Thrilled about the pawesome article about my team in Boston Voyager. (I mean, my humans take all the credit but we all know who's REALLY top dog around here!)
Full article HERE but check out this excerpt:
Teddy the Dog Apparel was founded by owner Ted Pidcock in 2007. After having been in the apparel and apparel decorating business for many years (Chillybears, Inc.,) Pidcock decided to launch a branded line of apparel for dog lovers featuring a witty, irreverent, sunglasses-wearing mutt named Teddy. Today, the company has over 100K followers and fans who regularly “communicate” with Teddy through his social media channels and blog and who have proven to be fiercely loyal to the brand.
In 2013, Pidcock brought on board the inexhaustible creative team of Keri Boyle, Michelle O’Brien and Chris Watson, that continues to be the voice and “vibe” of Teddy, and guide the brand’s creative direction. The team was then joined by Ivana Durov-Balesh (who quickly whipped the company’s operations into shape – thank dog!), Deidre Clymer (website and analytics guru), Angel Rodrigues and Greg Holland (who run the total ship show in Teddy’s doghouse), and Chris Moriarty (the team’s customer liaison and resident classical musician).
In 2014, Teddy’s unique voice and clever graphics caught the attention of HarperCollins Children’s Publishers, who signed Teddy up for two picture books. Teddy the Dog: Be Your Own Dog hit bookshelves in 2016 and Teddy the Dog: (Almost Best in Show) published spring 2017. The books were authored by team member Keri Boyle, who helped create Teddy’s voice.
According to Boyle, “We have a really phenomenal team in place and everyone contributes to Teddy’s success and creativity. As a relatively small company, it’s an “all hands on deck” environment that’s never dull. Also, our small team allows us to flex quickly in terms of creative concepts. If something happens in the media or pop culture, we can have a parody graphic launched within 24 hours. This ability to remain fluid and move lightning-fast has allowed us to stay relevant, delight our fans with a quick and funny reaction, and be first to market with creative concepts. And, of course, we spend a lot time laughing at our own jokes and searching for chocolate.”
Today, Teddy the Dog Apparel launches three new graphics a week using a program called Pick of the Litter (POTL). With the POTL program, the brand offers a new graphic for seven days. After seven days, the graphic closes, and then prints and ships. This “print to order” method provides customers with a greater selection of apparel colors and styles (plus totes, mugs and more). In addition to the POTL program, Teddy’s doghouse always has a selection of apparel, gifts and accessories available. However, the company does have one important caveat for fans: sense of humor required.
Has it been a smooth road?
The rate of growth at Teddy the Dog has been dizzying, which while a good problem to have, can present issues of staffing, resources and production. Still, the team has met the challenge and continues to grow and adapt.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Teddy the Dog Apparel story. Tell us more about the business.
Teddy the Dog is geared to dog lovers (and those who appreciate clever humor). What sets us apart is that our fans really connect with Teddy. They “talk” to Teddy online, and Teddy talks (barks?) back. Often, when something happens in the news or pop culture, our fans will rush online to see what Teddy has to say about the matter.
That said, while sometimes irreverent, Teddy’s vibe is positive and his occasional sarcasm is always lighthearted – not mean spirited. We strive to be a place where our fans come for a good laugh. And above all, we really love dogs. Or, as Teddy would say, “Duh. Who wouldn’t love dogs. Dogs rule, people drool.”
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
One of Teddy’s biggest advantages as an e-business is the ability to go direct to consumer.
While the company does have a wholesale/retail branch (mostly pet-related boutiques and businesses), the ability to talk directly to consumers and quickly react to what they want is invaluable. Several months ago, the team launched “Breed Monday” to offer breed-specific graphics, and the response was overwhelming. With graphics such as LabADORE, Rottie to the Core, Feel the Berner, Love Makes the World Go Hound, The More the Terrier, and more, fans cans show that they’re proud of their furry friends.
Sniffs n' Licks,