Customer Stories, Pet Food & Supplies

Tails Designs: Going Beyond “Good Enough” for Our Fur Babies

Tails Designs has set out to “unleash the future of dog parenting”. And when you see what this BC based dog product design company has been up to, you’ll get what they mean. Exhibit A would be their EZ Treat, a dispenser that works a little like a high-end Pez for pups. It allows for single-hand use, produces that helpful rattle to alert your dog, and does away with lids and drawstrings.

It’s probably no surprise that Tails Designs Founder and CEO Felix Yim found inspiration for the design at the dog park. “I was out with my dog and a group of friends who have dogs too, and everybody brought out their treats in the usual containers: bags, plastic storage containers and cinch bags. And it struck me that every single one traded off different uses and features. The plastic storage containers let you make that shaking noise, but it was too big for your pocket. It was hard to hold onto your leash and open the bags. The cinch bag got your hands dirty. No one solution did everything.”

This was the moment Felix felt like he could create something that would go beyond the “good enough” ethos that seemed to characterize the dog product market. “When you go shopping for your dog it seems like most stuff you find in the store serves a base function, but there’s not enough attention paid to details. Like if you get a water bottle for your dog it just hangs at your side on a carabiner and slaps your leg. I wanted to create products that take extra steps to work better.”

Plus, Felix had a good feeling that a lot of other dog owners—dog parents—would resonate with what he wanted to create. “For a while, this trend of people thinking of their pets as family members has been persistent. We want to go beyond taking care of their basic needs. We’re looking for raw food, brushing their teeth, taking them on trips.”

Fortunately, Felix was already well-versed in start-ups, having worked for Vessi, an innovative footwear company that launched via Kickstarter. During the pandemic he “pulled the design from the drawer and got serious.” After contracting a company to help with the 3D renderings, he created another successful Kickstarter.

“I worked with a consultant to make it happen. They encouraged me to start with a large email list with two tiers: basic subscribers and people who already reserved the product by paying a dollar. When I got that first reservation—that first dollar—that was a win. It was like, ‘Ok, someone pulled out their wallet. No turning back now!’”

Working with a product designer to make the EZ Treat a reality was another monumental step. “I had never made anything that required a mould, so I had to heavily lean on the company I outsourced that to. There was a lot of learning on the fly and trusting the process.”

tails-designs-corrugated-counter-display

Before long, Tails Designs was doing great business online. Expansion into retail became the next horizon to pursue. Part of that initiative involved creating a digitally printed counter-top display. That’s where Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) came in.

“I really didn’t want to make something with an overseas manufacturer because it would have taken too long. GLBC is local, so I was able to meet the team in person, handle different samples, and overall have a much more efficient experience. It was so convenient.”

Now, Tails Designs is poised to keep expanding into the B2B space by building new partnerships. And the display is a valuable tool in this context. “We can just send them the display and they’re always so happy and surprised to get it.”

We’re excited for Tails Designs to keep pushing their mission forward, with our support. Dog parents unite!

 

 

Blog Categories