We had a chat with Kathryn from Chevalla Park to find out about her and the business.
Why did you start your business?
I started repairing horse rugs after being made redundant. I stepped sideways making dog coats especially for dachshunds, when I discovered that it was hard to find coats that fit properly. Pretty soon I had people asking me to design harnesses and other pet items. The business grew from there.
How long ago, and how?
I started Chevalla Park 5 years ago. My horse(harness racing), won a race at Newcastle Trots. I used the money to buy an industrial sewing machine and supplies.
What do you sell?
I sell collars, leads, harness, personalised horse gear, doggy car seats and carriers, pet decals and assorted pet related gift wear such as coffee mugs, shirts and glasses. All the items I sell are made, designed or printed by me. My dog coats are made to measure. My dog harness is my own design and was made to be comfortable, inescapable and fit any size dog. I designed a doggy car seat after I purchased one online for my dogs. I was so disappointed in the quality, I knew I could make a stronger and safer seat, so I did. I am also the only business in Australia to make and supply harnesses for pigs.
Where do you sell?
I have a Facebook page, Instagram page and a website. I advertise on Facebook on dog, horse and buy swap sell pages. I also have some of my items in shops and sell on commission.
Tell me about your own dogs - and are they involved in the business?
I have 3 dogs, two maltese, Polly and Dolly and a Border Collie, Shylo. I also have 3 retired standardbreds and a mini pony who is in her 30's. My horses and dogs all wear my gear and model for me. I use them to test new items also. If they aren't comfortable or something doesn't fit right, I go back to the drawing board and start again.
What's the best thing about what you do?
Probably the best thing is I get to stay at home with my furkids. The second would be the joy of helping people by making coats for difficult to fit dogs.
What was the last song that got stuck in your head?
My son has written a song and is in the process of recording. He has played it for me many times in the last few weeks so he can get my opinion on changes he has made. I guess that's why it is stuck in my head. It's called Lover of Mine.
What's the most recent photo on your phone?
My most recent photo on my phone is a PVC horse gear bag I recently finished for a customer. My phone is full of photos of my gear and my pets.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee with a dash of Salted Caramel syrup.
Thanks to Kathryn for sharing some interesting things about her business - who would have thought that people wanted harnesses for pigs!
If you are interested in seeing some of her work, her website is here