The slogan “run fast, bark loud” can also be seen as a philosophy inspired by the sheer joy and abandonment with which dogs play. Pet Age recently spoke with Spoiled Rotten Dogs founder John Plausse to find out how his mission to imbue the human products he designs with a sense of playfulness turned into his thriving pet business. I was.
Tell us about the origins of Spoiled Rotten Dogz.
Man plans, God laughs. I started his Spoiled Rotten Dogz (SRD) in 2005 as his online pet boutique, selling merchandise from other manufacturers as well as his own line of custom dog t-shirts.One day I was shopping at The Black Dog [a dog-themed gift store] On Cape Cod, it was packed. I was a little confused because there weren’t many products for dogs on sale. But as I stood in the middle of the store watching the crowd, I had an epiphany. Being a dog owner is a lifestyle, and dog owners want to represent that lifestyle. I left the store and changed my entire business from selling random products to creating a lifestyle brand.
At first, I designed T-shirts and sold them at Pet Expo and on the street. After each event, I reviewed customer feedback and adjusted the product line. One day, a customer asked me why I didn’t wear my design. I was fed up. she was right She then designed a shirt that she would like to wear. A vintage shirt with a mix of humor and sentimentality. At the time, there was nothing on the market that reflected that vibe. So it became my brand.
At that time, the common sense for launching a brand was to make a business plan and execute it. As a creative person, I found that approach too rigid and restrictive. I self funded my SRD. This gave us the freedom to abandon traditional approaches and follow our own process of experimentation and iteration. I made it. The evolution of SRD is the result of a collaboration between me and my consumers, and that conversation is ongoing. It’s a strong connection.
How did Spoiled Rotten Dogz grow?
It’s all about relationships. First, we approached individual store owners to understand their customers and how our Values his story would benefit them. I tried using a sales representative. Some relationships worked, others didn’t. The unsuccessful experiences were primarily the result of differences in focus regarding the sales experience.
Spoiled Rotten Dogz is about building long-term relationships, not hard sells. Now I only work with people who understand, share and support that strategy. SRD is a boutique company offering unique products primarily to brick and mortar stores. Market dominance is not the goal. I am very satisfied with being a luxury niche brand.
Why do you think it’s important for Spoiled Rotten Dogz to support independent brick-and-mortar retailers?
Brick-and-mortar retailers are the backbone of most communities. In addition to the economic benefits, local businesses support local charities and provide a place for consumers to shop, socialize and get educated. Many stores host adoption events and are local resources for rescue efforts. Shop owners invest heavily in their business and as a small business owner I understand and respect that. I want to help them protect their investment.
What has surprised you most about customer reactions to Spoiled Rotten Dogz products?
Your fanatical loyalty. These days, we only sell wholesale. However, we do have two retail events each year to test new designs and gather consumer feedback.
There are many repeat customers who are looking forward to new works. We also give our customers the opportunity to share their stories with us. One of my favorite his stories is about a man who bought our shirts over the years and had a sizeable collection. Last year he passed. After he died, his wife collected all his shirts and made a quilt that brought her great comfort. It reminds us that what we create has life and that it is a privilege to serve our customers.