Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Episode 45: How to Kickstarter Your Pet Idea with Rachel Bauman of Whyld River. On this episode, I’m interviewing a woman who was inspired by a very cold camping trip to invent a solution to keep her dog warm and cozy on future trips. She tells us how she used kickstarter to fund the first run of production, how she connected with people online to figure out how to even do that and towards the end of the interview she shares a really touching story about how her company gives back to the community.
Kickstarter Your Pet Business Idea
Rachel Bauman’s company Whyld River was inspired by her rescue pup River. On a backpacking trip in Oregon in 2016, River got so cold during the night that Rachel was afraid that future overnight trips could endanger his health. She knew she had to find him the right gear to keep him warm and safe. Unable to find River outdoor gear that was the same quality as her own, she decided to make his very own sleeping bag! One year later Rachel launched a Kickstarter campaign to manufacture River’s sleeping bag (nicknamed “The DoggyBag”) on a larger scale so that dogs everywhere could be safe and warm on their overnight trips. The Kickstarter was a success and the DoggyBag began shipping to adventure pups all over the world in October of 2018. Rachel hopes to be able to expand her product offerings in the near future to help dogs stay safe and happy on any outdoor adventure!
(00:29) Introducing Rachel Bauman of Whyld River
(03:13) Why Rachel named her business Whyld River
(05:00) Why Rachel loves being in the pet industry
(08:26) Rachel’s advice about Kickstarter
(12:41) The secrets of finding a manufacturing partner
(16:45) Learn about Whyld River’s giveback program
(20:25) What apps Rachel uses for her business
(25:21) Hear about Rachel’s dog
(27:33) Where to find Rachel and Whyld River
TORI: What is up with the “Why” in Whyld? (For people listening: Whyld is spelled W-H-Y-L-D. Why the strange spelling?)
Rachel: I have to give a shout out to a woman in my graduate program who actually came up with the name. I thought about naming it Dow dog because our dogs show us how to live, right? Just enjoy the moment, not worrying about the past or future, but enjoy where we’re and who were around. I really wanted to embody that in my name and she’s told me not to do that name. So I guess the why and wild river is your dog showing you your why. Like this is how ideally you want to exist, right? Just appreciate what’s around you, the time that you have and the people that you’re around.
TORI: What do you love about working in the pet and animal lover space?
Rachel: Well there were a couple of Instagram accounts that kind of came along and I went hiking with them and met their dogs. They were so excited about the product and what we were doing and I mean I don’t know if Whyld River would exist today without that community and it’s just grown and been so supportive. It’s really unique. Dog lovers are a special breed especially on Instagram. It’s just been such a warm community.
TORI: Do you have any advice for running a successful Kickstarter?
Rachel: I think the video is essential. I was lucky there’s a gentleman named Tyler Hanson did my video, which I think was essential to just getting the story out there. And like anything in business and you probably know this even from running your own business, it does require some upfront costs. So just be prepared. Also people want to know too that they’re going to get their thing. So really look at your costs and make sure everything’s covered so you actually deliver on your promises.
TORI: Do you have any apps or tools or websites or anything that really help you run your business and make all this happen?
Rachel: I use like basics. I mean if it’s not on my calendar on my phone, it doesn’t get done. I try to keep it to like three apps, something like mail, calendar, and notes. If it’s in one of those places, it’s probably going to get done. But it’s something I’m working on now that Whyld River is kind of in a growth stage so I need to develop more processes.
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