Despite the many trials and tribulations of 2020 so far, entrepreneurs continue to forge ahead like the 150 Mile House-based Andrew Brown and his company Furr Dogz.
Brown is a mine worker by trade who has been working on the idea that became Furr Dogz portable pet cleaning station for the last eight years. In essence, it’s a device designed to make washing your dog easier and more enjoyable and consists of a special grooming mitt that allows the owner to pet and clean their dog simultaneously. It’s hooked up to a water tank shaped like a bone that pumps soapy water into the mitt that then sprays into the dog’s coat as you pet it.
When Black Press Media last talked to Brown he’d just finished the final designs for his product and had ordered 500 units for retail. While it’s been a long journey Brown said he’s now in a place to begin selling the product of which he has around 400 left.
“It’s coming to fruition now, it’s actually happening but COVID didn’t help,” Brown said. “Basically the world shut down so I’m having to come up with more creative ways to get it out there to people.”
One of the ways he’s doing this is by teaming up with Solos Productions’ Mitch Cheek who has been helping him with web design and social media. Brown has also secured a US trademark for Furr Dogz logo and name in the past few months which will be useful for the future.
Despite COVID-19 slowing him down, it’s not entirely stopped him which Brown considers something of a blessing in disguise. He said that if you grow too fast that can end you just as easy as not selling anything.
Currently, most of his sales have been by word of mouth from friends and family but is slowly starting to expand beyond those social circles. To get the word out Brown is planning to take a trip to Kamloops this summer and tour around dog parks and offer free dog washes to demonstrate the product.
Once he’s down to 250 units, Brown intends to order another 1,000 to meet demand which he’s cautiously optimistic for.
In the next few months, Brown intends to also sell replacement wash mits, hose repair kits and other items designed to extend the lifetime of the product. He’s also in talks to do some cross-promotion with a dog shampoo company in Vancouver.
“It kind of looks like its such an odd-looking thing and it was made that way by design so it grabs people’s attention but it’s not just a gimmick, it actually works well and dogs actually do like it,” Brown said. To fellow entrepreneurs out there he advises them to take people’s opinions with a grain of salt and not to take their criticisms to heart. Just because someone else can’t do something, doesn’t mean you can’t Brown said. There are lots of peaks and valleys along the road and it’s not all “sunshine and rainbows” but he thinks even to try is better than having a what if.
For more information or to contact Brown, check out his Facebook page.