How lockdown inspired this dog-loving mum to set up her own pet business | TeamDogs

How lockdown inspired this dog-loving mum to set up her own pet business

Turning lockdown woes to coping with her pet's lockdown locks

Fiona Callow

Posted 2 months ago

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for many, even for our pets, who have had to adjust to us being around a lot more.

However, spending more time with her dogs helped to inspire Nic Wordsworth, from Minnis Bay, Kent, to explore an idea she'd been considering for a while.

When her graphic design work began to dry up last year, she launched Pup Suds, a company which provides vegan and cruelty-free dog shampoo bars to animal lovers.

The 54-year-old came up with the idea after struggling to find a shampoo which didn’t dry out the coat of her non-moult dogs.

She realised its potential after spending more time on the beach with her Tibetan Terrier, Bertie, and decided to make her ‘dream a reality’.

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Nic told The Mirror: “Bertie is a total beach bum who is always up to his ears in seaweed and sand. He’s always finding something stinky to roll in.

"I was spending more and more time on the beach as it was deserted and all my projects had been put on hold, I realised I had the time to do something that had been bugging me.

“I’d been talking about creating my own dog grooming products for ages, so research and testing for Pup Suds began."

Bertie in bath with one of Pup Suds shampoo bars

Nic's daughter Emily, who trained as a veterinary nurse, helped get Pup Suds up and running in November last year.

The range of products so far incudes five different dog-friendly shampoo bars, a nose and paw balm and a coat oil.

All the products are vegan, cruelty free and made from 100 per cent natural products, while the packaging is also eco-friendly with the labelling made from recycled paper.

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Nic spent around £7,000 of her own savings to fund Pup Suds but was able to use the skills she already had to get the business up and running, and cut costs.

Using her graphic design acumen, she was able to create her own branding and website, do all the photography herself, and had all the contacts she needed for printing.

French bulldogs Honey and Blue using the shampoo bars

As Pup Suds is still new, Nic still counts graphic designing as her day job - but she hopes soon that it can reach a stage where it becomes her main source of income.

She said: "The ideal would be for us to eventually have two and four employees, my daughter working in the business full time, and myself working three to four days on it.

"It’s a serious product, and I want the showing and breeding world to be using my products – as well as the everyday dog owner."

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While Nic works part time, the business takes in £500 in sales each month, but she hopes to see this increase over the next six months, ultimately reaching around £6-10,000 a month next year.

A selection of Pup Suds products

She added: "It’s pretty tough at times, long hours, but I’m a fairly determined person.

"It has the making of a good grounding to build a fabulous family business for myself, my daughter, our families and our dogs.

"I don’t want world domination… I want it to still be true to the start: small batch, tightly controlled, really doing what it says on the label, and credible eco ethics. If you get too big those ideals can get lost."

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