At Printed.com, we’re lucky enough to help thousands of people boost their businesses with print. We work with brands and companies from all sectors – from business services to charities, creatives to retailers.
We’re passionate about print, and even more passionate about helping each and every customer succeed. So, each and every month, we’ll be talking to our very own customers, asking them the questions you want to know the answers to. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve already found your feet in the industry, get tips, tricks and inspiration from people just like you with our Customer Showcase series.
This week, we’re talking all things creative, furry and fun with Marianne from Trotting Dog.
Hi Marianne, kick us off by telling us a little bit about you and your business…
I am a fur and human mum to two teenage boys and two dogs living just ten minutes from the beach on the beautiful Isle of Wight. I create humorous greetings cards, gifts and stationery under my brand Trotting Dog. The designs are inspired by Spike, my Hungarian Vizsla and Milo a rescue Vizsla cross who joined us last year. I run my business from home and sell my designs to dog lovers all over the world. It’s not just Vizslas though, my dog collection is growing as I add more and more breeds which is very exciting.
How did you get started?
Last year I decided to do one of the things on my ‘life list’ and write a book! Vintage fashion and dogs are two of my passions so it seemed sensible to combine them. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book, set in 1940s wartime London and ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to self-publish it and fulfil my pledge to donate copies to every primary school on the Isle of Wight. During the project I created some cards and postcards from the illustrations. They became so popular with people that my business selling doggy cards and gifts began.
What do you print with Printed.com?
Quality and convenience are a must for me, both for my customers and my business. My recent stationery collection Classic Hound includes letterhead and notecards so having access to the best quality paper with lots of different size options and add-ons like printed envelopes and belly bands has allowed me to create a unique range of luxury products. With Printed.com I can purchase in small quantities for quick restocking but don’t have to compromise on quality. This has enabled Trotting Dog to grow organically without straining the purse strings.
How do you find being a creative in today’s industry?
The beauty of being a creative today is that I really can personally connect with my customers and design things using their feedback and ideas. I love that I am part of a global pack of dog lovers which the internet and social media has opened up. As a bit of a late starter, I am 47 and solo parent my kids, working in the creative industry from home with an online business has been completely accessible.
What does the future hold for you and your business? Where do you see your business going over the next year?
As my card and gift ranges expand and new collections are added I would love to see my products stocked in retailers, not just in the UK but overseas too. Being able to exhibit at one of the National buying shows like Top Drawer or Pure is definitely part of my future plans, and having a stand Crufts too!
Do you have any advice for creatives looking to get set up in your industry?
Running a small business means you have to do everything at the beginning, from book keeping to marketing and stock control. This is as well as creating! I am part of some great online business support groups and follow different start up blogs. They are great places to seek advice and get some moral support if needed.
Finally, I am very lucky to have lots of wonderful customers who keep me on my creative toes. Don’t be afraid to ask what people think would be my top tip, both during the creative process and when you launch new products. Lots of my ideas are inspired by my customers’ dogs so I am thrilled that I can create things they want and will love.
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