Friday, August 10, 2012

business evolution.. part one

With the upcoming launch of my new business, it obviously has me thinking of design, logo, layout, business cards, packaging, and banners (for shows).

My last business was called Bill Pickles Dog Co. It was a labor of love (which all businesses should be) I made handmade, all natural dog treats, collars, leashes and bedding. This was during an era of having just Lily and Lola. Lily was definitely the "taster". Oh how she loved helping me get ready for shows.

When I first began the business was actually called "Loly's" (I combined Lily and Lola's names together)

Here are my first business cards:


Lola was on the front 

a package of treats on the back..

It was a very simple design and only lasted a few short months. The first show I did, everyone was pronouncing the name wrong. I pronounced it like "Low-lees" and everyone seemed to think it should be pronounced "Lol-ees". I know this is a minor thing. But it drove me crazy. I knew immediately I needed to change the name!

So over dinner one night, and lots of doodling. We came up with "Bill Pickles Dog Co" Who could forget that name?! Or better yet, who could mispronounce it! So Bill Pickles was born..


I had three flavors of cookies and one dipped cookie: (The dogs were all friends' dogs and the premise was that after a bit I would be changing up and swapping out photos with customer's dogs that they would submit)

(sorry the only photos I have remaining from this phase were saved and still had the guidelines - from where the label printer <frontier label, so good by the way!> would be cutting the image - everything needed to be within the blue - but it cuts at the red)

Then we had my dipped ice cream cones. This label/ packaging stayed the same the entire duration of the business existence. I love the simplicity of it. The label wrapped around and on the back gave the ingredients of the cookie.

My collars and leashes. I used heavy-duty nickle buckles and hardware. These things were awesome if I do say so myself. I still have some left over but have run out of buckles. So anytime I want to make a new one. I have to "kill" a small one for its hardware! Polly wears one as do all my family's dogs.

Here I am at my first show following the change in packaging. Don't laugh at me, I HATE being in pictures! 

And one of my favorite parts.. my business cards!

I loved these cards! I spent quite a long time designing them up and getting them just perfect. Even made my own barcode! haha 

We then made it into a magazine! In two different segments!

Things were going okay. I was doing some shows and selling on Etsy. I was also selling to a few different shops for wholesale. But this is where the problem laid. I was already selling my treats for what I thought was extremely cheap. $6 for a bag. Most gourmet dog treats were selling for $10+ a bag, so doing wholesale. It was almost impossible. I definitely wasn't making any money for all the time it took me to make and prepare the treats. I was at a point in which I didn't know where to go...

(I don't want to make this post too long or image heavy so I am going to break this segment up over  a couple days. So stop back tomorrow to see the next phase of Bill Pickles)