In the beginning, nearly 7 years ago, I worked from home and made everything. Back then we sold mainly through shows like Country Living and Burghley Horse Trials topped up with some sales online. Back then we only had couple of styles of coats, and one jumper design. 7 years on we sell mainly through our website, Crufts, Happy Hound Day and through a growing list of dog boutiques selling our stylish dog attire.
When we moved into The Barn 4 years ago having out grown the house, I knew that I needed help but didn’t know where to find it! Luckily for me a lady in the unit next door knew a someone in the village who could sew. I got in touch and Pat still works with me. She turned 80 this year and is a true inspiration! Pat introduced me to 4 other ladies who also help with the sewing and cutting. My little team of ladies, Pat, Marian, Carol, Enid and Nicky are my rocks! I just wouldn’t be able to manage without them and I certainly couldn’t offer the range of attire that we do now.
Wendy processes the orders and does the packing (and anything domestic – including making me sit down and eat lunch!). Hubby David works with me 2 days a week, trying to do the book keeping but often getting roped into other chores – printing orders, packing, lifting heavy rolls of fabric onto the cutting table and making sure that we have enough logs for the winter! A year ago Su joined us to look after the trade customers and also to do our artwork – you have her to thank for the brilliant new catalogue soon to be dropping on door mats all over the world!
All our team work part time – apart from me! I still do much of the cutting and making – especially at this time of year. I do all of our social media, I wouldn’t trust it with anyone else and think that as my interface with the customer it is important for me to do it. I design and develop all the new products and work on the photography with the brilliant Kerry Jordan of Whippet Snippets. I also do packing, tea making and puppy walking! I work long days and in the next 3 months – our busiest of the year I will take work home to do in the evenings and weekends. We try to have one day off and now that we have George I think that will be filled with adventures walking, discovering new places and having the odd pub lunch – dog friendly of course!
I love what I do!! I am so proud our little business that I started in my late 40’s is growing and we are still making all of our products in Britain. I am passionate about British manufacturing and will never compromise my standards and quality over costs. Customer service is paramount to me and I make sure that every order goes out in the time specified – 3-5 days for some items and 7-10 days for made to order items.
We have seen rapid growth in the last 6 months and it is currently not possible for all of our items to go out within 5 days so I wanted to explain how we work behind the scenes, so that you know when you order from us how our little team is working to get your goods in the post as quickly as possible!
Every year we increase the amount of stock on the shelves but it isn’t like a business that orders in finished products that are ready for when you order. Most of what we do has to be cut, made, finished and packed before it can be sent and this takes a little time.
Fleece Jumpers and Snoods – These items are often well stocked – of course we do sometimes get an order for the only size and colour we have just sold out of! If this happens you will get a call from Wendy offering an alternative or asking if you don’t mind waiting until some more are made! Enid cuts most of these items for a lovely little team of ladies in rural Leicestershire who are now making most of the fleece items for us – this is great as it frees up my ladies to make more coats, so that we can cut that delivery time down for you.
Surrey and Sussex Coats – These coats are so popular that we do try and keep stock of them and usually these go out within 3 days of getting the order – often the next day if you catch the post sack! Pat and Carol make this coat so if it needs to be made it will take up to 5 days.
Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Suffolk, Norfolk, Kent, Sherlock, Berkshire, Cumbria and Cheshire Coats – The new styles are proving very popular and currently most of them are made by me. Marian and Nicky are now making the Dorset and Wiltshire – thank goodness as these are our best sellers this month! All of these coats are made to order and will take up to 10 working days. If you want one of these coats quickly you can call and we will see if we can push you up the list, but if you can wait that is great for us!
Collars, Kits, books, wool jumpers – all in stock and go out within a couple of days.
Generally we post 3 days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, this will increase to 5 days a week as we get closer to Christmas. So, if you order over the weekend and we have your items in stock they will be packed and put into Tuesdays bag for your dog to wear on Wednesday! If you order on a Tuesday morning and it’s in stock there is a good chance it will go in that days sack. We try very hard to get all our items out well within the times stated and last Christmas everything left us within 5 days – but it nearly killed me! This coupled with an increase in orders is partly why we have increased delivery to 10 days, this means we are better able to manage your expectations and have only happy customers.
The good news is that I work at my best when the cut work it stacked up on the table (and so do all my ladies!) so rest assured your dog will get what you have ordered within the time stated because I do it all for the dogs! I just can’t get the vision of Bruno shivering next to me when he wasn’t suitable attired, out of my mind and imagine every customer has a similar dog with that attitude sitting next to them!! Please do call if you need something quickly, maybe you are going away and haven’t got around to ordering then realise that the dog doesn’t have a raincoat for that walking holiday – we will talk you through what we can send out that day to avoid wet dog unhappiness!!
I hope that this explains how our little team works and what a personal service you are getting when you order from us. I think it is important for our customers to know that we care about every item that leaves with our logo on and without you we wouldn’t be doing what we love!
October, November and December – I am ready for you!