Jasper Swag creates hands-free bags to hold treats, toys, water, keys, phones, clean-up bags, and more during your walks, hikes, and other adventures with your dog. Jasper Swag was created by Jasper the Golden Doodle, and his dog mom Tricia, who live in Canada and are active on Instagram as @jasper_goldendoodle. They are part of the international Instagram (IG) family of doodles and other dogs known as #weareigfamily, which is how I was introduced online to Jasper. I had the pleasure of meeting Tricia last year while she was in San Diego helping to organize the surprise memorial bench at Nate’s Point Dog Park for Tucker Doodle’s dad. (Unfortunately, Jasper had to stay home for that trip, so I haven’t met him…yet!)
I own a Jasper Swag Bag Mini and highly recommend it, it has both a belt and a shoulder strap for several carrying options. I recommend these bags for pet photographers as well, the drawstring at the top keeps sneaky dogs from stealing treats (literally) behind your back and keeps treats from falling out as you bend over, plus there is plenty of room and pockets for small squeakers, phones, many ziploc bags of different treats, and the other tools of the trade…it’s much better than the small clip-on bags usually seen at pet stores!
Tricia was kind enough to answer a few questions, thank you Jasper for letting her spend some time on the computer instead of walking with you!
What inspired you to create Jasper Swag bags? When did it start? Why are they super awesome?
Jasper Swag started through Instagram. I wanted to start a new business in the pet industry. I created two market groups from my followers and asked them what product was missing from the pet industry. What couldn’t they buy or easily access?
What came out of both groups (fully independent from each other) was a bag to carry your gear while walking your dog. Interestingly enough, when I did the research, there were hardly any products in the marketplace. On top of that I had been searching for a bag myself and had no luck finding something that would work. Jasper Swag Dog Walking Bags was born. It all started in January 2016.
Jasper Swag Dog Walking Bags are super awesome because they are truly designed by dog owners. Every feature of the bags was discussed with dog owners. I created the bags paying close attention to what people wanted while out walking their dogs. Many people have said to me, you’ve thought of everything. I really tried. The bags are super functional yet attractive.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
Making people happy. Providing a product that improves people’s lives. I love hearing how happy people are when they are out with their dogs. It is just so great.
Also, working from home. I love being able to run my own business from my home. Just the way I want to live my life.
Would you like to tell any stories about your favorite dog clients, funny dog things that may have happened when you and Jasper are out with your bags, momentous occasions, etc?
The best story I can think of happened on Instagram. When I launched the Gulp & Go Collapsible Foldable Travel Bowl, I sent a few out to friends as a thank you. I did not ask for anything in return and had no expectation of anything other than possibly a thank you. Well @rosiewiththorns created a Gulp & Go Chapeau campaign, wearing the bowl as a hat. It was so amazing and funny. She posted 4 beautiful pics with the best story. Then of course others jumped in and started posting pics as well. They started competing and one upping one another. As a result, I added a Gulp & Go sale to my website. It was fun.
What are your plans for 2017, anything new we’d like to know about, in regards to your business?
In 2017, I am making changes to the mainstay, the On the Fly Jasper Swag Dog Walking Bag. I have never been happy with the way the side pockets turned out on the original bag so I came up with a solution. The new sides of the bag are even better and I think people will be very pleased. On top of that, I made a colour change. I can’t wait to get the new bags.
I am also expanding and getting bags out to boutique pet retail outlets. I want to extend my reach and get bags out where they are readily accessible.
I’d love to start offering snow boots for dogs too. I’m not sure it will happen in 2017 but I have my fingers crossed that I can make it happen.
Tell me about your pets!
Jasper is a 3 year Goldendoodle. He is super smart, lots of fun and full of energy. He loves new adventures like snow shoeing, cross country skiing, swimming, running, obedience, scent training and traveling. He is very curious and loves to be both physically and mentally challenged. Keeping up with him can be a bit of work. He is loving and affectionate but has a streak of mischief that keeps us on our toes.
What is your favorite thing to do or place to go with your dogs?
Anything outdoors. We love to run, snowshoe, cross country ski, swim, paddleboard, spend time at the beach, hiking, etc. He loves going to new places and exploring.
How has social media helped your business, and do you have advice for other businesses about using Instagram?
Social media is my business. Without Instagram I would not be in business. It was my Instagram followers that got me going and it has been them that have supported me throughout. The majority of my sales have happened through Instagram referrals.
I am not an expert on marketing through Instagram. Truly, I feel I got quite lucky in how things worked out. I started out with an account for my dog because I liked to take photos and I needed something to do at 5 am when he woke me up. It grew and grew much to my surprise. I developed great relationships with many of my followers and it lead me to start Jasper Swag. On top of that my followers have purchased from me and loved my bags. I guess at the end of the day, it is all about relationships. It is true “social” media. Be authentic.
Thanks again, Tricia and Jasper!
Photos courtesy of Jasper Swag.
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