Hey! I’m Mairi, and welcome to the Stocky & Dee blog! In this blog I will be discussing all sorts of things such as life with a dog, whats going on in our studio and also starting, running and growing a small business. I’ll have guest writers such as dog trainers, dog walkers, owners of other brands that we love and even a word or two with our favourite 'Dog-fluencers.' Let's dive in with some details on our story so far….
Stocky & Dee began shortly after the arrival of our Olde English Bulldog Stella (now front and centre in our logo) in 2017. At the time I owned a gift shop in Royal Deeside called The Wee Boorachie where we sold lovely hand crafted gifts created by crafters in the UK. Stella was thrown straight into work by my side every day greeting customers, melting hearts and crying at my feet when she wanted cuddles (which is actually happening as I write this!).
Having graduated with a degree in textiles I had always been interested in design and before Stella I would create snoods, hats and scarves for my fellow humans. When Stella arrived, and after my husband began to moan that I was buying too much stuff for her, I started experimenting with dog collar designs. Stella was promoted from shop dog to product tester and would be dressed in a new collar almost daily. Family and friends began to request some collars when they saw Stella plodding about looking so fabulous and from there it began to grow.
While I still owned the shop, I setup a website for what was then called ‘Stella Accessories’ and I also started to attend craft fairs to sell my products having now added leads to my repertoire. Luckily these fairs would often be held at venues where dogs were allowed and it was so much fun having dogs try on different designs and colour combinations, appearing from the changing room each time to receive the much desired ‘Thats the one!’ The fairs were a great place to learn more about not only what my customers wanted, but also learn about the business and the world of dog accessories.
Up until early 2019 I still had the shop, and Stella Accessories was something I would do on the side, still ticking away with orders here and there and attending fairs but very little promotion and thoughts of growing the business. In December my husband and I decided to close the shop and move to Edinburgh, a few months after moving into our new home…..LOCKDOWN!
As we are both self employed, like many we were initially concerned with finances and what the plan was. To his credit, my husband very quickly said, ‘Let’s grow Stella Accessories!’, so we got to work. Lockdown and the horrible disease that prompted it was of course devastating (and still is) but for many, lockdown offered an unprecedented opportunity to do something new or create something special. Quite quickly we went from having too many hours in the day and not knowing what to do with them, to working from sun up to sun down trying to turn this brand into a business.
We’re delighted with the growth our company has seen this year, reaching milestones such as 1000 orders and 4000 units sold toward the end of last year. Stocky & Dee featured in many exciting publications, with the icing on the cake being a feature on This Morning in December. We have so many exciting plans for the future of the business and can’t wait to share them with you all!