A New Baby in the Family!

 

We are so excited, we are getting a new puppy! She’s an early 60th birthday present for my mom, but we still live with my parents so we will get to enjoy having a puppy in the house🙂

She’s a powderpuff Chinese Crested and my mom is going to name her Marvel Anne. She’s the runt of her litter.

I can’t wait to share photos with you guys!

 

Olivia’s Human Shop on Etsy

This morning I want to talk about the biggest take away I got from Bark World:

If you treat it as a hobby, everyone else will too. If you want it to be successful as a business, treat it like a business.

This resonated big time with me. Over a year ago I set up an Etsy shop, you can find it here. I made really cute Boston Terrier 1524172_772368432798290_6278520779896532632_opolymer clay jewelry, Boston Terrier plush dolls, and clothes for the plush dolls. I was proud of my creations– I made my own pattern for the dolls and their clothes, and used Olivia as my inspiration for the polymer clay Boston Terrier charms.

I took pretty good photos. I’m not saying they are perfect but I tried to stage them and allow interested parties to see my merchandise and get a good feel for my items. I still need to update or change a few of them, it’s a constant work in progress.

So I had a shop. I had the items to sell. I listed the items. And then I waited for the sales to start rolling in. And I waited. And I waited. I sold a polymer clay brooch. I was excited. Someone had found my stuff amongst all the other listings! I received payment, sent it off… and that was it. I haven’t sold any other items. I got frustrated and discouraged. I gave up.

10517632_772382182796915_609671776177133055_o (1)How horrible is that?! I had all these beautiful things that I had spent hours on and I gave up. The problem was this: I had treated my store as a hobby. I wasn’t promoting it or myself on social media or anywhere else (I started a Facebook page for my shop and never posted to it). I didn’t spend the few extra dollars to promote my listings on Etsy to help gain some momentum. I had the belief of “If I post it, they will come”. How totally wrong I was.

I never treated my shop as a business, so it never was. All the hoping and praying and good thoughts in the world were not going to get me where I wanted to be.

This past weekend, at Bark World, I attended a session all about Etsy given by the human and Frenchie behind The French Dog. This re-ignited a new passion in me to really make a go of my Etsy shop. I believe in my heart that I have wonderful product to offer the world– if only they new how to find me!

This week, based on what I learned in that Bark World session, I updated all the tags on my items, I worked with the Facebook page a little bit (it’s a start!), I paid to promote a diverse cross section of my items on Etsy to get some traffic to my shop, I made a new logo/banner for my shop, and I pinned, and I pinned, and I pinned to Pinterest.

Last night I had an inquiry from someone wanting a custom bracelet to look like their Puggle. Is this the type of attention I had in mind? Nope. But someone found my listing, and they liked it enough to message me. I got something out of my hard work il_570xN.575565013_rgi7this week. I got rewarded for putting the time in a finally starting to treat my shop as a business. (For the record, I’m going to attempt to make her dog into a polymer clay charm/bracelet.)

So, sure, I’m having to spend some money to make some money. I’m probably not going to make anything off the custom bracelet because I have to buy the supplies to make it. But it will be fun. Maybe I’ll get a review. Maybe this person will tell a friend– or post on social media.

I feel re-energized towards Etsy. I have new ideas for my shop. I’m excited about it again! And who knows– that first big sale could be right around the corner!

Bark World Re-Cap: Day Two

What a fun time Olivia and I had this weekend at Bark World. Now we’re back home, back to work, and back to the “real world”.

I’d like to take this opportunity to comment on how amazing the pet blogging community truly is. Like with any group of people, there are exceptions, but I found the pet bloggers to be welcoming, kind, and just really awesome people!

Now, for a re-cap of day two!

Olivia and I did make it to Doga (for those of you who misses re-cap of day one, dog+yoga= DOGA). We got up at 5:30 am, showered, packed, and checked out of our hotel.

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Checking out of the hotel!

For going to Doga we received a $10 Starbucks gift card (yay!) and a free t-shirt from Chews Happiness. Free stuff aside– we did learn some new things too.

Doga was more about how to help your dog stretch and calm down via deliberate touch. Then we finished with 3 basic yoga poses that are easy to incorporate your dog into: Sun salutation, tree, and deadman.

The 3 highlights of our day were:

  • Hearing Shorty Rossi talk about BSL.
    • he was hysterically funny!
  • Learning about the new live stream app, Periscope (check us out there @olivias_human). Get ready for some scopes from us!
  • Going to a session given by the humans behind the monthly subscription box, Meowbox.
    • They were awesome and it’s a topic I’m truly interested in learning more about!
    • It is my dream to have my own dog boutique– this market is, however, saturated where I live. This lead me to think about an online business which lead me to thinking about subscription boxes. I have a couple of ideas– I’ll keep you guys posted if they ever go anywhere!
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Olivia’s favorite session of the day… lunch time!

After another long day of mentally stimulating topics and information, the time had come for Olivia and I to drive home. We left Atlanta about 6pm and got hoed about 9pm. It’s really not a bad drive once you get out of the city, but we were both exhausted by the time we got home!

Olivia was happy to be home, she was one sleepy girl
Olivia was happy to be home, she was one sleepy girl

Olivia and I can’t wait to go to Bark World again next year and see all our new friends again!

Stay tuned for our blog post reviewing our swag bag we received this weekend!

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Bark World Re-Cap Day One

Whew! What a day!

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But I should really start with last night. Last night Olivia and I went the the Lucky Puppy, a new magazine publication, reception. We walked the red carpet, got interviewed, met fellow bloggers, and celebrity dogs like Tuna Melts My Heart & Sophia Loren! Olivia and I were star struck!

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I made Olivia’s dress!

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Tuna Melts My Heart!

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Sophia Loren!

I really wanted to go to Doga this morning. For those of who are unfamiliar with this term (I was!) it’s dog + yoga = doga. But we are not staying at the host hotel (it was booked) and Doga was a 7 am. I couldn’t get my butt out of bed. But we did make it in time for breakfast and brand networking (and don’t forget the swag bag!).

Our line up for the day was:

  • Getting in Top Media Mags, Blogs, TV– for Free!– with Lisa Illman
    • how to pitch your product/brand to the media
  • Etsy: Using Social Influence to Monetize in New Ways— with Karen Dibert of The French Dog
    • maximizing your use of Etsy
  • Keynote: Dogs of Instagram– with the humans behind the account, Ahmed and Ashley El Shourbagy
    • all about their account and their future projects (including a book!)
  • From Passion to Project– with Dr. Julie Buzby whose behind Toe Grips
    • how to turn your passion into something you can money from

In there we had lunch, lots of bathroom breaks (it’s coca-cola city after all!), and lots of making new blogger friends! Tonight we went to a party sponsored my the new Kuddly app (which I will review once we get home).

Just from day one, Bark World was totally a worth while experience– and we still have tomorrow… We’re going to learn about live streaming apps and I can’t wait🙂

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Meeting Sophia Loren!
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Listening intently
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Napping on the job– you’re taking notes…. right Mom?
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I love my girl (and my purple hair BOL)
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You’re gonna share your lunch…right Mom?

PS. I’m going to try to make it to Doga tomorrow… wish me luck!

3 Tips for Road Tripping with Your Dog

Today’s the day! Olivia and I are leaving for  Bark World in Atlanta, woohoooooo! The car is packed, our party dresses are ready for tonight’s Red Carpet Party– Only a three (maybe more with traffic) hour drive stands in our way.

With that in mind, I thought today would be perfect to post my top 3 tips for road tripping with your dog.

olivia mirror

 

Road tripping with your dog can be potentially stressful, but it sure doesn’t have to be! All you need is to be prepared and make a plan!

  1. Decide where your dog will sit during the time in the car. Do you have a little dog that would be ok sitting in a car seat in the back seat? Or do you have a big dog that needs to ride in the cargo space behind the rear seat? Where ever you decide, make sure your dog has a comfortable place to rest– make it nice for her! Lay down a familiar blanket, toys, even a bed if there is space! Remember, you don’t need your dog to distract you while your behind the wheel.
  2. Plan to stop every 3-4 hours. Your furry co-pilot will need to stop every 3-4 hours to stretch their legs, take a potty break, and get a drink of water. Make sure you stop somewhere with a safe (from cars, etc) grassy area to encourage your dog to relieve herself if she needs to. It’s good to have a water bowl and fresh, clean water with you so you can offer her a drink at this time.
  3. If you will need to stop over night, try to plan ahead. I know what you’re thinking– “I’ll just drive until I’m tired. It’ll be fine!” In most cases, your probably right and I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I’ve done the whole no plan thing, but here’s a scenario to consider: You and your dog are driving, it’s late, your tired and you decide to stop for the night. However there are either A) no dog friendly hotels around or B) for one reason or another the dog friendly hotel has no more rooms available. What now? Do you sleep in your car? Do you keep driving and risk falling asleep at the wheel? But there’s a better option: you plan ahead, you decide where to stop for the night and research dog friendly hotels, and you book a room. Stress-free!

 

golf cart olivia

 

Thoughtless Thursday Blog Hop!

Ruckus the American Eskimo Dog Blog

– See more at: http://www.ruckustheeskie.com/2015/11/thoughtless-thursday-94-treats-are-done.html#sthash.ShWKnpg7.dpuf

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Wordless Wednesday: Happy [Half] Birthday!

Today is an important day! It’s Olivia’s half birthday and she is two-and-a-half. God, how time has flown.

It may seem strange that I easily recall (off the cuff) Olivia’s half birthday… I’ll let you in on the secret: Olivia’s half birthday just happens to be my birthday, and vice versa. Today I’m 25!

I decided that to celebrate I would share some puppy photos of Olivia. I can’t believe she used to be so little!

The first time I met Olivia. She was 5 weeks old.
The first time I met Olivia. She was 5 weeks old.
Olivia was my college graduation gift from mom and dad-- hence the mortar board hat.
Olivia was my college graduation gift from mom and dad– hence the mortar board hat.
Olivia keeping safe out by the pool
Olivia keeping safe out by the pool
Swim time!
Swim time!
sweet baby girl
sweet baby girl

 

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10 Items in Olivia’s Suitcase for Bark World

10 items in olivia's suitcase for bark world

 

 

Olivia and I are getting ready for our trip to Atlanta at the end of the week for our very first(!!) time to Bark World. We are so excited to get there, learn, make new friends, and network, network, network!

It’s very important when traveling with your pet, be it dog, cat, or any other type of critter to make sure you bring all the necessities. There are many things we are used to having at home for our furry kids that if we don’t remember to bring will be sorely missed and maybe, even, hard to pick up a spare when we reach our destination.

I made the above collage (with images of things Olivia actually owns) to give other traveling pet parents an idea of where to start.

  1. Dog Stroller

So Olivia has gotten a little big for her stroller. But she’s not yet at it’s maximum advertised weight limit and I don’t deem it dangerous, so we still use it. I find it’s a lot easier to push her through a crowd than hope and pray she doesn’t accidentally get stepped on because someone didn’t see her (little dog pet parents problems). Additionally, it has space for me to store my purse or shopping bags which is a plus, and if we are outside it shields Olivia from the elements.

Why I’m bringing it: I’ve never been to a blog conference so I don’t know what to expect. I want to have options.

2. Portable Food & Water Dishes

This is a given: Olivia has to eat and drink! This is the exact set up that we have, and it’s actually what Olivia uses everyday.

I find it brings her comfort to use her same old bowls that she’s used to at home when we’re in unfamiliar territory, ex: a hotel.

3. Food!

Another given! A girl’s gotta eat! And it’s not good to switch up what your pooch eats on the fly, so always make sure you have their normal food with you when traveling.

4. Jacket or Sweater

Olivia has very little body fat and a very thin coat (short hair) so she gets easily chilled when it get cold out. Being in the south, one never knows what the weather may be this time of year. It could be 80 and sunny or 50 and raining– all in the span of a few days.

Why I’m bringing it: You never know this time of year and Olivia gets cold.

5.Harness

I very rarely hook Olivia’s leash directly to her collar. She always has on her Curli mesh harness for ultimate comfort and safety. She pulls quite a bit on the leash and that would put a lot of pressure on her neck.

Why I’m brining it: Olivia will need to be leashed most times at the conference– with exception of doggy day care and the hotel room. The harness allows me  to walk her securely and safely without any discomfort to her neck.

6. Car Seat

For us, this car seat is a must have. It acts as a booster seat so Olivia can see out the window, it acts as a bed so Olivia can nap comfortable, it straps in with a seat belt so it can’t slide around, and it comes with a seat belt tether so Olivia cannot become a missile in case of an accident (God forbid!).

In her car seat, Olivia has a bone, a blanket, and a squeaky toy to occupy her in the car.

Why I’m bringing it: Number one reason is safety! Second reason is it allows Olivia to travel more comfortably.

7. Poop Bags

This one is obvious (I hope!). Dogs poop. And we, as their owners, have a responsibility to clean up after them.

8. Tote to Put It All In

It’s easier to carry all of Olivia’s essentials around when I have a bag to put them in. And it doesn’t hurt if the bag is cute!

I actually own this specific bag and it’s plastic– so it’s water proof. Great in case of spills!

Why I’m bringing it: It’s easier to find Olivia’s stuff when it’s all together and not mixed into my suitcase with my stuff.

9. Portable/Collapsible Water Bowl

I really never leave home without this. No mater where we you go you can almost always get either a glass or bottle of water. It’s harder to find a bowl to put it in for your pooch. Also, because this is our bowl, I always know it’s clean!

Why I’m bringing it: In the car on the way to the conference, Olivia will need (most likely) a sip of water. I’ll just pack this handy dandy item and a bottle of water and she’s good to go!

10. Leash

Another (hopefully) obvious one. Olivia will need to be on leash most of the places we go during the conference… hence the importance of having a leash!

I like this Spindrift leash because the handle opens with a clip. This makes it easy to attach the leash (and Olivia) to something. I also always have the portable water bowl clipped to the leash handle.

This leash is also stretchy which I think helps Olivia not to pull so much against me.

 

Additional items:

  • Paper towels/ rags are always good to have in case of a spill or muddy paws!
  • Shot record for you pup is important, especially if your going to be using a doggy day care.
  • I’m also bringing a fancy party dress for Olivia because we are going to the conference’s “Red Carpet” party on Thursday night (stay tuned for photos!).
  • Extra leash- you never know when you might have a malfunction (this has happened to us before)

Just a girl & her dog.

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