Small Business Spotlight: Faerytails

This week’s Small Business Spotlight features a dog bakery called Faerytails. Faerytails make everything from doggy birthday cakes to training treats, all using wholesome ingredients and no nasty additives. Previously we have tried their liver cake, cookies, pup stars and cookie pops and we loved them all so we are thrilled to able to feature them! Here to tell you a little more about the Faerytails story is Cia,

Hi Cia, thank you for joining us. What was the inspiration behind Faerytails?

I’ve been baking since I could hold a whisk and always baked cakes for people, so when it came to my dogs’ birthdays it seemed right to make them cakes too. I adopted Roxie from the Bernese club of GB’s rescue and she didn’t have the best of starts. We’re members of a few of the breed groups on Facebook and we normally make an event for birthdays, so everyone wish the dogs a happy birthday on their day. When I set one up for Roxie, we got quite a few actually wanting to come along, so had people from all over the country showing up for my little girl’s birthday at Elvaston castle, as they all knew her story. As a Southern Swede, you can’t have a party without a bunch of baked goods and obviously the dogs needed some too. All the dogs went a bit crazy for the treats, and I was asked if I would consider making them to sell and it kind of snowballed from there. 

We had a princess at a castle, with a happy ever after, that’s the stuff Faerytails are made of right? 14238127_541453409380649_9028027691750686349_n.jpg

What makes you different from other dog bakeries?

We are 100% wheat free. One of my guys is allergic to wheat, among a lot of other things, so from day one that was something that was important to me, as well as the only oil used in any of our treats is coconut oil. 

We make all our colourings ourselves, using only vegetables, berries and plant extracts, so instead of adding nasties, we’re adding vitamins.

Why is it important to you to use such high quality ingredients?

I am really particular with what I give my dogs and I wouldn’t feel right making things for other people’s dogs that I wouldn’t give my own.

We get our free range eggs straight from a local farm and our oats straight from the mill, which means they’re as fresh as possible. 

Do you offer treats suitable for dogs with allergies and intolerances?

Absolutely. We will work with the owners to find the best solution for their dog. 

Which items are you best sellers?

Our birthday cakes and packages are always popular. The loaf cakes are quite new and has been a big hit, especially for dogs that need a softer treat. Our Pup stars and Cookie pops are really popular for training treats.

Flavour wise, our top sellers are Tuna, Lamb liver, Peanut butter & Banana and our 2 new additions Apple & Cheese and Cheeseburger.

Do you offer baked goods for occasions such as birthdays?

Birthdays and celebrations are one of our specialities. We sent out our 700th personalised cake this week. We have everything from personalised cakes and cookies to edible bunting and tags, as well as goody bags and party food. Our cakes comes in sizes from Mini to XXL in a large variety of shapes, colours and flavours, so there is something to suit everyone. We also offer a grain free cake for those on a grain free diet. 

I love Christmas, so we’ve got a great selection planned for this year. We started getting pre bookings for this year’s Advent calendars in December last year, so we must be doing something right. 

Anything else you’d like to tell us about Faerytails?

Helping dogs in need is a big part of what we do. We’re proud sponsors of Street dogs matter, who helps dogs who’s owners are homeless, as well as doing monthly donations of vouchers to rescues to help with their fundraising. So far this year we’ve sent out over 40 donations, something we wouldn’t have been able to do without our awesome customers. 

Doodle Review: Faerytails Loaf Cakes

Faerytails packages should come with a warning to your postman. Seriously. I think frequency of postman-dog incidents will rise once the dogs of Great Britain discover the wonder of Faerytails. Before Mum even opened the box we were going absolutely nuts (luckily she had the forsight to protect our lovely postman by sending us outside while he handed over the goods). We’ve always love the smell of all our Faerytails packages and this one was no different. Our magical package contained not one, not two but THREE loaf cakes – we were spoilt for choice!

The basic ingredients in the cakes are; eggs, oat flour, coconut oil and water and then, in the case of our three cakes, either sardines, chicken liver or lamb liver are added. By now I’m sure you all know how fussy Mum is about what she feeds us so she loves that fact that all Faerytails treat contain so few ingredients and nothing nasty! The cakes we received are the new smaller loaf size, about 2/3 of their full loaf size.

Clearly we loved all three cakes but unfortunately that does help you decide which one you should order! To help you out we decided to do a taste test to see which of the three cakes we each preferred. Mum gave us a small piece of each of the cakes and let us decide for ourselves! From left to right the cakes are sardine, lamb liver and chicken liver.

Well that got us no closer. Let’s be honest, all we achieved there was filling our bellies and showing you that all three cakes were great and you should order a selection! Luckily for you, next Sunday (the 4th of August) you could get three loaf cakes for just £10 at the Doggy Delights August Market Night! Click here to check out some of the other items available and how to claim this awesome offer! You could also buy any single cake for just £4, but honestly, we don’t know how you’d chose between them! The cakes retail at £7 each so this is truely a great bargain. Even at full price you get an awful lot of treat for your money, the cakes can also be frozen in portions so you don’t have to eat it all at once (although we recommend that you definitely do!).

You can check out all the delicious offerings from Faerytails on their website here – we highly recommend their cookie pops for a first time taster as well as their cakes, they’re the perfect training treats! If you order this evening (Sunday the 30th of July) you can use the code CELEBRATE to save 10% on all their treats!

You can also follow Faerytails and their gorgeous four legged gang on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for lots of cute and, more importantly, mouth watering photos!


Small Business Spotlight: SnuffleMats® 

This week’s Small Business Spotlight features a company called SnuffleMats®  If you’ve not heard the term before then you are about to discover something totally life changing for you and your dogs. Seriously, these things are amazing! Here to enlighten you all is Nicola that owns and runs SnuffleMats®.

Hi Nicola, thanks for joining us! First thing’s first, what are SnuffleMats®?

SnuffleMats® are the perfect enrichment to your pet’s day, allowing them to use their natural skills of sniffing and foraging for kibble / treats that you have hidden within the mat. Consisting of a durable natural rubber base combined with polar fleece, this puzzle gives your pet a great mental workout.  

What inspired you to start your company?

Harry our rescue was our inspiration to start SnuffleMats®, he’s been with us since 2006 and will celebrate his 12th birthday later this year. We are always looking for new ways to keep Harry entertained, Having made Harry one of our SnuffleMats® I posted his pictures on social media, we quickly gained a lot of interest from friends and family initially, but very quickly enquiries came through from further afield (We have supplied in to 13 countries to date both EU and ROW) and as the business grew, we had to trade mark SnuffleMats® in 2015 to protect our customers from other imitations in the market place that may not be up to the standard that Harry enjoys.

We added Ned the Sled into our family in April 2016, after spending around 12 months in kennels Ned quickly grasped the aim of SnuffleMats® and enjoys a good snuffle with his daily meals.

What are the benefits of SnuffleMats®?

Providing enrichment for your pets is so important, especially when it comes to preventing behaviour problems and giving them a good quality of life. Foraging for food is a key instinct and great stimulation that should be nourished, SnuffleMats® provide a safe, enjoyable way in which you can encourage your pet’s natural skills.

Some of the key benefits of SnuffleMats® are; helping to refine search and find skills, they encourage attentive play, provide mental stimulation, perfect for the golden oldies and pets with impairments such as loss of sight/hearing. Can be used for behaviour modification training and they may help reduce stress.

Pets never get bored of using SnuffleMats® every visit to the mat is different for them, where about is the food hiding and which treats do I get to try to hunt for today?

Who can use SnuffleMats®?

Any pets who enjoy snuffling can enjoy SnuffleMats®

Our most frequent customers are Dogs and Cats of all breeds, sizes and age. Our SnuffleMats® help zap energy from puppies whilst providing fun and stimulation for the golden oldies or those on restricted exercise.

More recently we have supplied SnuffleMats® to a pygmy hedgehog and a house pig.

Which is your most popular colour combination?

SnuffleMats® prides ourselves on offering colour combinations suited to our customers and would not want to limit anyone’s creativity (where possible) 

If we were to shortlist some favourites we would suggest the following: Rainbow Mix, Blue Mix, Red, Yellow & Royal Blue, Red Tartan, Pink Mix and Multi-Coloured Paw Print

Our customers such as Veterinary Practices, Dog Trainers and Independent/Bespoke Pet Shops take a cross section of the above colour combinations, although some will take SnuffleMats® that match their logo or business image colours.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about SnuffleMats®?

SnuffleMats® are very proud to be recognised by Kate Mallatratt, who is a Canine Behaviourist and member of ICB Global, Kate had tried and tested our mats thoroughly with her own dogs and has kindly chosen to endorse our product and recommends SnuffleMats® to all of her clients.

Here at SnuffleMats® we recognise the work of rescue centres across the country, we hold monthly giveaways where our Facebook community nominate their chosen rescue centre, the winners are chosen randomly. So far, this year alone, we have donated over 20 mats to help residents giving enrichment and enjoyment and/or to help with the much needed fundraising all rescues face.

Doodle Review: Large Rainbow SnuffleMat®

Nicola very kindly sent us a large rainbow SnuffleMat®, they come in two sizes – a large SnuffleMat®, like ours, which measures 16 x 16 inches retails at £25 plus postage and the smaller version which measures 16 x 8 inches is £20 plus postage. The first thing we noticed on unpacking our SnuffleMat® was that it was definitely big enough for lots of dogs to snuffle at once – perfect for a multi-dog household! The rainbow fleece is very soft and gentle on nose when we’re snuffling, Rhapsody sometimes likes to use ours as a bed – when there’s no food in it, of course!

Mum uses our SnuffleMat® primarily to distract us from things and to reduce my anxiety. And by things I mean people, animals, cars or anything else that moves going past our windows. We like to let every one what’s going on and the neighbours definitely don’t appreciate our alerts. As we do use it rather a lot Mum tends not to put actual treats in it but to use a high quality kibble instead – we pick up loads of sample packs at the shows we attend and for some reason unbeknown to Mum (between you and I it’s purely because we never get kibble!) we think it is the best thing ever! She simply sprinkles the kibble over our mat and off we go. For a more challenging snuffle she uses a few higher value treats and really conceals them within the SnuffleMat®. This makes us really use our noses and work harder to find them – but it’s so worth it when you find the cheese or sausage!

As you can see from the pictures, we love to snuffle! We even took our SnuffleMat® to Grandma and Grandpa’s with us so Des and Eve could have a go and they loved it too which was a surprise to the hoomans as neither of them really play and Des isn’t motivated by food in the slightest, even he was interested in snuffling! As Des and Eve approach their senior years (both of them are 9 next month) and walks become more and more difficult the SnuffleMat® will provide them with great mental stimulation without the stress on their aging bodies.

We would highly recommend a SnuffleMat® to all our canine friends, we love ours and because it’s never exactly the same it never gets boring unlike most other toys! They are great mental stimulation for dogs of all ages and have really helped to reduce my anxiety in stressful situations.

You can buy your very own SnuffleMat® on their website here and also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news, offers and cute pictures of pets snuffling!

Small Business Spotlight: SuperPuppies London

This week’s Small Business Spotlight was scheduled to feature Snuffle Mats but due to a family emergency we’ve had to postpone it until next week. Thankfully we have a number of fantastic companies we’d love to share with you and the wonderful SuperPuppies have stepped in to save the day! Here to tell you more about this fabulous new company is their founder, Gian.

Hi Gian, thanks for joining us. First, what inspired you to start SuperPuppies London?

I absolutely love dogs. I grew up in a small countryside town in Italy and ever since I was a little boy I’ve been lucky to be engaged with them – I do remember crying when going on vacation and leaving my dog at a family friend’s house for 2 weeks.

In January 2017 I launched SuperPuppies from my small London studio with the vision to become a global brand anchored by creativity & sense of community. Having earned a Master’s degree in Marketing and worked for a well-known Italian fashion brand, I utilised my background to create an eclectic, romantic, and above all contemporary, collection of dog leashes, collars and bowties. I truly believe SuperPuppies defines the concept of dog elegance through the use of innovative patterns that reflects current and future fashions.

What sets you apart from other pet accessory companies?

Creativity & sense of community. Our goal is to create pieces that will delight dogs and their owners immediately, everywhere in the world. Our customers can expect to receive a unique, handmade piece with style and quality in mind.

Being an eCommerce only company, we engage extensively with our followers, mainly on Instagram, to make them feel part of an exclusive online community as well as to get their feedback on upcoming collections, shows, etc. On this topic, I should thank you for giving us some invaluable tips & sharing your experience in regards to the best dog shows to attend. We’ve also recently launched the SuperPuppies Ambassador program which I’m really proud of. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with Instagram influencers and get SuperPuppies spread across the social media.

Which is your most popular SuperSet?

It has to be Flamingo. This SuperSet earned it’s way extremely quickly. It was a rainy afternoon in London, I remember searching for new fabrics and came across this Flamingo pattern – it was love at first sight. In two weeks time, we went from selecting the highest-quality fabric to shooting the final product and making the first Instagram post announcing this special & limited edition. Feedback was overwhelming and so rewarding too!

Which is your personal favorite SuperSet and why?

This a really good question and a difficult one for me to answer. We currently have 27 SuperSets on, it took us quite a lot of time to select each fabric and decide to sell. I truly love all of them but If I’ve to give you a name, it has to be Herbie from our Essential collection and Hawaii from the Spring Summer (I know, I gave you two names but I said it was hard to give you only one). 

What can we look forwards to seeing from SuperPuppies London in the future?

Love this question too. SuperPuppies is only 6 months old and we’ve so many awesome things in the pipeline which we’re looking forward to sharing. As of today, I can say that we’re preparing for the launch of our first harness collection – we had so many requests that we really want to satisfy. Also, we are thinking about launching our first subscription box of luxury toys, treats & surprise gifts. More to come on this!

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

There’s a quote from Oprah Winfrey that really describes what we do at SuperPuppies; “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”. All SuperPuppies items are individually handcrafted with love and you can’t believe how happy we are every time we see a dog wearing our products. 

Doodle Review: SuperPuppies London SuperSets

To say our Mum has an accessory problem would be a mild understatement so when we first dicovered SuperPuppies at the National Pet Show in May we were impressed by their fresh new prints and quality build of their accessories. We aptly followed them on social media and when they announced their Brand Ambassador search we knew we just had to entered. To say we were thrilled when we were chosen would be an understatement, when our postman delivered our first box I’m pretty sure Mum did an actual happy dance. Our first sets were Katie and Aqua, both gorgeous floral prints perfect for the summer! Mum had fallen in love with the Aqua SuperSet when we’d seen it at NPS and once it was on me it was confirmed, it was love! Not only were the prints beautiful but the metal hardware and soft feel of the collars and leads give the SuperSets a real luxury feel. Both of us wear a medium in the Aqua and Katie sets – check out the size of those statement bows! Mum can be very fussy about the bows we wear, lots lose their shape very quickly and no one likes a floppy bow! Due to the double layer design of the SuperPuppies bows they hold up very well to adventures – we’ve worn ours day in and day out for weeks and they still look as good as new!

Our second box of SuperSets arrived a couple of weeks ago, this time the contents were a complete surprise and we were thrilled with what the SuperPuppies team had chosen for us! My second set was the adorable Bonnie and Rhapsody received the equally cute Indie which coordinate perfectly, as is essential when you have a Mum with accessory OCD. This time Rhapsody received a smaller size, we felt the bow was a little oversized on her Katie set – very cute for photos but a little large for everyday wear! Her Indie set is a size small and the smaller bow is perfect for daily use.  Another exciting development with our latest sets is that all the hardware is now engraved with the SuperPuppies logo – how cool is that?! We must again mention how soft our SuperSets are, our hooman worries about harsh edges on collars as they can damage our delicate hair and the SuperPuupies collars must be the softest we own. She said she has no complaints about how comfortable the leads are to hold either!

About a week ago we received our latest SuperPuppies package, Mum ordered us harnesses to go with our SuperSets – I told you, she has accessory OCD! As the first pups to try out the SuperPuppies harness design we were very excited to help trial their latest product. Their harnesses are made in the same beautiful fabrics with the same padded feel to the straps as their collars and leads, they are both comfortable and fashionable! Unfortunately harnesses are hard to photograph on our fluffy little bodies, you can just about see Colin’s in the photo of the two of us below!
Overall it’s fair to say that we LOVE all our SuperSets from SuperPuppies and could not recommend them highly enough! The combination of their unique prints and outstanding build quality means these should be a staple in every stylish hound’s wardrobe.

You can use our code DOODLES20 to save 20% off your very own SuperSets available exclusively on the SuperPuppies website here – we can’t wait to see which gorgeous set you choose!

Follow SuperPuppies London on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with their latest news, offers and cute pictures, including lots of their adorable Brand Reps (including yours truly!).

A Day With…. Spaniel Life and Springador Adventures

Last Sunday we were at a bit of a loose end, we had been stuck at home for most of the week while Mum caught up with orders so when our friends Lily and Sev (who are also fellow bloggers suggested a day out we were raring to go! Even better still, our new pals Polly and Basil came along for an adventure too – we made quite the pack!  First stop was Somerset Lavender Farm,  Mum hoped that the beautiful scent might send us all to sleep but it seemed that may have been wishful thinking on her part. We got down to doing what we all do best, posing for photos of course! The lavender made a beautiful backdrop for some portraits and our pastel prints from SuperPuppies complimented the gentle purple colour perfectly. Rhapsody’s height was a small issue, her photos ended up being slightly more dirt than actual lavender. #smalldogproblems Continue reading

Small Business Spotlight: Pointy Faces

g.pngWelcome to our first ever Small Business Spotlight! We have some amazing brands set up to share with you over the coming months, everything from toys to treats, from bandanas to bowls and everything in between! We are kicking off with a company called Pointy Faces who make a variety of organic grooming products, to find out more we caught up with the lady behind the brand, the lovely Megan.

Hi Megan, thank you for joining us today! First thing’s first, what was the inspiration behind Pointy Faces?

It all started with the adoption of my hound Bella. Before adopting Bella, I spent the summer working in Spain which is where I fell in love with sighthounds. The breed has a particularly hard time in Spain and the way they are often treated within the hunting community and racing industry hit home. Whilst in Spain I looked after a Podenco, hearing her amazing story and seeing the amount of love she had to give inspired my partner and I to adopt a sighthound as soon as we were settled. On returning to Wales, we went along to our local council pound. Bella was the third sighthound we were introduced to. As soon as she saw me she launched herself into my arms as if saying ‘choose me’! Continue reading

Small Business Spotlight: What’s it all about?

Over the last few months I am ashamed to admit that this blog has been sadly neglected a little. Between my ‘real’ job, supply teaching in Primary schools, running my company Devil Dood Designs and, recently, planning my wedding, this blog has unfortunely been fairly low on my priority list. I have decided that I need to get back on top of things, I love writing about the things myself, Colin and Rhapsody get up to, adventures we have with our friends, pictures of our lives and the products we simply adore. I’m not going to call it a ‘relaunch’ because that’s not what it is. I’ve simply made a conscious decision to manage my time better and make time to do the things I love, not limited to but including blogging.

In lieu of my new found commitment to staying on top on things I have decided to launch a new weekly feature. I’m calling it Small Business Spotlight and it shall do exactly what it says on the tin. It will shine a metaphorical spotlight on our favourite small businesses, highlighting their stories, their products and why we love them. We are going to feature a wide range of small businesses and the goodies they make, everything from treats to tweed collars. We will be featuring some of our old established favourites combined with a selection of new businesses we have recently had pleasure to discover. The one thing that they all have in common is that they are what we would class as ‘true’ small businesses. They are all run by either an individual or a couple of friends/family members, they all make their products meticulously by hand and they all make things that we believe the world simply needs to know about! First up, we will have a range of organic grooming products from Pointy Faces which I for one cannot wait to test, Colin may be a tad less enthusiastic. Our Small Business Spotlight posts will be published every Sunday afternoon, just in time for a little light reading before the long week ahead.

So there it is. Apologies for the sporadic nature of our recent and a promise that we have some amazing small businesses to share with you over the coming weeks! And some puppy tax for the serious nature of this post. Because, well, my dogs are cute.