I decided to make use of the time I had free waiting for group competition at the Oakland County Kennel Club show and talk to some of the dog show vendors about their businesses. My interviews included Gotcha Framed, with artsy magnetic frames, show circuit staple Whitman Sharpening, Glass Garden Engraving with hand painted glassware, Always Special and Personal with scented wax dipped stuffed toys, Diane’s Dream Pet Products, Cedar Creek pet beds, and Pet Fabulous, with high end leather leads and collars. I’ll break the individual interviews out in separate posts, but some general observations. Only one of the people I talked to had ever shown dogs; three had exhibited at craft or art shows first, and heard about the dog show opportunity from other craftspeople. Others started their business targeting other customer niches and discovered better dog marketing opportunities; two actually started selling pet products. A quick note re: their web sites – the only one with tracking was also the only one claiming to get much businesss online – cause or effect? I was also surprised how much people had to share, I thought I could easily get around to all the vendors during my 3 hours of down time, but I wasn’t able to even talk to half of them. I will admit I might have squeezed a couple more in who were so busy that I didn’t feel comfortable interrupting. The booth selling fleece dog coats on this blustery day was going great guns, not surprising since 4 inches of snow fell during the day and the temperature at my ring time was 9 degrees, but felt like -10!
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