Art Teacher Creates Clothes for Pampered Pups

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business of the Day.

Small Business of the Day: Sophisticated Pup Fine Pet Products

Who: Michelle O'Hollaren, 32, @soph_pup

What: Clothes, toys, furniture and accessories for dogs

When: January 2006

How: O'Hollaren, who works as an art teacher in public schools, began designing clothes for her pug, Penny, while in graduate school in 2005.

"I was buying her clothes and thought, 'I can do this better.' So I started making her clothes, coats and dresses, and people told me I should try to sell them," she said. "I put one dress up on eBay and it sold right away, and the wheels started turning."

She started her site in 2006, and today sells online and to local independent pet stores in her area.

Where: Chicago, Ill.

Biggest lesson learned from a customer: "That they appreciate unique design and quality," O'Hollaren said. "They like to make their pets happy, and I try to make them different things than what is available out there. I also ensure they're made of high quality material, and not cheaply made like (items from) big box stores."

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