fb web page:   Achickandherhomestead Farm Recent Treats or go to her YouTube channel at A Chick And Her Homestead – YouTube for a have a look at how her treats are made.



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