Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 3: Bambi and Sienna Edlund of Beatrix & Midge built a successful illustration print on demand business by focusing on one of their favorite dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs. Learn from these dog moms about their creative process, breed focused Instagram strategy, and how they plan to grow the business with a retail location later this year.
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Bambi + Sienna Edlund are a pair of pet-obsessed sisters living in Vancouver, BC with 3 black dogs and 2 black cats. Bambi is a graphic designer and illustrator, and Sienna runs a doggy daycare. Together, they create original illustrations of all things dog for Beatrix & Midge Co.!
Tori: How did Beatrix & Midge Co. get started?
Sienna: Bambi did a few pet illustrations for friends and I got her to do a few for Christmas for a clinic cat from the vet clinic I was working at. Everyone went crazy over it and we realized they were really popular. It took off really quickly and got a little too popular actually!
Tori: Tell us how print on demand technology works for your business.
Bambi: We have a Shopify site and it interacts directly with Printful. They are able to get our items out within a day or two. I set up the artwork to their specifications for different products. When we get an order on our site, it goes directly to them, they print it and ship it and our customers have it so fast.
We wanted to go with someone who has really great quality. They are also growing and adding new products all the time, which means we have new products too! Within a week we can have a new item in our shop – like towels!
Tori: I discovered you through Instagram. Tell us about your account, how has it affected your sales and how does it benefit you?
Sienna: It’s been amazing for us. One of the first things we discovered in this business was the amazing community of supportive, lovely, earnest people on Instagram. People we had followed for so long were interacting with us. It’s been invaluable to the brand. It’s a real community of pet people and they are actually excited about the stuff we are putting out there
Bambi: Because my dog is a Bernese, I was following a lot of other Berner owners. Early on we tried doing other breeds but as the year has gone on we have found how great it is to stick with what we know. We have kept it to breeds that we really care about.
Sienna: When you own those breeds you know their funny quirks.
Bambi : We partnered early on with @BerneseDaily and they have been so fantastic to work with. They have about 100,000 Bernese lovers so it’s an easy to to market to a specific audience. Everyone is specifically there because they love that breed.
Sienna: It’s hard to find something that’s tongue in cheek about your breed, something that only Berner owners will get. And people have really responded to that!
Tori: How much time do you spend managing your social media?
Sienna: About and hour a day usually. Initially I was doing more trying to grow our followers and reaching out to people. We’ve been lucky to form great relationships on Instagram. We have a lot of traffic from Pinterest for our infographics, but I don’t do as much work with it. We get so excited when we have new stuff so we put more time in then.
Bambi: We have to really stay on top on Instagram. If we let it fall it away, it would be harder to get back up again.
Sienna: I also really enjoy interacting with everyone! It’s so fun and rewarding. We’ve been so lucky.
Tori: Sienna, you also run a doggy day care. How do you juggle it all?
Sienna: Over the last few months I took over managing a doggy day care. Prior to that I worked at a vet clinic, and in between I was working on our business. So I just fell into my role at the doggy day care. I love it! I have such a great interaction with the owners and the dogs. I can also take our dogs to work with me. I renovated the daycare and was able to put our artwork on the walls, which people have really responded to. It all works well together since it’s in the same world. It’s all dog talk all the time!
I have plans for a bigger retail space at the daycare where we’ll carry Beatrix + Mudge so we’ll be able to see some of our customers face to face. It’s a nice way to switch gears and immediately see what people respond to.
Tell us about your many animals that you two have together and what their quirky personality traits are.
Bambi: I have Beatrix the Bernese Mountain Dog who is 6, and Midge the cat is 3.
Sienna: I have Audrey who is my blue heeler Bernese Mountain Dog cross. She’s very split down the middle. My other dog Felix is a Lab/Bernese mix. They are both 10. I also have a cat named Liz Lemon who was a little stray I brought home from the clinic. She grew up with the dogs and thinks she’s a dog.
We always had cats growing up and we had a golden retriever, then a terrier cross who lived to be 16.
Bambi: Beatrix and Midge are kinda like the angle and the devil on my shoulder! B is very happy go lucky and outgoing, while midge is a laid back tough cookie. She’s kind of a typical cat, but since she’s grown up with the dogs she has more dog traits. She’s a smart ass for sure! B is the one everyone loves!
Sienna: Audrey is a little shy with some people, but all over others. She’s never been left alone, but she does get a little anxious. I’m always putting her in new situations, and I think she really likes that.
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