Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 17: Amy Kim of Chasing Monkey is an industrial designer who is reinventing the dog crate. Imagine having a safe, functional and pretty crate for your dog. She launched a Kickstarter campaign to get it off the ground. Listen to hear all about her experience.
Listen to the Episode
Amy Kim is a crazy dog mom and an industrial designer launching a new nesting space for dogs on Kickstarter called PAWD. She started Chasing Monkey as an Instagram account for her dog Monkey and turned it into a company when Amy came up with the idea for this cool product while living in NYC. Amy is also a single mom to a 3 year old boy and has a full time job while pursuing her dream of making PAWD a reality.
Tori: How did you come up with the idea to create PAWD?
Amy: I came up with the idea for PAWD when I was living in a small apartment in New York City. I got a small crate to train by dog Monkey, but it was so ugly and I wanted to hide it when people came over. I went to look for a cuter crate, but couldn’t find anything. The closest I found was a wood crate, but that didn’t match my decor style.
Since I have a background as an industrial designer I thought I’d give it a go! It took me 3 years to develop it. It’s been a long process, but very rewarding.
Tori: After you came up with this idea what were the next steps?
Amy: First, do a ton of research! See what kinds of patents are filed and if there’s anything similar on the market. If you’re coming up with something new, you need to do a lot of research. You can find all these great resources on upwork.com – to find design engineers and industrial designers to help you. I come from this background, and this was still a hard process for me. But there are a lot of great resources to help you.
Being an entrepreneur is being able to find the answers on your own. You don’t need to be a guru, you can just figure it out!
Tori: What is it like to market to the dog community?
Amy: Pet owners are a very unique group. Everyone already has a positive connection to their pet. Pet parents post photos and stories about their pets online all the time. So I decided to go on Instagram and find email leads from pet accounts. I thought if I found 30 emails a day for 30 days, then I would have 900 free email leads. I did that for about 2 months and reached out to a ton of influencers. I didn’t expect everyone to respond, but the few who do could be really helpful. You have to look at it as a long term relationship. You’re planting the seed, and although they might not buy your product right away, they could think of you 3 or 6 months later.
Tori: Why do you think better dog crates weren’t designed before PAWD?
Amy: I know the reason for that! It’s because it’s very expensive. In order to prototype this design it’s thousands of dollars each time. Each time you improve the design you need to mill it out of plastic. I can’t imagine anyone else coming up with something like this unless they worked for a big corporation.
Tori: How many dogs are with you right now?
Amy: Monkey is a Coton de Tuléar. And I also have my sister’s dogs Coco, Brownie and Max who are all Shih Tzus.
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