Indulging your pet ranks high up for those who consider their favorite animal a part of the family. Offering the family dog a place to feel safe that is in perfect harmony with the surrounding space led to the design and construction of modern Kooldog houses. Meant to be enjoyed by dogs living in urban developments and add character to the room, these simple and contemporary dog houses are easy to clean and display a minimalist design that works best with modern settings. Enjoy the inside scoop from Kooldog!
What challenged you to start this business – building modern dog houses?
- People put a lot of effort and money into their home decor – but then usually toss a blanket or mattress on the floor forgetting that dogs (and cats) are den dwellers and like enclosed areas. Alternatively, they might but a crate in the corner. Either way, it’s something that often gets put away when company comes over. Especially in a smaller space, like a condo, where furniture is carefully selected to maximize a limited space, we wanted to develop a solution that can be tailored to a persons unique style, while complementing their home decor.
What were your thoughts after seeing the first product in your line of modern dog houses?
- After the first production pieces were ready, we were really excited. Particularly to set one up at home for myself. We were very pleased with how polished and high end the final product looks. The similar feedback that we’ve been receiving from our customers has been real testament to the need that we felt exists between pets and home decor.
What are the main characteristics of your products and how do they respond to the need in today’s market?
- Truly the main characteristic is the contemporary design. At the moment we offer three wood finishes (more to come) for the front face so that it can work to specific decor styles. This product is designed to be a comfortable and easy-to-maintain space for your pet that looks great in a room. The greatest interest has so far come from people who live in condos and town homes. They generally have smaller dogs as a result of smaller living spaces.
Balancing the need for a comfortable dog house and a modern display must have been challenging. What led you to design a minimalist dog house to be used indoors?
- We definitely understand the need to carefully select your home decor elements when you live in a smaller space. All your purchases really need to be space efficient. At the same time, you shouldn’t have to compromise on style. And let’s face it, nobody really likes wire kennels and fur covered tarten or paisley pattern pet cushions as a focal point of a room.
How would you describe your product to someone who thinks that an indoor dog house is just an unnecessary accessory?
- I would first ask about their design styles at home and find out some of the elements they are most proud of. We understand our customer is someone that has clean, contemporary and minimalist decor tastes. It’s unlikely that our product will be featured in the same room as at trophy moose head or bear skin rug (though we do offer a walnut wood finish that would look great next to a bear skin rug). We believe you should love the things that you surround yourself with. Most people understand that about their pets (that is, after all why people have pets), but your decor is no exception.
What was the oddest request for customizing the fashionable dog houses you produce?
- The oddest request so far was definitely a for a custom hot pink front face, with their pet’s name studded in faux diamonds above the entrance. We certainly love the enthusiasm people have for their pets.
Please describe the rise of your business – where do the customers come from?
- Primarily from the downtown condo and town house owners. Again, this is largely based on the fact that they have limited living spaces and their decor is carefully selected as much for space as it is for style.
- The intention at this point is to introduce other pet-friendly items as well as accessories for our current dog house.
How many orders for the Kooldog house do you get from the internet opposed to the real stores? Which market brings you more customers?
- So far most of our sales have been online. We do get a lot of requests online from customers who would like to see it first and what stores are carrying it. Our retail presence is actually very new. Currently there are 6 stores in the GTA that are featuring our dog house.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in this business?
- In the pet world, you have to really love your products or services. We absolutely love animals and that’s how this idea was ever possible. People love their pets consider them family members. Their pet-related purchases are usually made with an emotional connection – and when you speak with people about your business, that really needs to come out organically.