For today’s Pet Hooligans interview please welcome Veronika Jordan from LuvDogs.com
Firstly, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you are based, for example in which country and part of that country? My name is Veronika Jordan and I live in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. I am married to Russell and have two grown up sons Thomas and Sam.
Please tell us about your pet website and how it came about? I have been trading on eBay as Cookiebiscuit for a number of years, selling various items including soft toys and party goods. At first I sold all types of soft toys, but it was the dogs that really took off. Cookiebiscuit became synonymous with toy dogs. I was also working full time, but when I was made redundant at the end of last year, my husband and I decided to expand the business with a website where we could continue to sell the soft toys but also add personalised items such as bags, wallets, mugs and clothing. We wanted a theme and decided to stick with dogs. The idea is that customers can send us a picture of their beloved pooch to put on the items. We had to buy the printing equipment and learn how to use it – this was a steep learning curve but we have got the hang of it now! We decided to call the website Luv Dogs rather than Cookiebiscuit because it is more specific to dogs.
Have you always loved animals? As a child we had cats and a dog and my favourite outing was always a trip to Bristol Zoo. I was also mad about teddies and other soft toys – I never had dolls.
Please tell us a little about any pets that currently live with you and if they ever get into any mischief? I have two Jack Russells called Cookie and Pancake. Cookie is 12 years old and Pancake is six. They love to fight over sticks and will each get hold of one end and run round and round in circles.
How long now has the site been established? It’s been up since December 2010 but we have only really started promoting it this month.
How do you find your inspiration for your site and/or the content that you blog about? Anything to do with dogs is our inspiration. There are millions of dog lovers in the UK and many of them are fanatical about their dogs, whether they have a dog with a pedigree as long as your arm which cost hundreds of pounds, a cross breed or mongrel or a dog from a rescue centre with a story to tell.
Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the website? We are still adding products at the moment to expand our offering and are always on the lookout for more things we can print on like real leather handbags and purses. I am also looking to expand the range of soft toys and have just started stocking The Mumbles dogs as well as Keel Toys. The Mumbles dogs come with optional T-shirts on which you can print a personalised message. We will be attending the Spring Fair this week and hope to come back with other ranges – maybe Gund or Ravensden – not sure yet. Every time we buy new stock it has to be photographed and listed. I also have to process the orders from eBay every day or every other day which can be time consuming, especially in the lead up to Christmas. In addition we have to try and get the site up in the search engines which means revisiting keywords etc and finding other ways to promote the site eg Twitter and Facebook for instance.
Do you have any plans for the future in terms of expanding the website or featuring any other areas? I’d like to sell Steiff toys – they are so lifelike – but need to get more traffic to the site before investing in such high value stock.
Finally, if people want to learn more about you and your website do you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can learn more? Yes I am LuvDogsUK on Twitter and you can find my Facebook page by searching for Luv Dogs.