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  • Writer's pictureNadine Berger

How it all began... the story of Trinkety Paws

If we start from the very beginning, I would say the seed for Trinkety Paws was planted in 2018, during a holiday with my partner and my two beautiful dogs, in my hometown in Germany.

During this holiday we stumbled upon a small independent shop which had some beautiful colourful handmade Rope Dog Collars and Leads in their offering, unfortunately our holiday budget didn't stretch enough, to be able to buy a matching set for both of my dogs Ozzie and Cooper.

I have always been creative and enjoy various arts and crafts, therefore decided that I would source some materials and try recreating the style of Rope Collar and Leashes I had seen on holiday. It took me quite a while to source the right materials, and looking back it may have been a more cost effective option to have bought the Collar and Leash sets during our holiday, but then again I probably would be here now writing a blog about Trinkety Paws.

After my initial fails of trying to make a beautiful Rope Collar and Lead Set, I eventually succeeded and made something that was save and practical and I was happy to put round my dogs necks.

(Practice definitely makes perfect, or at least better, as I always slightly look back in horror at my very first creations)

Never ever would I have thought, that making these initial Rope Collars and Leads, would lead me where we are today, (and to be honest, who would have thought it, judging by my very first attempts above). After all it was at first no more than a hobby, and it was great fun to create colourful Collars and Leads for both of my dogs, and be able to dress them in different colourful sets when we went out for walkies.

Once I became more confident in and found a supplier who actual had what I needed, I started making sets to order for the dogs of friends and relatives. Practicing on those certainly helped, and soon enough I was confident enough and also had some images, so that I could add some of my product designs on Etsy. Receiving a few sales here and there was great, and I was happy to craft away in the evenings on our living room table, I basically started at the very same place where I am sitting now writing this blog.

During the day I was working as a freelance PT and Fitness Instructor, either training clients in my personal studio in our back garden, or teaching various fitness classes in our local gyms; and in the evening I happily made some dog collars and leads.

Things changed with the beginning of the COVID pandemic, when the first lockdown started back in March 2020, and most of us had to revert to online shopping, and with this my little hobby took over quite rapidly, which was a great distraction for me.

I used the time, when gyms and fitness studios were closed, to design my own website for the business, and tried to learn more about the things you need to know when running your own business. Don't get me wrong, like most people I still watched the "Tiger King" and enjoyed lazy sunny days in the garden, but I also wanted to do something useful, so it seemed like the right time to learn about new things.

By December 2020 within the second lockdown, I was working on fulfilling orders full time, our living room table had become my work station and quite frankly my rope and waterproof webbing materials started to take over the house.

I was however still convinced that all this would end abruptly when the pandemic ends. Luckily that wasn't the case, and in January 2021 I gave up my job as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, so that I could invest my time fully into my new business.

We were also desperate to gain back our living and dining room space, that was filled with material boxes and all my workshop tools, so we said good by to our guest bedroom (who needs one anyway, when Boris doesn't allow guests in your house) and created my first own office/workshop.

I was lucky enough to receive great feedback and many repeat customers who loved my designs, that encouraged me to extend the range of products further and to create more and more designs.

In Spring 2021, I received my very first large order, from a dog breeder in Canada. That was also the point where I realized that I probably need some helping hands, as we simply had more orders than I could manage to make myself.

I recruited some help by looking for workshop assistants, and only three months of changing our spare bedroom, I already needed a larger space, as we had outgrown my little office.

We converted the studio / gym in our back garden, into my new workshop to gain more space, as there where times where there were three of us working on the incoming orders now. Me full time and my two lovely workshop assistants who helped out a few hours each week.

With the continuous growth of the business, we officially registered Trinkety Paws Limited in September 2021. I remember that I said to my other half, "Wow, I really have got a business now!", because I couldn't quite believe how it all happened so fast.

We were quite good at making waterproof dog collars and leads, but we are also really good at packing boxes and moving furniture, and we already moved twice in 2021, so surely we can move another time, right?....

In November 2021 we moved from my garden studio into our workshop at Chester House Estate, and with this move, I also opened my very first retail shop "The Canine Cottage - Dog Boutique".

I would lie, if I'd say that opening a retail shop was always part of the original plan, because it wasn't, but the unit and location of Chester House, just lent itself to be both a workshop and retail shop .

We started to offer our products into retail in 2022 and fast forward now, our products can be found in over 75 retail shops in the UK, as well as several shops in France, Germany, the US and Canada.

We have made over 16,000 products in the last three years, and fulfilled over 12,000 orders, which we are immensely proud of. We have had over 2500 five star reviews to date and have customers who return to us time and time again.

Since January 2023, we are based in a larger unit at Chester House Estate, and increased the size of The Canine Cottage Shop and especially our Trinkety Paws workshop space, but after moving four times in the space of two years, we hope that this space will last us for quite some time.

You can find our products on our website, and if you wanted to come to visit us at The Canine Cottage Shop, and see our Trinkety Paws workshop, you can visit us Tuesdays - Sundays from 10am - 4pm at Chester House Estate, Wellingborough, NN29 7EZ.

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