Pawprint Chats is a series where we chat with our friends, clients, and peers in our local Colorado community. It’s a chance to check in and see how everyone’s doing, in business and in life.
Today we’re talking to Debra Mastic of The Pugly Company, Inc., which is most well-known for the Fluff Trough — an ingenious dog bowl for flat-faced dog breeds. When her pug Pork Chop was diagnosed with balance issues, she used a 3D printer to design a better feeding solution for him. Now her product is a best-seller among flat-faced and special needs pets nationwide.
YellowDog: Hello! Give us the “elevator pitch” version of what your business does.
Debra Mastic: The Pugly Company Inc. creates transformative and hiqh-quality pet products and experiences. Our core product is a patented elevated pet feeder with interchangeable inserts called a Fluff Trough and has been featured in Modern Dog Magazine as an ingenious solution to dog-life problems.
YD: What has been your biggest win in the past year?
DM: Being named the Best Overall Dog Bowl by Spruce Pets.
YD: This past year has been a learning experience for everyone. Anything you’ve learned about your business during a pandemic?
DM: I’ve learned how important contingency planning is when you are dealing with something unprecedented like COVID-19. I also learned how to have open communication with my customers regarding the challenges I was experiencing as a business to better manage expectations and disappointments.
YD: What has been one of your proudest moments as a local business owner?
DM: Being able to provide local jobs with flexibility and great company culture!
YD: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about your business, what would it be?
DM: I wish our product was smaller so it was cheaper to ship and easier to store and transport!
YD: Describe your brand in three words.
DM: Fun, Quality, Healthy
YD: Love it! Not for some rapid-fire questions:
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Favorite local beer?
I don’t drink.
What’s your best party trick?
I can ride an electric unicycle.
What show are you currently binging?
Crime Scene Kitchen.
Any book you’re currently reading?
A Dog’s Courage, by Bruce Cameron.
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
Traveling to see friends and family.
YD: Thanks Deb! It’s always a pleasure to work with dog businesses and learn more about what you do. Keep sending your print needs our way!
We’re always looking for business peers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!
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