488
8 min 13 sec

Dachshund-Loving Duo Designs Doxie Apparel

Two dog lovers create and grow a wiener-dog themed brand that now provides a six-figure income.
Animals High Profit Manufacturing Product Retail

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What It's About

An online retail shop that specializes in dachshund-themed apparel!

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Marketing & Design
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Wondering if you should hire someone to help with day-to-day tasks? Clarie suggests writing down things that you see daily or weekly that you think someone else could own. That way, you can see what could be delegated and what you still need to do yourself.

Fun Fact

BeanGoods’ success has spanned many media outlets including a two-page spread in Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan's magazine, Cesar’s Way. Plus, receiving orders from celeb fans like Derek Blasberg, Karlie Kloss, and Brittany Furlan.

Notes from Chris

Episode 488
We’ve all heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” What Claire and Chris Wolfson experienced had nothing to do with citrus but everything to do with a sudden health scare with their beloved Dachshund, Bean.

It was a traumatic experience for Claire and Chris. But Bean’s strength really inspired this designerly duo to create something in his honor.

They originally wanted to design and develop harnesses to support back health in dogs prone to injury. But without any background in this area, they felt intimidated. So they decided to use their apparel and graphic design skills to create a series of knit beanie hats called Bean Beanies.

Chris developed their logo, while Claire helped source beanies and even sewed on their custom labels. At this time, they both were still working full-time, corporate jobs while selling Bean Beanies on the side. It was just a fun project, and startup costs were low.

That first year, in 2011, they made around $1,000 and tapped into a niche audience they didn’t realize would be so supportive. And supportive is an understatement—they discovered that the doxie community is not only vast but tight-knit. That first thousand bucks made Claire and Chris wonder, "could we build this brand beyond beanies?"

Short answer: Yes, they could, and they would. But let’s talk about how.

While they were getting Bean Beanies off the ground, Claire quit her full-time job to explore a Masters program. Realizing quickly that it wasn’t the right road, Claire quit the program and focused on some freelance to fill the gap.

Freelance work isn’t always consistent, and Claire found herself with an abundance of free time as well as uncertainty about what to do. By applying for unemployment she actually came upon a Small Business Program. She decided to join the program and focus on what was quickly becoming BeanGoods full-time. In 2013, she dove in, expanding their product assortment to include graphic tees, tanks, accessories for doxies and their owners.

Chris, who was still working full-time, created additional product designs. That year, they made $16,000.

How did they jump from just a couple grand a year to over $16,000? The new products helped a lot, and Instagram played a big part in driving traffic to their site and establishing a dedicated group of fans. All of this work really started to pay off in 2014 when they made over $93,000. That was the moment when Chris decided to quit his full-time gig to focus on BeanGoods.

With the duo now dedicated to their own business, the next couple of years (2015-2016) they consistently made over $100,000. In 2017, Claire wanted to push profits beyond what seemed like a little bit of a plateau. She decided to take an online course around creating Facebook Ads. This was really a game-changer in expanding their reach, growing their audience and driving traffic to their site.

With the help of that course, BeanGoods made over $150,000 in 2017. Their best year yet! Bean the dachshund is still doing well, and now has a brother named Van. Both dogs are actively involved in executive decision-making. With business booming, it would seem that BeanGoods is certainly barking up the right tree!

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • BeanGoods: Head on over to Claire and Chris' website for all of your Dachshund apparel needs
  • Big Cartel: This company makes it easy to build a unique online store and run a creative business
SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Giving back to organizations that improve the lives of both pups and humans is very important to us. Our doxies are the heart of our company. For this reason, we collaborate with selected organizations to better the lives of our furry friends that need a helping paw."
—Claire Wolfson #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau