Interview with Oh My Fluffy Dog

Ever since Oh My Fluffy Dog busted on the scene at the end of 2017, they have taken over the New Zealand Dog Instagram scene. I have fallen head over heels in love with everything about them, their designs, their patterns and the OMFD family. Pretty much every weekend you will see me wearing at least one of their designs as they are the perfect gear to adventure in. Conveniently for us Instagrammers, they are also super cute and really make a scenic shot 100% better.

Lu is the brains behind Oh My Fluffy Dog and also the craziest, self-proclaimed dog mum I have ever met. Since starting Oh My Fluffy Dog we have been in regular contact, discussing everything from her addiction to adding more animals to her family, my love life, and how to make the best Instagram feed possible. I would happily say that she has become a good friend of mine, and one of the many reasons I love being able to connect with people on the 'gram. We discussed me coming to the Christchurch Pet Expo to help with her stall, and made it happen. So to coincide with my adventure down South, and actually my first time in Christchurch, I wanted to interview Lu to see what hidden secrets of business she could tell us. I also purchased a little something from Oh My Fluffy Dog to give to one of you, so make sure you read until the end to find out how to enter.

Tell us about your pets!
Oh gosh, where do I start! When I met my husband, Tim, two years ago, I only had one pet. The OG Theo. He’s a seven year old Pomeranian and has been my staple all my life since university. He’s now a grumpy old man, who loves cuddles, and hates fast moving animals around him. He rules the roost around here.

Next we introduced Niko, our 13 month old white GSD. He’s the peace keeper in the home. It doesn’t matter who is in trouble, he will slide his way between the two parties and try his best to calm the tensions.

After Niko it was a very quick spiral into the world of crazy dog & cat lady, we brought Coco our 5 year old ex-breeding cat. She’s solely an inside cat who’s weirdly affectionate to all people and dogs alike (which is what got her in trouble with the neighbours dogs and ended her up at the vets).

From Coco, Milo joined our family in quick succession again. (It was at this time we had just brought our home and what better way to celebrate than more fluffy animals right?) He’s a GSD x Malamute who wishes he could eat everything in sight. A super love bug who doesn’t understand his size and most of the time, this gets him into weird and troublesome positions.

Last but not least, Cleo, our other re-homed ex-breeding cat who we THOUGHT would have the same attitude as Coco straight from the box. But was entirely the other end of the pole, and took her two months in a crate to warm up to everyone. Now, she can comfortably hang out on the sofa (until one of the dog’s get their noses too far into her space).

Why did you decide to start Oh My Fluffy Dog?
I love my pets. From Theo and Niko, I simply ADORED all my babies and got sucked into the world of Instagram. My next step in crazy dog lady was wanting to wear clothes that declared this love to the world. I loved brands like PAWS but couldn’t find anything similar in NZ or from overseas that wouldn’t charge me an arm and a leg for shipping. So I thought - why not? What’s the worst that could happen? I have a never ending source of tops and I won’t have to do laundry for a year? Haha! That was the birth of OMFD. From a place of being stingy, lazy and wanting everyone I meet to know that I am crazy about my dogs.

What has been the hardest part of starting a small clothing company?
Getting my brand out there. Building the culture and the brand image definitely has been the most challenging, but also the most fun in terms of learning the Instagram and Facebook game.

What has been the most rewarding moment for you so far?
This might sound cheesy, but whenever anyone tags OMFD in a photo they have taken, especially giant group photos of doggy meet ups and play dates anywhere in the world, I get super excited. That commitment to the brand from people that follow us gives me the most humbling and warm fuzzy feelings. It shows that all the work I do behind the scenes to build the brand image, and the culture is paying off and people are really reciprocating the joy I feel for our clothing pieces.

If you could give people one tip on starting a small business, what would it be?
Be original. Find your own sense of brand and stick with it. Don’t be discouraged by other competitors in your niche. This one was a hard one for me to get my head around and accept, but thanks to some loving and supportive friends that I have, I can see that now and have confidence in OMFD and myself to keep being the best we can.

Have you always wanted to work in the pet field?
I’ve always loved pets, and loved spending time with mine but I never thought I could create a business or any kind of income from my love of the dogs. I was an intermediate teacher 2 years ago, and thought I would always end up doing something in terms of education. I love that I’ve been able to start OMFD on the side, and hopefully I want to grow it so it becomes my main source of income. I love that OMFD means I get to work in the pet field, meet all these awesome pups, and their owners, but never have to actually have any real responsibility of other peoples’ pets. Hahahaha.

How have you found feedback on your clothing pieces?
Most people love them. Once they actually understand the puns, they REALLY love them and get into our brand! Although I have found that sometimes puns are just one of those things where you either love it, or hate it, kind of like pineapples on pizza (I LOVE pineapples on pizza). Everyone loves to have their ideas and opinions heard, and I’ve learnt that I can’t please everybody with every design, but I hope that I’ll get there eventually with each new style we bring out.

What are your thoughts on the current market of people buying cheap pieces from chain stores instead of supporting more expensive, local brands?
I have no strong opinions here. I’m personally guilty of buying cheap pieces of clothes from chain stores too but am trying to cut back on it. I think it’s an age thing where when you are young, the ‘style’ is changing all the time and in order to keep up with current fashion, it’s always about the quantity in your wardrobe rather than the quality. Now, the older I get, the more I understand that it’s nicer to have those staple reliable few items in your wardrobe. I’m also really loving small businesses at the moment so have ended up spending all my time browsing Instagram shops, as well as Etsy for goodies!

Would you change anything about how you have run your business, or your products if you were to start again?
If I could go back to when it all started, I think I would love to apply everything I have learnt along the way about sizing quantities, which styles are better sellers and which are not, right from the get go. In terms of the way I run my business, without sounding too arrogant, I don’t think there is anything I would change. Maybe the location where we operate from? I feel that living in Cromwell has its limitations in terms of the events we are able to attend, and the play dates we could join in with. Those are about the only times I’m sad we are not living back in Auckland. Otherwise, I love what I can do with OMFD and I love what OMFD allows me to do all from home! :)

Where do you see yourself and OMFD in the next five years?
I haven’t had a chance to consider this because all I’ve got are short term goals for OMFD. I know that within the next year, I would like to move away from my full time job and focus on OMFD entirely. Beyond that, extending our OMFD family into Australia would be my only really set in stone five year goal. I would love to be able to see us neighbours bond through our love of OMFD and dogs in general. I guess it also depends on where we are at in regards to our family (more fur kids or real kids) and what other life goals we might have pop up outside of OMFD.

Now is your chance to ask either Lu, Tim or I (Morgan) a question that you have always wanted answered. Every question you ask us will go in the draw to win OMFD's limited edition 'Sit' shirt that you can see Lu wearing below! The more questions you ask, the more entries you get, they are unlimited! If someone has already asked that question, yours will not count for an entry, so make sure you are either first, or have quirky questions. You can send in these questions via Facebook, Instagram, or comments below. We will then be answering some of the questions live on Instagram on Saturday 28th of April at the Christchurch Pet Expo, and the remaining questions will go into my Christchurch Pet Expo vlog which will be live on Sunday 6th of May. The winner will be drawn then, and will need to get back to me as soon as possible so we can arrange the correct size of shirt


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