Before I created Love Pig Studios and Urban Animal Collective, I didn’t have a guinea pig or dog at home, and didn’t realize the impact that high quality, attractive and washable fleece bedding would have on a pet lover.
One afternoon I was waiting at a vet’s office to transport a rescue dog to his new foster home a couple hours away (Mr Wiggles was his name); I saw a sole guinea pig in his cage, busily eating parsley. I called out to everyone and no one in particular and said I’d like to put him in my pocket and take him home – the vet popped her head out and said that may be a perfect idea.
A couple weeks later, Charles moved in, including the heavy, strange smelling “bedding” he came with – it was corn cob, which isn’t great for their feet, or my back… it was unbelievably heavy. I began researching other ways to keep their cage tidy and set about sewing.
I was concerned that people wouldn’t be interested in washing the fleece bedding, and paying for good quality fleece and recycled materials in the cage liners and washable pee pads.
I tried to sell a couple of Charles’ extra potty-pads online, and I got a message asking to custom order four large cage liners, and I knew I was on the right path.
I decided I set out to create beautiful crate mats, cage liners and other accessories for the most incredible and loving pet owners in the world.
It turns out, the road was more difficult than I imagined. It was hard to find well-priced materials that were also beautiful and would look like part of our customer’s décor.
Then the most challenging time came…
when our beloved dog Juno suddenly got sick, and three short weeks later we had no choice but to let her go – it was cancer and it had spread, likely before we knew anything was wrong. We miss her every day.
Though our business took a back seat during the month of Juno’s sickness and the aftermath, it became clear that Urban Animal was our refuge, our fun, and our purpose.
I was afraid that no one would see the value of my products and no one would buy them.
Through it all, we released our first products and the response has been heartwarming from everyone who sees our accessories and bedding.
The best part is hearing from clients who tell me how comfortable and happy their pets are after they try out their cozy new beds and pads!