Up until a couple months ago, both Bean and Yoda would huddle on a tiny round dog bed in front of the heating vent. While the bed was purchased for Bean when Yoda wasn't a part of our family yet and fit her perfectly, it was still a "meh" dog bed in relation to quality and comfort. I think it was one of my first purchases before Bean was even picked up from the breeder. In the almost 10 years it's been our house, it's been ripped, peed on, puked on, pooped on, and I'm pretty sure I dropped coffee on it once or twice too. It's a mess.
We received a bed from Janery to try and share our experience. We only share products that we've tried and love, and our opinions are our own.
When I connected with the folks from Janery to see if they were willing to help provide a donation for an event supporting the non-profit organization called Pinups for Pitbulls, we stayed on each other's radar. When the event was complete (they donated an amazing dog bed for large dogs that was so comfy, some volunteers took a snooze on it the night before the event after stuffing VIP swag bags for hours), Jane from the company asked if I wanted to host a giveaway on my blog and Instagram for our readers. She also generously sent us a brand spankin' new bed for Bean and Yoda. As soon I removed the bed from its box, Bean and Yoda hopped on, twirled their normal three counter-clockwise twirls, and plopped down with a contented sigh. And I, promptly, took the dingy dog bed away and burned it and buried it in the backyard (no, not really, we cleaned it to the best of our ability and donated it).
Why do I love the new bed from Janery? Here are some key reasons:
Fun colors & patterns - our decorating style is pretty drab. I'm always afraid of going bold, but the color combos and patterns that are available at Janery are both fun and approachable. It was the first time I've ever chosen something that was bright red and I love how the color pops in our living room. I have since swapped out our brown throw pillows and found decorative pillows in a similar shade to coordinate!
It's so cushy! - I've placed my very human and very rotund bottom on many a dog bed. At Global Pet Expo, I tested out dog beds like I was trying recliners at IKEA. I know that not all beds are created equal. The Janery bed is so lofty that it doesn't immediately pancake once a dog plops down on it. In fact, even when both Bean and Yoda are on the bed at the same time, the bed is still hardly indented from their combined weight. For a dog with arthritis, like Bean, I want to make sure the bed she uses provides support for her joints, and I'm confident that's the case with the Janery bed.
It's Stain Resistant - For tiny dogs, Bean and Yoda are disgusting. The amount of dirt they track in, and slime Yoda generates, is astonishing. That, in combination with other general "ick" scenarios of poo, vomit, and pee, while rare occurrences, still has the potential to occur every once and awhile. Finding a bed that actually repels the stains and can be easily cleaned isn't as easy as one would think. I've been able to wipe down the bed and it's kept remarkably clean in the time we've had it.
So, I mentioned the talent behind Janery is a woman named Jane. I took advantage of our time emailing back and forth to send her some Q & A's about her, her business, and her advice. Take a look at my questions and her replies below, followed by a chance for you to win $100 towards the purchase of your very own Janery Pet Bed!
Question 1 - After some light internet stalking, I noticed that you're not afraid to use bold colors and fun patterns in your designs and in your home decorating. What advice would you give to help a person who's afraid of bright colors or patterns in their decorating that might help to change their view? Full disclosure, I'm a bit of a "hey it's brownish/tan, so it'll go with everything." Kind of gal, so I may or may not be selfishly asking this question for myself.
I absolutely love decorating with bold color and pattern; in fact I want to do much more of it in my new home! For people who are a little more color-shy than I am, I simply say - what's the worst that can happen? There are several easy ways to dip your toes in the water. If your sofa came with "matching" pillows, donate them and replace with something wild and colorful from Etsy, or from a local store or even Target. Second, try painting a fun color or pattern on the wall! If you make sure it's inspired by a piece of decor you have, that can give you a color road map for the room. Remember, the worst that can happen is you don't like it. Painting may not be your idea of fun, but it can easily be redone in a day with a little work. Finally, just fill your home with things you love. I was recently in a home that was so haphazardly decorated - the woman just hung everything she loved on the walls, and it was actually oozing with charm and personality and I loved it.
If you're really intimidated about heading in a colorful direction, try studying home decor books for inspiration. Flag the images you love, and then study them to identify what you love about them - then think how you could try to do something similar in your home. Some of my favorites include The New Bohemians, Styled, Design Sponge at Home, Get it Together!, Decorate.
Question 2 - Tell me about the first pet that came into your life that made a significant impact on you as a person.
The first pet who made a significant impact on me as a person was my first dog, Charlie. And not because she inspired my entire business (which she did), but because she showed me just how resilient dogs can be, along with their incredible capacity for love and loyalty. I found Charlie on the streets of Richmond, a Rottweiler-Bully-Heinz57 mix full of tender sweetness and almost no hair. She came with so much healing to do from bullet wounds, an eye removal, incontinence, and abuse, but she bounced back to become the best dog I will probably ever have in my lifetime. Because of Charlie, I know that adopted street dogs can be as incredible as the most pampered show dogs.
Question 3 - As a small business owner, where much of your work is done in-house, what advice would you give to a person who's looking to be successful in starting/running their own business?
First, know that growing a business requires perseverance. You can't shy away from hard work. To make a business out of something you love, you have to be willing to spend a lot of time doing things you don't love just to run the business.
Start small and be focused. Don't get overeager and try to bring too many products to the table too quickly. I see many business owners making that mistake, and I made it too. You can be more successful with one amazing product than with a bunch of "pretty good" products. When you start to grow, it's good to hire out the tasks that you are weak in, like professional photography or accounting. Finally, it really helps to have a good mentor with a lot more experience. I recommend Lela Barker of Lucky Break Consulting.
Question 4 - If you were a breed of dog, what breed would you be and why? (or cat, I don't discriminate)
I'm incredibly indecisive and see the best in so many dogs, so I can't give a straight answer. But I love the muscularity, silliness, and loyalty of pit bulls. I also love leaping over rocks when I hike, and I imagine that I'm a mountain goat. And I'm a fan of tree climbing, where I feel like a monkey. Is there a breed that is part pit, part monkey, and part goat? That's me! :)
Question 5 - What question do you wish you got asked in interviews that you'd like to answer? Bonus points if you answer your own question. Look at me, the interviewer, making her interviewee do all the work. Muahahahaha.
There's something I think we should be talking about more when it comes to businesses, and that's the pricing of products! I think people are often surprised by the price of my waterproof dog beds, because they cost significantly more than what you might find at HomeGoods, Target, PetSmart or even LL Bean. And there's several reasons for that: First, I've owned beds from all of those stores - and they never lasted. Janery dog beds are made to last. Second, none of them are made in the USA with fair labor. It's incredible how much more it costs to make products ethically, but I couldn't sleep at night if there was a chance that underage sweatshop employees were making my pet beds.
Somehow we've gotten to a place where fast fashion is so common that no one questions how a shirt can cost as little as 2 pumpkin spice lattes. I hope that by starting this discussion I can help change that.
Thank you, Jane for your replies to my questions! I'm sure they were a bit more random than other interviews, and I appreciate you indulging me. I'm beyond thrilled with the bed we now have from Janery, and I'm super excited for one of you to have a chance to win a $100 gift card. Enter below, and visit us on INSTAGRAM for more opportunities to gain entries.