Equipped with their love of dogs, a sales and marketing model and Davie’s own savings, the friends grew their passion project to a million-dollar business in months.
Since then, Pupnaps, a line of calming dog beds designed to reduce anxiety, stress and improve sleep quality in dogs, has maintained consistent growth.
What makes Pupnaps unique and special?
Each bed is made from soft faux fur and features comfortable padding and a raised rim, to instantly produce a calming effect on pets and help them feel secure.
The pair’s foray into the pets industry worth more than $13 billion has proved successful, continuing to attract more than 4000 sales weekly and over $1 million in monthly revenue.
Pupnaps was born out of Jye and Davie’s love of dogs. Both dog owners, they noticed a spike in anxiety and stress in their own dogs, particularly during storms and fireworks.
For Jye’s kelpie, separation anxiety was a burgeoning problem. When Jye would leave for work, he would often find himself returning to a distraught, or occasionally missing dog.
Studies show the commonality of such problems among dogs. 40% of dogs will experience anxiety at some point in their life, while one in four dogs can suffer from separation anxiety.
Jye says, “Anxiety can really impact a dog’s quality of life, not to mention the guilt and fear that owners have whenever they need to leave their pets alone.”
“I know from personal experience when my dog becomes stressed, he’ll often run away, especially if I’m not home at the time.”
“I wanted to create a product that solves this problem and improves the mental health of our pets, giving owners peace of mind when they leave their dog alone or outside.”
Jye receives hundreds of emails a day from customers reporting a significant change in their dog’s behaviour, including reduced anxiety and improved sleep patterns.
The international success of one of Davie’s own brands, Calming Blankets, a line of weighted blankets designed to assist adults and children with troubled sleep or sensory conditions that impact sleep quality, also served as inspiration for Pupnaps.
Davie says, “Pupnaps was a natural next step for the business, considering the success of our other anxiety-reducing products. We also saw a noticeable gap in the market.”
“While products such as ‘thundershirts’ have been around for years, there was an absence of other products that successfully support the mental health of our pets.”
“Dogs spend a lot of time enjoying their bed, whether they’re relaxing, napping or playing, and introducing dog owners to the idea of a stress-relieving bed was a no-brainer for us.”
Jye says the key to the success of Pupnaps lay in the foolproof sales and marketing model that Davie had similarly used for his other successful brands, including The Oodie.
This strategy focuses on content, social media, customer service and product development. Direct communication with customers and building a product community are also key.
Jye said, “We knew that we needed to communicate with potential customers to have the best chance of success and create a problem-solving product people truly wanted.”
“We did just this and asked dog owners what they wanted out of the product, including the designs, patterns and colours that would appeal to them most.”
“By engaging with our customers from the outset, our products are frequent sell-outs. We’ve continued to communicate with customers ever since, launching new products as a result.”
In fact, the brand’s simple grey calming bed, the first product Jye launched, continues to be its most popular and bestselling product to date.
Pupnaps continues to experience growth
The brand has continued to evolve and grow, moving beyond its original calming dog bed, into different fabric varieties, as well as orthopaedic products.
The Bamboo Calming Bed is a popular choice for those in warmer climates and during summer, while the Orthopaedic Memory Foam Bed brings a new level of comfort for older dogs.
Next month, Jye will launch an Orthopaedic Floor Rug and a Calming Furniture Couch.
The Calming Furniture Couch features Pupnap’s faux fur fabrication and padding, designed to protect household furniture, allowing dogs to freely sit with the rest of the family.
The Orthopaedic Rug offers the same support as the Orthopaedic Memory Foam Bed, at ground level, to provide more accessibility for senior, injured or disabled pets.
Prior to Jye’s new product launches, and an expansion into the UK in June 2020, success has not been without its setbacks. In his first year of business, Jye faced challenges reminiscent of those faced by many entrepreneurs – the brand grew too quickly.
Without the experience and business acumen he needed, Jye outsourced resources quickly.
Jye says, “I knew I needed to cut out those exorbitant expenses and remove contractors from the equation. Thanks to guidance by Davie, who already had experience in several successful businesses, I was able to turn around the business within a few months.”
“I took on more responsibilities and brought our resources and talent inhouse.”
Jye surrounds himself with a strong team, experienced in business, marketing and product development, and equipped with the creativity and skills required to constantly innovate.
“Thanks to Davie’s initial investment, I was able to kick off the brand on a high. I’ve been able to learn from failure and see Pupnaps through a healthy growth period.”
“Adding new items that build upon our range has allowed us to continue offering products that support the mental, and physical health of our pets and give owners peace of mind.”