LinkedIn ProFinder Small Business Contest November 14 2016
My eCommerce shop is all about puppy love with a heartfelt focus to crazy wiener dog lovers. It all stems from a little rescued dachshund named Smoothe, my buddy in life adventures for 16 years. After Smoothe lost his battle with cancer I found myself still obsessed with this breed, whether it was walking quickly to catch up to one on the streets of NYC or being the weirdo in the dog park without a dog. I really hit my dog
stocking stride as Instagram grew when I discovered other people with the same obsession, some taking it to a new level by buying any product or item with a wiener dog printed on it. It was then that my marketing brain, love of dachshunds and interest in small business kicked into overdrive.
A store with wiener dog goods would be the perfect way to keep the memory of my little one alive. Within in a few months I had my website up and a few products stocked. I suppose it should have been scary but I reveled in every aspect of the business. I hated disappointing customers when mistakes happened, but loved getting to know them while working out issues. I never ever wanted to understand USPS and its quirky rules but it’s now a point of pride.
My wiener dog world now spans the globe through social media and product sales, but most importantly its forged friendships around the world. In addition to running a profitable business I’ve had the job of giving back to the doxie community through a number of fundraisers, including rising over $10k for various dog-related charities and donating six doggie wheelchairs to pups suffering for IVDD, an intervertebral disk disease that impacts 25% of dachshunds and can leave them paralyzed.
As my customer base grows and my product offering expands I’m regularly seeking help with graphic design, technology, marketing, and photography. I’m expecting that ProFinder will be a valuable tool for sourcing support and guidance on many fronts. Since LinkedIn has built in transparency and existing credibility I’ll recoup time that was previously lost in screening and researching.
I’ve never had a moment of regret about opening my store. It’s provided me with freedom to spend more time with friends and family and I get to spend part of each day looking at dog pictures! I’m so thankful for every aspect of my business and my customers (and their dachshunds). Life is good, my customers share their love of dachshunds with me and I feed their addiction for doxified goods while adoring their four legged kids.