Inspired by the love of her own fur baby, Amy Fohr launched a company that creates custom apparel for pet parents to feature their own fur child. The e-commerce site is relatively new and Fohr is utilizing a business credit card to earn rewards while building the brand.
Pet parents rejoice: You can now bring your furry friend everywhere you go in the form of stylish and comfortable outerwear. Amy Fohr is the founder of Sweater Hound – a company that creates custom sweaters, hoodies, blankets and more that feature your fur baby.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Fohr was inspired to launch the e-commerce company in 2019 out of her love for animals – all while giving back to pets in need.
Sweater Hound has partnered with the San Francisco SPCA to donate a dog or cat toy for every sweater or hoodie sold. The company notes that while shelters often receive food or bedding, shelter animals often lack toys, which can help stave off loneliness and boredom.
With over 85 million pet owners in the U.S., Fohr is confident the company will be a successful enterprise. Her own love for her pet is what catapulted the company from idea to realization.
“Sweater Hound started out of my love for my dog, Harley,” says Fohr. “I wanted to share how cute he is by wearing him in a fun, cute way.”
The process is simple: Pet owners visit the Sweater Hound website, choose which item they’d like to feature their pet, upload a photo and then the company’s designers turn the picture into an artistic representation woven into said product.
No stranger to the retail clothing market, Fohr spent the last 15 years in product development and design for large department stores and a huge online retailer.
“As a former buyer for Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and, most recently, Stitch Fix, I spent my career developing and designing clothes for other people,” says Fohr. “I wanted to design something for myself, now, featuring my fur baby.”
Here’s how Fohr is getting this unique startup off the ground – including using a cash back credit card to avoid some “ruff” challenges.
See related: Eating your way through the East Bay
Sweater Hound is such a new company – have you experienced any hiccups yet?
Opening Sweater Hound was challenging. Making one-of-a-kind knits is difficult, specifically with the intricacies of the designs that I was doing. Finding the right partner was extremely important, as it was critical for the execution of my vision.
So far, though, the only surprises have been the excitement for my products! I loved creating them and was super excited that others loved receiving them as well.
How have credit cards fit into the business?
I have been using credit cards to cover my daily expenses – which has been great because I’ve been earning rewards from the card while growing my company.
I chose the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card from Chase (which offers 1.5% cash back on every business purchase) because I’m familiar with Chase credit cards. I have loved the company’s customer service, so it was a good fit. I use this credit card for all of my expenses – from paying for suppliers to advertising.
As an owner, what have you learned about using credit along the way?
I believe it’s important to use credit in responsible ways. You can do it by paying your bill when you should every month, tracking your expenses carefully during that time and making sure that your revenue growth is positive.
To avoid debt, your cash out should never exceed your cash in. I usually track my expenses on monthly basis, but sometimes I do it weekly so I can be sure I’m doing well.
Having good credit is important to me as a business owner. As I continue to grow my business, I want to ensure that I’m going in the right direction. As long as I’m profitable and my credit rating is positive, I know what I’m doing is working.
See related: How to build business credit
Any advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
I recommend that you always push for yourself. You have to make the hard decisions. No one is going to push harder for you than you.
The fact is, running your own business is extremely hard, but what drives me every day is the happiness my customers share with me. I love getting emails and pictures from them with their Sweater Hound items and telling me how meaningful they are for them.
I strongly believe in the philosophy, “Love what you do and never work a day in your life.” I absolutely love what I do, so I know I’m on the right path!