Sophie Chesman is the inspiring founder and creative director of Pawsome Paws Boutique. Sophie’s inspiring journey started as side hustle in 2016 when she began developing the Pawsome Paws Boutique products and brand. Juggling a full-time job, late nights sewing dog accessories and weekend selling her range at Artisan Markets, Sophie eventually took the leap to give PPB her full attention. 6 years on, Pawsome Paws Boutique is thriving with 7 members of staff, a huge social media following and with the benefit of a 3000 square foot HQ in Leeds, Sophie’s creative and exceptional quality dog accessories are being shipped all over the world.
While they could rely on loyal customers through direct sales, and their strong community of followers, Pawsome Paw Boutique knew that getting into retail was always going to be the next step of their growth journey. With little contacts in the Pet industry and looking for a way to get the attention of pet retailers, the Huddle events powered by Product Guru presented the perfect opportunity to get facetime with leading pet retailers.
Huddle powered by Product Guru is a one-day event which have a strong focus on curated meet-ups, brands have eight minutes to engage with every buyer from the retailer panel. “The Huddle was a big learning curve for us, it got us in front of people and a variety of buyers. It gave us a good experience of dealing with different types of retailers (within Pet). It was quicker to have those 8-minute meetings and then follow-up after. Unlike emails, Huddles gave us 8 minutes and face-to-face conversation. It was a casual conversation and got easier as the day goes on.” said Jason Chesman, Managing Director at Pawsome Paws Boutique.
The inaugural Pet Huddle hosted in Birmingham in March 2022 has been pivotal for the continued growth of Pawsome Paws Boutique, that led to securing ‘dream’ listings for Jason Chesman and his team.
“Huddles was a great experience for brand and buyer alike. John Lewis was introduced to us at Huddles, the working relationship was made then and there on the day. All the conference calls after were a lot less formal. Huddles made developing our relationship a lot easier and helped us understand exactly what they wanted. Bents was a new introduction as well, they actually followed up with a site visit to our office! Huddles helped us strengthen our relationship with Pets at Home and forge a relationship with their innovation manager, which helped us get a listing.”
Melanie Sykes, buyer at Bents Garden centres was left impressed by the Yorkshire brand at the Product Guru’s event.
“We were on the lookout for something new and exciting to add to our current leads & collars range. Here at Bents, we love to champion independent, local businesses so when we came across Sophie & Jay’s brand, PPB, we thought it would be a perfect fit! We love the fun and colorful designs and think they are a great addition to our dedicated pet store. We found working with Sophie, Jay, and the rest of PPB team a lovely experience and we’re excited to see what the future brings for Bents and PPB.”
Jason is projecting exciting developments ahead: “We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved in 2022 and can’t wait to see what 2023 brings us. We’re going from strength to strength with our current retailer partnerships, with John Lewis allocating us more stores for this year’s spring-summer exclusive collection.”
We are so excited to coming back at the Pet Huddle, this January in Manchester to meet with new pet retailers and strengthened our relationships with our current partners. We love the informal format of the event that facilitates down to earth conversations with buyers. It will also be the opportunity for us to introduce our exclusive new homeware range with our distribution partner Captivate Brands to the panel of retailers ahead of our official launch in February.”
The sold-out Pet Huddle will take place in Manchester on 26th January with an exclusive panel of Pet retailers including the likes of Jollyes, John Lewis, Wilko, B&M, Farm & Pet Place, and new retailers joining this year including The Range, Morrisons, Asda and TK Maxx. This would be a new opportunity for pet challenger brands to impress the buyers during the one-day speed dating event.
Simon Coyle, CEO at Product Guru commented: “We are ecstatic to see the continued success of our hybrid events, as it shows our disruptive event format is the perfect stage for challenger brands to have meaningful interactions with retailers. The magic happens at Huddle, and we look forward to supporting our brands at this year’s events. We never get tired from receiving positive news from brands and buyers who join our Huddles!”