Here’s a Shop Owner who’s both remarkebly creative and business savvy. Find out about the lady behind this canine success story, and be sure to get wowed by her designs and clever marketing concept. Let’s extend a warm paw and a big woof to Waldogs!
The name of your Spreadshirt Shop is Waldogs. What’s the idea behind the name?
The name is a tribute to my own dachshund, Waldo – who is essentially the reason that Waldogs came to be, and he is also the mascot in Waldogs’ logo. As he should be.
How did you come up with the idea to start such a Shop?
I started my own business in 2015, creating art featuring dogs, drawings, paintings, ceramics, portraits and such. Almost instantly, I got a ton of feedback wishing for my art to be available on T-shirts, bags, and other merchandise. This is how Waldogs was born.
Any idea why you’re one of Spreadshirt’s top-selling Shop Owners?
The answer lies in two things: a lot of work, and a unique concept. I put my heart and soul into Waldogs every single day, and I rarely take days off since Waldogs is quite the never-ending project for me. I believe that every dog owner should be able to find products that are perfect for them, regardless of the breed or the colour of the dog or of their hobbies and personalities. That’s why I offer some 19,000+ designs on Waldogs, and I am not even close to being done. I spend most of my days creating new designs, uploading them, interacting with people on social media, and asking for their input and wishes. I create ads and posts, and I share them.
Do you know what kind of people buy your products? And how do you reach out to them?
Amazing people! Dog owners are very different (just like their dogs) but what they all have in common is that they absolutely love their dogs – and so do I. I interact with people on social media a lot, meaning Waldogs’ Facebook page. Keeping in touch with people constantly and reacting to their wishes is vital.
"Huppari saapui tänään kotiovelle ja on aivan ihana! Materiaali ja malli ovat laadukkaat, ja grafiikka osuu juuri…
Do you have a marketing plan or deploy any kind of marketing measures?
I don’t do plans, I just do my thing. Waldogs’ brand identity is all about humour and positivity, and I try to reflect that in everything I do. I guess I just have a clear vision of Waldogs, what it is, what the brand is, who the people are that I am reaching out to – and I mirror that in every post that I write and every design or ad I create.
Why do you use Spreadshirt? And do you see any advantages when you compare us with other providers?
Before I started Waldogs, I had used Spreadshirt to create some stuff just for myself, so it was just a no-brainer for me. I went straight to Spreadshirt, created the shops, and went to work. What I’ve come to really appreciate about Spreadshirt is the stellar customer service that is always friendly and positive, and that Spreadshirt actually added customer service in Finnish. I don’t know if that was due to Waldogs, but that was very much appreciated. And, of course, I have to give huge thanks to my superwoman contact person at Spreadshirt, Liza, who is a huge help to me, and a real problem solver.
Aivan mahtava kuva Anna-Kaisalta, joka voitti arvonnassa Waldogs-shopista toivomansa hupparin! <3 Kuvassa komeilee myös…
How much time do you spend creating designs and managing your Waldogs Shop?
To date I have created well over 19,000 designs for Waldogs, within 2 years. That’s a LOT of uploading and click-click-clicking. I’d say I spend 7-10 hours every day making new designs, editing old designs, uploading them, creating products, categorizing, and making ads. And while doing that I keep checking on social media, creating new posts, sharing, and engaging with people. This is my fulltime job, which I love, so it doesn’t feel like a chore, though the mindless clicking for hours on end when uploading designs does get to me. But no job is perfect!
You seem to have a lot of work to cope with. Have you considered employing somebody to help you with all that mundane clicking?
Absolutely! I regularly wish that I had someone to help out with all the uploading, and social media posts etc., so it is a very strong possibility that some day in the future I’ll have to find myself an efficient and dog-crazy assistant!
You said you react to design wishes. Do those tend to be of a very general nature, or are you also asked to do custom-model designs?
I usually get requests for breeds that aren’t in the selection yet, or different text options. I create new texts to go along with the designs all the time – some breeds might lack newer texts, so people wish for those as well. These wishes are quite easy to fulfill very quickly. I do also get custom design requests, and I do make kennel logos, too. But those are commission works.
Have you already got an action plan for the immediate future?
My main plan is to just constantly do better and improve. I did just open a shop for Waldogs on the US platform, which I am working on in any spare time that I have off from the Finnish Waldogs shop. Other than that, I’m just getting ready for the upcoming Christmas season by trying to churn out as many new breeds and designs as I can, all based on the wishes I get on social media.
Do you follow any special kind of procedure or use particular techniques when creating designs?
I only have 2 different techniques I use to create designs. Either I use my laptop with my mouse, or I use with pencil & paper. 2.5 years ago, I had no idea how to draw on a computer, so I had to learn everything on my own – which I am quite proud of.
I create something new every single day, 10-350 new designs, depending on what it is that I do on that day. Some days I draw a breed that hasn’t yet occurred in Waldogs selection, other days I edit an old one, and then there are days when I give myself a ‘pass’ to create anything that comes to mind. This usually means I end up creating something very random – like a roller-skating dachshund or a blow-drying Chinese crested dog.
Waldogs is all about being whimsical, fun, and positive – and those who know Waldogs know my style.
And one final question: why are dogs better than cats?
Dogs just melt my heart. Totally.