As you can imagine, we get asked a lot of questions about the crazy world of edible cards for dogs.
In 2020, me and my partner Matthew invented the world’s first rawhide-free edible greeting cards for dogs and we’ve been pretty busy with it ever since!
We’ve not exactly got your everyday kind of business, so there’s always loads of questions that we get asked about the unusual things we do.
So this post is my way of answering some of questions I’ve been asked recently as honestly and from the heart as I can.
How did you come up with the idea for edible cards for dogs?
So, we volunteer as puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and help raise some of the young guide doggies. In doing that, we take them into our home and help with their early training to become full guide dogs. They can stay with us for months at a time, so as you can imagine, there’s quite a few comings and goings along the way (16 guide dogs in 10 years, eek!).
We’re always having parties for the dogs, whether it’s a birthday or even a leaving party, I was always the one who did the balloon arch for the dogs, who threw them a big doggy party where they could invite all their doggy mates and, of course, I’d always buy them a card.
It was one such moment when our guide dog in training Loki decided he didn’t fancy posing for a photo with his snazzy paper birthday card, and he would actually like to eat the thing instead.
That was the eureka moment.
That was the start of the whole adventure and from there we’ve done all kinds of insanely difficult and complicated things to get from that moment to becoming the company you see today, but I think that’s another story for another day.
Where do you get your cards made?
Here’s the thing about edible cards for dogs... There’s not exactly loads of factories out there pumping these things out, so we had no other option than to roll our sleeves up and work out how it could be done ourselves.
It was reaaaally difficult and took us years to really start getting it right, and yes, every penny we made, we reinvested back into the business.
We’re still evolving every day and it never seems to get any easier – but when we get a video of doggies loving the cards or a nice Instagram message, it really does make us happy. The whole reason we do what we do is to spread some happiness. It’s a mad thing that is very hard to understand before you experience it, but spreading happiness makes you happy to go to work on a Monday morning, it makes you happy to work late nights and it’s really what keeps us going.
Is training guide dogs your job?
So, here’s the thing, it’s not a job – it’s a voluntary thing I’ve done for the past 10 years.
There is a back story to it…
Way back when, I had a very stressful job in advertising and one day I collapsed having had a massive heart attack. When I woke up, I was having my pacemaker fitted (I called him Gerry…get it?) and I realised it was time I changed my life.
I gave up the stressful job and spent a good few months getting better, but I’ve never really like sitting still, even when a doctor told me to, so I became a voluntary guide dog puppy raiser to help with my recovery and just because I flippin’ love dogs.
My first guide dog was a ginger prince of a Labrador retriever called Ian and from then on I’ve never been able to give the little guys up.
We’ve had some right characters come to stay with us over the years and I genuinely love them all and still keep in touch with nearly all of them.
And yes, it is ALWAYS really hard to say goodbye when they leave, but they do so much good work that it makes me really happy to be a part of that.
Have you ever thought going on Dragons’ Den?
Ever since we started, people have asked me this question. In all honesty, this is probably the question I get asked the most.
The truth is, over the years, we’ve thought about it a lot and we almost always talk ourselves out of it. It’s such a scary and daunting place to put yourself out there for all the world to see.
So many clever people go on that show, and then all of a sudden there’s a girl from Wigan, with a dodgy ticker and a dog obsession, going on telly with the mighty invention of edible cards for dogs.
It’s hardly the pinnacle of the business endeavour, is it?
But in 2023 I decided that maybe the world could do with a little bit of doggy happiness, so we took the plunge.
I’ll tell you now, that it was honestly the most emotionally experience that I’ve ever had, in both good and bad ways.
I was continually going from nervous to exhausted to excited to breaking down and thinking I couldn’t even speak.
I was having absolutely legit thoughts that I’d get on there and I’d go to speak and no words would come out – which, as many of you know, is very not like me.
I kept thinking that we’d literally put our life and soul into this business and if I went on TV and I didn’t get our story across properly, that I would’ve let us all down.
I kept thinking the Dragons would tear me to shreds, just like the dogs do the cards, HA!
But you know what, life is about stepping outside of your comfort zone every now and then and I certainly did that then and what came of it was that I realised that I am very proud of what we do.
We’re only a little business and we’re absolutely based on a completely silly idea, but there’s something wonderful about what we do and I’m so very proud of that.
I just had to tell the world, so I did.
These are a combination of questions people have asked me in life, at trade shows, through social media messages and emails.
If you want to ask me anything, just head over to our contact page and give me a shout and we could use it for a future blog post.