Founder and creator Amberly Preston donated time to PugHearts, Houston's Pug rescue, as a foster home. She fosters several dogs at once, and ran into a dilemma. "I would often find myself out of beds. Additionally males would come in either suffering from incontinence, not housebroken due to living in puppy mills or just naughty boys who need to mark," says Preston.
After shopping for expensive beds and belly bands that did not fit, Preston put her love of sewing to work and created her version of the raised bed, and built a better belly band. Word got out among the hundreds of fosters and adopters of PugHearts pugs, and Puggernauts was born.
Booming business led to another dilemma. Preston was accomplishing all of this on a balky, 32-year-old sewing machine. Additionally, it was often difficult to keep parts in stock, and less expensive to buy in bulk. It was time to upgrade operations, and this is where a nontraditional funding source like Kickstarter came into play.
Crowdfunding has been around for centuries, with large patrons and small subscribers donating to an artist for rewards, such as first releases. Kickstarter is an old idea with a new twist, where backers join creators to bring new projects into development. Family, friends and inspired strangers have pledged over $1 billion to over 60,000 projects to date.
"My hope is to raise enough to buy my new machine and have even more inventory on hand," says Preston. As much as 30 percent of her sales gets donated to PugHearts and "more sales equals more donations. I am also building memory foam beds for dogs with arthritis and other conditions."
The Puggernauts campaign will run for 30 days starting on July 10, 2014, with a goal of raising $2,000. You can find them on the web at http://puggernauts.com/
Visit their Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/