Welcome to our February Newsletter!
Apologies first for this one being a bit late!
We have had a bit of a crisis with Leo. His spinal problem seems to be causing him a great deal of pain at the moment and the last two weeks have been focused on trying to get him more comfortable. Work has had to take a back seat temporarily.
As Leo is anxious, fearful, reactive and also in pain, his exercise has to be limited at the moment to two ten minute walks and one toilet trip in the garden. So it has been really useful to have a list of things we can do indoors to keep him happy and stimulated.
So my monthly blog is all about games you can play indoors especially for reactive dogs and rainy days. There are ten activities listed with additional links to places where you can find more inspiration for games to play with your dog at home.
Click the link here to read the blog.
New small companies I've discovered & love.
Creating and running a small business has totally changed the way I shop.
I really like to support small independent businesses the way that I have been supported, so here are two fabulous small businesses I want to shout about this month.
The Green Pet Co makes aromatherapy products for pets and their owners using 100% natural ingredients. They have a range of calming sprays, calming wax melts and paw butters which smell divine and of course are pet safe. Bea is the woman behind the products my absolute favourites are the wonderful calming wax melts from her. They keep me and the dogs completely chilled at home. If you buy any accessories from me you will get a sample pack included in your order because I love them so much!
I think you can guess that I really love natural products with no nasty chemicals added so my second find this month is Humble Bumble.
This company run by Bernadette and Matthew is based in Cumbria. They produce high quality, hand crafted, naturally made soaps, shampoos and balms made with oils infused with wild flowers all grown in their Cumbrian garden.
They have made me some wonderfully nourishing lip balm with lavender, shea butter and beeswax which I will be adding to the range of products on my website. I hope to add their Paw Balm and Calming Dog Shampoo Bar very soon. I will be taking their products out with me to local fairs too.
If you like small businesses please check out these two. I can't recommend them highly enough!
Places we will be taking Leo Charley and Me in 2023
I will be getting out and about over the next few weeks for work and pleasure.
First up tomorrow I will be meeting with about a thousand small business owners at the Theo Paphitis SBS Event at the ICC in Birmingham. It is a free business conference with speakers and breakout sessions where small business owners like me can benefit from support and advice. It's all provided by Theo who is a really lovely guy, genuinely interested in helping the little fish keep swimming in the big pond!
It's also an opportunity for me to meet in person a pet business posse I have met online through Rachel Spencer's membership group. Rachel mentors small pet businesses and helps them to get publicity and manage their own marketing. She has an awesome podcast too! Rachel has been a huge support to me on my business journey so there will definately be a glass of fizz with her name on it when we meet for dinner tomorrow. There will be around 30 other pet businsses attending too, so I am excited to meet up with them!
This year I have also decided to get out to fairs and shows more often so have committed to 5 events so far with Chase Handmade who run artisan craft fairs in Staffordshire.
These are the dates, so if you are local do pop over to say hello!
Lea Hall Club Rugeley, Staffordshire, 2nd April, 5th June, 6th August and 1st October.
There will also be a 2023 Christmas event which is yet to be confirmed and I’m hoping to take my stall to a big dog event in the early autumn so watch this space for more information!
Sneaky look behind the scenes.
Although I've been concentrating on Leo's health there are a few new accessories in the pipeline.
I've just finished a large commission of yellow flowers for another small business this month and have training collars on the go for a local trainer who uses the coloured judo belt system on collars awarded as dogs progress through their training. There are currently 8 new recruits requiring their white collars.
There is also a very special bespoke order of unique bow ties in the cutting room for a dog boutique in North Yorkshire and I have just finished the Birds & the Bees Collection ready for Spring.
This will be available in March closely followed by the Coronation Collection which will be ready by the end of the month ....... more about that in the March Newsletter.