Did you know that we have been featured on the Today Show with Katie Couric, VH-1,
Access Hollywood, HGTV, WTTO, and KTLA News in Los Angeles? We've even been seen in
"New York Dog", "In Touch", and "Alabama aLive" magazines, as well as The Birmingham News,
and several other major metropolitan news papers. It seems we've been getting around the
block these days…
The Cullman Times, January '04
Prestigious Pets gets to show off doggy fashions on national TV
When Lisa Fuller heard what the women on the other end
of the phone line had to say Jan. 6, she thought it must be
How could a woman from New York representing
the "Today" show have pinpointed a pet fashion store in
Cullman for a segment on the latest trends in doggy
Since she received the call while her boss,
Melody Basch, owner of Prestigious Pets in downtown
Cullman, was out of town, Fuller called Basch to see what
she thought about it all.
"I wasn't sure it was legit," Basch
said. She had her son look up the address which
Prestigious Pets was asked to send merchandise for the
show to borrow. Sure enough, it was the real deal.On Monday Katie Couric, with her dogs Maisy and Archie in tow, showed off a table full of items around the country designed just for her pooches. Among them were slide collars from Prestigious Pets that spelled out the names of Couric's dogs in jeweled letters. Couric told viewers the collars are available on the Web site
The results were immediate-that day, the store's Web site had three times more hits than on the busiest day prior to that.
The site has been a steady source of increasing business since Prestigious Pets, a 14-year fixture in Cullman, rolled it out a year and a half ago. Designed by Lisa Jones of Southern Web Weavers in Cullman, the Web site features products and services available at Prestigious Pets, as well as a newsletter and tips.
Basch said Internet sales doubled last year from the previous year, and January sales already are a quarter of the sales for all of 2003.
While not everything that is available at the Cullman stores is available online, a catalog of items available for shipping include coats and sweaters, luxury dog beds sold under the name Funky Fido & Company, a variety of collars, toys and bowls. A line of eyewear called "doggles" help protect dogs' eyes during activities such as hanging their heads out of the car while riding.
Top sellers on the site include the collar Couric featured; the "Fido Float," a life jacket for dogs that sells especially well in the summer; and raincoats. In one week, Prestigious Pets sold 12 raincoats to California customers.
Basch said the hands-off nature of Internet sales is an advantage, and one that local businesses increasingly are discovering.
"We don't have to be there to sell," she said. "We can groom dogs all day, then go back, check our orders and pack them."
Overheard must be considered when starting Internet sales, she said. The site must recoup the initial cost of designing the Web site, buying a spot on the Web and paying for use of a secure site for credit card orders.
It is important, Bash said, to check the site every day for orders and ship those out promptly. Just like at a physical store, the retailer should be able to close out on items that do not sell and deal with returns.
Despite the success of the Prestigious Pets Web site, Basch does not look to expanding the site or making it the primary source of her business.
"Our main objective is to be able to control our growth," Basch said.
"And be on the Sharon Osbourne show," Fuller added, laughing.
- As seen in The Cullman Times; article by Rebekah Davis
inTouch magazine, May '04
Insert from "The 10 Most Pampered Pooches in Hollywood"
When you're Paris Holton's teacup Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, size doesn't matter. As the most
glamorous pet in Hollywood, she is a three-pound fashion powerhouse. Thanks to Paris, 23,
Tink has a closet full of designer doggie duds, including Chanel outfits, $100 Ralph Lauren
cashmere sweaters and other such high-priced goodies as a $450 dog carrier, $50 cotton doggie
tees and a$15 stuffed Chihuahua plush toy from LA's Fifi & Romeo, Hollywood's premier pet
clothier. Tinkerbell also rides in a $1,500 Louis Buitton pet carrier that Paris purchased
for her for the first installment of The Simple Life. Tink also enjoys a regular regimen of
beauty and relacation. At Hollydood Hounds, she receives a grooming package ($30 per visit)
and naps after a long day on her Funky Fido and Company custom-designed bed
($900, funkyfidoandcompany.com). Now, that's the good life!
- As seen in inTouch weekly
The Birmingham News, May '05
Pet beds let sleeping dogs lie in style
Tinkerbell Hilton and a few other celerity pooches are sleeping in style these days thanks to melody Basch and Lisa Fuller.
The two Cullman women own Funky Fido and Company, which makes and sells a line of trendy and pricey pet beds to meet the growing demand for pampering pets.
"It's vogue. It's the thing to do," Basch said of the pampered pet market.
Celebrities who have led this recent awakening-including Paris Hilton and Tori Spelling-are customers of Funky Fido and Company.
Funky Fido and Company's wooden Bunkie Bed, which comes in three sizes, features a pull-out drawer that can serves a second bed. The drawer also can be used for pet toys, or by pulling it out and placing a board over it as a step for older pets that can no longer jump.
The company's wrought iron beds are available in two sizes and four styles for dogs and cats. They can be customized with painting, fabric and ruffles to match a client's home décor.
Prices up to $2,549
So far the company has sold more than 20 of the beds that range in price from $499 for a small wrought iron bed up to $2,549 for a large Bunkie Bed.
Thanks in part to the attention to celebrity pets, pet pampering has become big business. This year, Americans are expected to spend $35.9 billion on everything from food and veterinary care to toys for their pets, according to estimates released in March by the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association.
Pet pampering-from glitzy collars to clothes-has been on the upswing over the past five years, Basch said.
But celebrities like Hilton have made it more acceptable and even fashionable to openly show affection for pets, Basch and Fuller said.
"They said 'I can do that now. People won't think I'm crazy,'" Fuller said.
Basch and Fuller operate Funky Fido and Company out of Basch's Prestigious Pets shop in downtown Cullman. Basch began Prestigious Pets as a dog grooming shop 19 years ago.
Over the years she added pet supplies and trendy items that aren't sold in large pet stores. The shop, which has pet lodging and day care, also offers pet clothing-from wedding dresses and ring bearer outfits to prom dresses. Other items include pet life jackets and bejeweled collars.
Basch got the ides for the beds in September 2002 as she remodeled some in her home. She wanted her three dogs' beds to match her new African décor.
Basch asked a Cullman area furniture maker to build the bed. Fuller was an artist who worked for that company.
"I just turned it over to her to come up with the art design," Basch said. "After we got it finished everybody just oohed and aahed and squealed."
Fuller had also designed a wrought iron pet bed for her dog after that first Out of Africa Bed.
"I didn't want a big heavy bed. I wanted something a little more petite," Fuller said.
Basch and Fuller agreed in April 2003 to partner in a company to build the beds. Fuller's husband now constructs the beds.
Prestigious Pets garnered national in January 2004, when NBC's "Today Show" requested some of the pet items the company sells for a segment on trendy items. Although the beds weren't mentioned or shown in the segment, other items were; hits to the shop's web site soared in the following weeks, Bash said.
The women also got a call asking if they would participate in the April 2004 Silver Spoons Dog and Baby Buffet, a private pet show for celebrities in California.
Three of seven beds built for the show were custom pre-ordered beds for celebrities' dogs-Holton's dog Tinkerbell, Nicole Ritchie's dog Honey, as well as Rachel Hunter's dog.
After the celebrity pet show, the company filled an order for a white wedding bed for Tori Spelling's dog Mimi.
Funky Fido and Co. has gotten the most attention from Tinkerbell's bed. A picture of the pink bed-with its puffy headboard-was featured last year "In Touch" magazine in a story listing toe top 10 celebrity pets. Tinkerbell was No. 1.
Funky Fido also created a dressing table to hold Tinkerbell's many collars and accessories.
Even though the beds have a famous following, Prestigious Pets' target audience is college students, newly married couples and empty nesters, Basch said. Truck drivers who carry small dogs on the road also are clients of Prestigious Pets.
"I've had them skip a load to get their dog groomed," Basch said.
- As seen in The Birmingham News; article by Kent Faulk
DogFancy, April '06
Luxury Unleased, Sleeping in Style
“That’s hot.” I’m talking about Nicole Richie, of course. The socialite turned super-celebrity has written The Truth About Diamonds (Regan Books, 2005, $23.95), a book about growing up as a Hollywood wild child; is starring in a movie, Kids in America; releasing an R&B album; and developing a sitcom loosely based on her life. Despite her jam-packed schedule, Richie always manages to make time for her two favorite companions, Shih Tzu Honey Child and Pomeranian Fox Brown. Unlike Tinkerbell Hilton, these pups never make headlines by disappearing or biting morning show producers. I attribute their good behavior to being socialized, exercised, and especially well-rested.
Richie lovers her dogs so much that she enlisted Alabama’s Funky Fido and Company to create a miniature version of her bedroom set, so the pampered pooches could sleep in style. Honey and Foxy get their beauty sleep in a trundle bed with a bottom drawer that stores their toys and clothes. And of course, the bed comes dressed with luxurious linens and pillows.
To ensure a good night’s sleep for your dog, buy a comfortable bed. Before you shop, consider these questions: Where will the bed be used – at home, outdoors, or for travel? What size is your dog? How does she sleep – curled up, lying straight out? What does she do before she lies down – circle, dig, of just flop down? If she circles, a round bed will suit her best. If he digs, buy a bed with an even distribution of poly fill, so the filling doesn’t bunch up. If she just flops down, a rectangular bed may be the best choice.
How old is your dog and is she in good health? Orthopedic beds help cushion bones and joints for senior and overweight dogs.
Also consider your dog’s breed and preferences. Toy breeds enjoy nestling beds with height walls the can sink into for comfort, security, and warmth. Larger dogs like to stretch out and lounge on rectangular beds. Terriers love to burrow and sleep with their head cradled, so try a donut bed for them.
Practical makes perfect. Made from super-soft microsuede, the machine-washable Haute Pooch Reversible Bed can compliment your mood and your Décor. Two fabrics allow you to switch in a matter of seconds. The removable cushion is also reversible and can be used alone for traveling. www.hautepooch.com
Hide and seek. If space is a concern or you don’t want a pet bed lying in the middle of the floor, consider the stylish Pet Murphy Bed by Midnight Pass. Made from rubber tree wood, the bed is available in three finishes. Close it up when guests arrive, and they’ll never guess it’s a dog bed. www.midnightpass.com
Flower Power. Haute Diggity Dog did it again. The Barkswagon is a throwback to the 1960s Volkswagen bug, complete with a flower power emblem on the side. The 30-inch long pink “car” is lined in gray fabric and comes with a daisy flower toy. Consider the dog bed – available in April – a plush drive to pleasant dreams. www.hautediggitydog.com
Modern art. Jax and Bones’ beautiful cashmere dog bed also hits shelves in April. This luxurious sleeper is filled with ply fibers and down feathers. www.jaxandbones.com
The great outdoors. Need an outdoor bed for your beach house? Veterinary chiropractors helped create Eloise’s durable, outdoor-friendly bed pillows. They’re square, come in three sizes, are made of Sunbrella fabric, and cane be easily cleaned with a hose. The machine-washable pillow insert is made from a cotton-poly fill. The Newport Beach bed comes in a blue, green, and pink pattern, while the Old Cape Cod fabric is red, yellow, and orange. www.eloiseinc.com
Purchase a bed for your dog like you would for yourself. Consider quality, comfort, and, of course, style.
- As seen in DogFancy, Haute Dog; by Charlotte Reed