August 12th, 2009
Josie turned 6 months old on Sunday and she has really captured everyone’s heart. We have customers come in the store just to see her. I get phone calls about her picture in our ads. All of our Twitter and Facebook friends seem to swoon when we posted pictures. Some folks online didn’t even think Josie could be a real dog! So we’ve decided to publish our latest video of nothing but Josie footage from the time we got her until now…
Josie on YouTube
We love you Josie!
May 14th, 2009
Mike Switzer contacted me a few months ago to schedule an interview. He was very specific that we needed to do the phone call over a landline. The only landline I have is at The Baker’s Dog so I said, “No problem!” I’m a regular listener of Mike’s show and we were super excited to be a part of it. Fast forward many weeks to the day of the interview. Mike and I chatted for a bit before he switched over to the studio recording equipment. He immediately noticed a hum on the line.
“Hey Paul, are you on a landline?”
“Of course Mike! Just like you told me to be.”
“You’re not on a cordless phone, are you?”
“Do you have a corded phone?”
“I can get one. I’ll call you back in 5 minutes.”
Fortunately, there’s a CVS next door and I had already closed the store so I could focus on the interview. I ran full speed into CVS and snagged the first phone I saw, bought it, and ran back. I was proud of my resourcefulness and was thinking Mike should be impressed by my enthusiasm. Long story short, several back and forth phone calls determined that the corded phone I got was busted. Mike could hear me great but all I could hear was static. Mike didn’t seemed terribly impressed. He begrudingly let me do the interview on my cell phone (for which I can’t thank him enough). The interview itself went smoothly. Mike is a really nice guy and our talk was a lot of fun. I had no idea if he had usable audio or not. All I could picture was Mike in a editing studio and shaking his head in disgust.
Fast forward a few more weeks to today, and the interview aired. I think, besides my Kermit-the-Frog-being-strangled voice, it turned out pretty good!
Thanks to SC ETV Radio and Mike Switzer for paying attention to our little business!
March 23rd, 2009
Since our last video, we’ve become a fully operational bakery and retail store! It has taken some trial and error to learn and tune the new equipment. But I think we’re fairly happy with how we have things working at this point. Watch the video to see for yourself!
I haven’t blogged about the business much lately and it seems like every other customer that comes into the store asks us, “How are you guys doing?” We won’t get into specific numbers, but the store is definitely seeing tangible growth month to month. That’s not really that hard since we started from $0 a few months ago! It’s very exciting to see repeat business and hear the overwhelmingly positive feedback. We’ve been listening to our customers have been working on some new products to accomodate their requests and needs. I really enjoy telling our retail customers about the custom photo packaging and watching their faces light up as they think about all the neat photos they have of their furry children. It has been received even better than I expected it to be.
We can’t yet afford to market locally as much as I’d like to. I’ve been trying to make up for that by asking customers to tell their friends about us, doing what I can from the computer, and tweeting my face off. I only wished I was able to break away from the store to network in the local community more. All in all, we’re happy with how things are ramping up and pretty excited to see how things go for the Summer. We aren’t bajillionaires (yet). If we continue on our current trend, we will be profitable in 2009 and I think that’s all anyone can ask for right now.
If you like what we’re doing, stop by our retail store or shop online. Recommend us to the 3 biggest dog lover’s you know and tell us what we can do to become your #1 source for healthy baked pet treats!
October 8th, 2008
Before we move on to the store update, you should note that this entry is also our very first podcast! I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for a very long time, but didn’t really have a great reason to do it. Then it hit me that it would really add a lot to The Baker’s Dog website. It turns out that taking the video was the easy part. It was all of the editing, learning, copying, pasting, and waiting to get it out on the Internet that made it harder! I don’t think we’ll podcast on a regular schedule and it won’t always be video. So be sure to subscribe (RSS or iTunes) and you’ll be updated automatically! Without further delay, here’s the video I slaved over that I hope you really like:
Since we don’t have a money tree, and given these uncertain economic times, we’re trying to control costs where it makes the most sense (cents?). Therefore we decided to paint the store ourselves. The only hesitation in our decision was considering that a few walls are as high as 25′. We looked into ladders and scaffolding before I ultimately decided we should rent a scissor lift for speed and safety. (The fact it has an actual joystick and makes “robot noises” may have had something to do with it. But whatever.) I picked up a 19′ scissor lift from the local equipment rental place and little did we know how wobbly the lift gets at that height! It was really scary until we took a couple of rides to get our bearings. On the first day, we put a coat of “new construction” primer on all of the walls. This type of primer is super thick- it’s basically thinned out plaster. We were exhausted by the end of the night.
The next day, we got the colors on and the thinner interior latex went much quicker (though not quite as fast as in the video). The overall the paint job is a decent one. But I think we’ll stick to making deliciously healthy pet treats. We chose a neutral gray for the front half of the store and a pumpkin orange for the back half. I gotta’ admit, the impact of the orange when standing at the front door is pretty cool. We picked orange because it has a decidedly modern feel when it’s beside the gray foreground. Plus, we figured orange can be a fall color when it’s coupled with brown accents or a beachy summer color when coupled with electric blue and yellow.
We decided to go ahead an keep the scissor lift for a full week to clean up the lights, do some finish work around the windows, and clean the glass. The following day, we did some touch up while our amazing new little printer was installed. It’s really hard to explain how the printer actually cuts the stickers out, so I grabbed some video of that as well. We’re going to experiment with quality settings and the material we print on so we get the best looking and easiest to apply labels we can.
The feedback and reaction we’ve been getting on the packaging has been nothing short of amazing. It just gets me pumped up even more to get things going ASAP! Now, I need to get hopping on the website side of things so you fine folks can upload your photos with no muss or fuss. If you’re a subscriber to the website, you’ll probably be asked to help us test things out before we go fully live. You and your dogs be rewarded for your efforts!
Also on YouTube.