Business Name: Oak n’ Bark Website: www.oaknbark.ca Established: September 2021 Questions answered by: Judy, ⅓ of Team Oak n’ Bark
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
We are a mother/daughter(s) team that hand sews all of our dog collars and bandanas. We also make small batch, hand-rolled dog treats & cookies and handmade dog shampoo bars.
We have recently expanded our product line to include lick mats, inkless paw print pads, leashes, and more!
With the Winnipeg local maker community continuing to grow, what is the most important thing you’d like potential customers of your company to know?
We are female-owned and operated, with the occasional help from Dad! Team Oak n’ Bark is so honoured to be part of the Winnipeg Maker Community and is passionate about being kind to the environment & others. We strive to build up and support other female entrepreneurs. We want to inspire others to follow their dreams, build successful businesses, and pay it forward.
What inspired you to start your business?
It all started with a howl! Another howl, some barking, and an extremely sick dog!
One of our dogs, Phoebe, has extreme allergies. After many sleepless nights, we discovered that many treats we had been giving her were making her sick. We sprung into action and decided to try curating recipes for treats that Phoebe could enjoy, but that our other dogs would love as well. After some trial and error, our treats were a hit! We had family members asking for them too! Hence – Oak n’ Bark was born!
We knew we needed more products to sustain our business, so went to work making prototypes for collars and bandanas! After a year of success, we have ventured out into more products, hoping to expand our customer base!
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
Knowing when to take risks has been a big obstacle. With three owners and very different opinions, it can be challenging. We have learned over the past year that clear communication can really solve most anything, and if that doesn’t work – Mom is always the tiebreaker!
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
We just took our biggest risk and had the biggest reward! We had to hold our breath and hope for the best after we decided to invest in more products for our business. This allowed us to get into more markets and take on our first wholesale orders!
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
We say do it! Find yourself a few friends that have succeeded with their products/businesses. Ask lots of questions and be open to feedback. Our best ideas are spurred by comments & feedback that we have received from customers and other makers!
Please share any upcoming events as well as the best place(s) for people to purchase your product!
We were happily busy at many markets over the holiday season. We are taking a break for January and then diving back in! We will post any future events on our social media.
In the meantime, we have our bandanas and collars at Georgina’s Sweets & Boutique @ 1783 Plessis Rd #12, our treats at Comb & Collar Dog grooming @ 1161 Henderson Hwy, and you can purchase products on our website.