Our Online Business: Product Prototypes

Almost a month ago I was brainstorming ideas for an online business that my wife and I could start together. Well, since then we’ve both been otherwise distracted and haven’t made much progress. It seems we just don’t have the time to do it all out, so we are moseying along at our own comfortable pace. We realize this is mostly for fun and to spend time together on a common hobby. Anyways, I thought I’d share some prototypes we’ve been cooking up. As I mentioned before, we think the pet area is a good growing market with higher margins.

Prototype #1: A handmade reversible raincoat/jacket, as modeled by our dog James. This is all made by my wife, with fabric scraps. One side is softer fleece, the other is waterproof. It has Velcro for easy attachment/detachment.

Prototype #2: Fleece dog toys with squeakers inside for hours of fun and amusement. As you can see with the holes, we are currently going through QA testing, and are making the new models with thicker material and better stitching.

Prototype #3: Jingle Bell collar. Give your pooch (or kitty I suppose) some holiday spirit. Working on matching Santa hat. May drive your dog nuts initially!

Wife supplies the skill, I help with ideas and would do the marketing and logistics. We also have other top-secret ideas for extra ‘features’ for these products. ;) But feel free to tell me some in the comments if you have any. Maybe we’ll send you a free product, if we ever get this off the ground.

Comments

  1. Great ideas! To add extra personalization, maybe embroider the name of the animal who shall be receiving the item for small fee? :)

  2. I know for a fact about 90% of my friends who have pets will buy these type of products….. those pet owners can really go crazy on their expenses for their pets.

  3. I’d be down with the squeak toys as long as they are pretty indestructible. It takes our dogs a few hours to a few days to tear open squeak toys and chew up the squeaker. They love them, but we can’t afford to keep buying them just to have them torn up.

  4. I agree with Anoop. To stand above the crowd the chew toys would need to be pretty darn indestructible. That means tough fabric (but nice to chew on) and even tougher stitching. An idea I just had was to maybe have a strong cord inside the toy that is stitched into the ends of each side of the toy. This would keep stress down on the fabric when the toy is pulled (imagine you trying to pull the toy from your dogs mouth and you know what I mean). I wish I could sketch it hear for you but I really think it would make the toy more resilient. E-mail me and perhaps I can draw some sketches, scan them, and e-mail them back to you if you are interested in my ideas (I have more). I’m quite confident this would make a very tough toy.

  5. my friend went bankrupt by trying to sell dog clothes in a mall.

    selling online is even more difficult. u have more competitions online and pet owners gotta see if the clothes fit their pets (think how often u buy ur own clothes online)

  6. Yeah, initially the weak point was the stitching, but now they are triple-stitched so that the weak point is the fabric. Of course thicker fabric is also harder to work with (and more expensive).

    No way are we selling clothes in malls, those rents are insane. Good points on the sizing issues though.

  7. as devils advocate I’d rather have chew toys that the dogs would love to chew and cheaper than the others but won’t last for too long so I can have repeat customers. here are some ideas:
    DOG:
    1. cheap poop bags, dog owners always needs them esp. when walking outside.
    2. shampoo that smells nice. There are shampoo out there that makes the dog smell weird.
    3. collar with lights, seen some already but there might ba a niche.

    CAT:
    1. Cat litter. Always need em
    2. Cat grooming kit for various hairs.
    3. Cat clothes, I haven’t seen much of em. mostly for dogs i guess.

    good luck

  8. oh and addition, trendy clothes for dogs…political, funny, wacky,holiday types of clothes..

  9. The BigTymer says:

    I think my dog would like #2, but no matter how tough you made it, it’d be pretty messed up in a few hours. She’s just that tough on her toys.

  10. hi ! im thinking of starting a website so that i can start earning money for college could you please give me some feedback on how to start it?

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