Podcast Episode 38: Create a Brand Ambassador Program with Kelsey Gallipeau of Barklyn Grace

Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 38: Kelsey Gallipeau of Barklyn Grace started a clothing line that was inspired by her love of dogs about 3 years ago. She’s single handedly grown it into a major brand with 50,000 instagram followers and over 2,000 brand ambassadors. The most inspiring part is that everything she does is cause based – a percentage of every sale goes to rescuing homeless dogs. Listen in to learn about how to get your own dream off the ground, email marketing tips and how she finds unique products and partnerships.


Kelsey Gallipeau is a fellow dog mom of two beautiful rescue pups, a marketer, and an avid online window shopper. She started Barklyn Grace in 2016 as a way to not only combine all of her favorite things while bringing much needed attention to the adoption of homeless dogs… but also as a way to build up a community of like minded people. She is a solo entrepreneur (aside from the help of her awesome husband) seriously invested in growing this business and her own professional brand. Kelsey is also currently working towards an MBA in entrepreneurship through Syracuse University. In her downtime, you can find Kelsey on the couch binge watching the Hallmark Christmas station or one of the other 10 shows she’s currently DVR’ing with a coffee or nice glass of Riesling.

(00:00) Intro
 (00:29) Introducing Kelsey Gallipeau of Barklyn Grace
(00:29) Introducing Kelsey Gallipeau of Barklyn Grace
(02:26) How Kelsey figured out how to make her designs
(05:07) The timeline of planning the designs for an ecommerce shop
(08:36) Kelsey’s strategy for working with other pet brands
(10:55) Email marketing tips + tricks
(16:36) What Kelsey is most proud of when it comes to Barklyn Grace
(19:10) Meet Kelsey’s dogs 
(21:42) What automations help Kelsey run Barklyn Grace
(22:26) Advice about taking the leap from your 9 to 5


TORI: What is your inspiration behind Barklyn Grace?

Kelsey: I started Barklyn and Grace to combine all of my favorite things: attention to the adoption of homeless dogs and bringing together a like-minded community. In the beginning, we started out with just pocket tees, but have morphed into different graphics like our sleep sets and masks. We wanted to reach both dog moms and dog lovers because people who don’t own a dog may still want to support the cause so we try to market it to them as well.

TORI: How do you come up with the designs for these shirts?

Kelsey: Everything you see on the shirts, I designed. Illustrator is my best friend but I’ll browse around to see what people would like or what I typically see in a store. From there, I develop colors, shirt fit and how they are both paired. For the holidays, we will do like snowman or reindeer to keep it fun. I plan for Christmas designs in July, but normally I work just a couple months ahead when working with partners.

TORI: Do you use Print on Demand for manufacturing?

Kelsey: At first, I wasn’t sure where to go at all. I started off doing wholesale distributing and just print on demand. We ordered a bunch at a time on our site and then I shipped a package from my house. Now, we recently started working globally with a distributor and production overseas to just test the market and see if we can cut costs to help us scale. 

TORI: What’s something you’ve build with the brand that you’re most proud of?

Kelsey: I am most proud of my brand ambassador program. I never thought I would have people willing to promote the brand to get the name out there to support that. I decided to start it and see if people would be onboard with it. Got quite a few people to sign up and I’ve made a lot of good friends out of it! It’s been really exciting for me and I never thought I would have over 2,000 after 3 years.

TORI: I’m on your email list and you send really great campaigns. How did you learn to create a great email strategy?

Kelsey: I listened to a podcast with Jenna Kutcher speaking heavily about email marketing. One way to keep people engaged is to build up your email audience to try and get people to stay connected. So for me, I do a lot of inspiration just by what’s inside my inbox, what people are promoting, how people want to be portrayed, and even if my brand feel comes across in my emails. It’s always changing.

TORI: What’s your goal for the next 5 years with Barklyn Grace?

Kelsey: I always come up with things on a whim and just think, “Oh, that would be a good idea for the brand.” The graphic tees are pretty new for me so right now, we are selling our product in a local pet groomer store. Just find ways and people to sell our product. My goal would be to own my own store, but we’ll see. Online is where it’s at right now and seeing what other partnerships come my way. 


Find Barklyn Grace: 

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Tori Mistick is a blogger, podcaster and certified Canine Enrichment Specialist. You might call her a professional dog mom! Tori has a soft spot for senior dogs and loves the color pink. Based in Pittsburgh, PA.


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