Welcome to Podcast Episode 50: Creating a Luxury British Dog Brand with Holly Simpson of Teddy Maximus! I’m so excited to celebrate this milestone of the Wear Wag Repeat podcast with a very special interview. I really admire the style, craftsmanship and originality of this luxury dog brand and I’m excited to learn more about it from the founder. We’re talking about forming major partnerships with brands and influencers, her commitment to quality and how her dog inspires the business. Make sure you listen until the end for the most heartwarming advice about running your business.
Creating a Luxury British Dog Brand
Holly Simpson is founder of Teddy Maximus, a beautiful dog accessories brand that’s all about fun, luxury, British style and official pet pawtner to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in England.
Inspired by her dachshund Teddy (a long haired cream miniature) Holly created the brand which champions British craftsmanship which each piece designed to be treasured – from personalized neckerchiefs to dog beds, bow ties and everything in between!
Her dog carriers are adored by press and influencers across the globe – with features in Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller, and the Sunday Times Style to name just a few.
She loves spending time in London exploring dog friendly cafes and parks with Teddy by her side.
(01:07) Introducing Holly Simpson of Teddy Maximus
(02:22) How Teddy Maximus got started
(04:16) Why British craftsmanship means so much to Holly
(06:32) Hear Holly’s partnership with the Mandarin Oriental hotel
(09:58) How long Holly thinks about the Teddy Maximus experience through her products
(13:57) How Holly meets with influencers
(15:31) How Holly arranges the partnerships
(16:12) Where the name Teddy Maximus came from
(17:28) What do Holly and Teddy do together
(20:40) What makes the Teddy Maximus carriers to special
(22:38) Holly’s advice for getting into publications like Conde Nast and Vogue
(24:01) When to start hiring for PR help
(25:25) Holly’s favorite business apps
(28:23) Where to find Holly Simpson
TORI: What does British craftsmanship mean to your brand?
Holly: What it means to us is that everything is made in the UK by top cross people who will put a lot of love and detail into each piece. So our leathersmith makes every leash and collar from start to finish. We don’t make one piece and then send it to a factory abroad for it to be completed. Our process is from start to finish. And not only do we work with UK makers, we also work with some amazing British suppliers. Ultimately, it means we are creating something that is all a labor of love and supporting other small businesses as well, which we love doing.
TORI: Tell us about your recent partnership with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Holly: We met and both agreed that the brand would be a wonderful fit. We’re all about luxury, bespoke experiences and sourcing the best materials for quality and style. And the Mandarin Oriental for me epitomizes quality style, luxury, and that real kind of bespoke, personalized experience. So we sat down and we looked through what could work nicely and fit with that beautiful interiors because the hotel in Hyde Park has been undergoing and refurbishment. So our San Shetland collection seems to work really, really beautifully in their rooms, which are absolutely stunning. And Teddy had great fun modeling for their website. So when people stay at the hotel, they get to experience our dogs beds and accessories.
TORI: How does your dog Teddy inspire your brand?
Holly: So Teddy and I love going out in London. I’m meeting friends and that’s sort of where our carrier’s came from because we love going to cafes. We love sitting in restaurants and doing work there just are watching the world go by. So really, before I launched the brand, I thought I really need something that kind of doubles as a travel bag and allows us to travel on transport. If you’ve ever been on the London tube or been on the subway in New York, it’s really busy. He really needs to be carried to make sure the little paws don’t get trodden on.
TORI: Do you have any advice for getting featured in press like Vogue and Conde Nast?
Holly: I would say first thing is to ensure your brand is really different and there’s something new and exciting to talk about. From my experience, I know that journalists are sent so many press releases every day. So think about how your press release can stand for something new and invest time in building relationships with your industry. And lastly, I would say look for seasonal trends that you can tap into and perhaps as you grow and have the budget, consider working with a PR agency or an expert.
TORI: What are your favorite resources to keep your pet business running smoothly?
Holly: So I use QuickBooks which is great because it helps you streamline everything and put your financial stuff in one place. The other tip I would say is to be as organized as possible from day one because it can very quickly spiral out of control. So putting those kind of processes in place might be painful to start with, but it really helps. And the last one and the most important thing is family. Family is a great resource. Don’t underestimate when you are starting out, you need your cheerleaders. I’m very, very lucky to have a very supportive network of family and friends. I just couldn’t do this without their help.
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