Why I started Fi + Mimi & Where It's Going...
Hey there! I've long (well not that long exactly) been wanting to talk about why I'm doing this and what the goals of the company are and now's as good a time as ever. Sometimes understand a company's direction helps you understand their decisions and maybe just maybe like them a little bit more ;)
Fi's never been much for dog beds, as she's just as happy being wherever the people are. But I did get some dog bed inspiration before Mimi The Queen of Pillows showed up in the form of a handmedown bed from one of those fancy type places. A friend's dog didn't like it (too big) so she brought it over. Fi liked it enough, but after one trachea session this $279 dog bed was toast. And it wasn't fully washable. Had I actually spent $279 on this goreous velvet bed I might just be a wee bit pissed that I couldn't get it totally clean. Instead, it's become the chosen place for such messy eating activities and I don't begrudge it one bit. But it did get me thinking...
Then Mimi came along and little did we know she had a broken hip. And man did she like her pillows. Every pillow in the house became a bed for Mimi and her sore little hip and thus she became known as The Pillow Queen. So I went looking for beds that worked with my house and weren't ridiculously expensive for something that was going to be worn down by messy dirty dogs (because let's face it...they all are whether we admit it or not).
The more I looked the more intrigued I got that there really was a missing niche in the dog bed world that was CUTE, AFFORDABLE and FULLY WASHABLE beds that looked natural lying around the home like they were meant to be there. And I found a creative outlet I was missing in my life.
So I woke up at the beginning of 2017 and said DO IT. By the end of January materials were on their way for testing. I found a seamstress with 21+ years of industrial style sewing experience and a workshop full of equipment. We made prototypes and listings for preorders and now at the beginning of April we can say we think our assumptions were true...there is a need for cute, affordable and fully washable dog beds.
Another founding value was the desire to support rescue. Both Fi and Mimi are rescues and after getting involved with fostering and really opening my eyes to what is going on with homeless dogs I want to do more than I was. While I want to spend the first year getting business flowing before I set a percentage of profits to go to rescue, we've got short term commitments in the works benefitting A Purposeful Rescue, Chews Life Dog Rescue, Roaddogs, Rescued Rollers and Boise Bully Breed Rescue. Our Design and Rescue Program (where someone selects fabrics for a line that benefits a rescue directly) has been way more popular than we had imagined and we have four new lines being created out of those ideas.
It's a bit fire aim ready right now because I had no idea we'd be selling this soon. While attempting to start creating an online presence for the brand people started purchasing immediately. We've received so much support in the form of creative suggestions, vendor recommendations and over all feedback this has really been the project of a lifetime. And who doesn't want to look at dogs all day?!?
Eventually we'd like to be in the business of creating custom looks for your home, but we've got to crawl before we walk and crawling still has it's challenges. We're producing pillow style beds that double as floor pillows and feel like an intentional part of home design. We have plans to add on sides and covers and other things pups like, but we want to strengthen our supply chain and processes before we take on something new.
That being said, this is getting long so I'll leave it at that. Stay tuned for more thoughts, ideas and beds coming your way...