Today we’d like to introduce you to Bethany Rathman.
Bethany, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The idea for B&B Kustom Kennels® took shape after owners Brody & Bethany Rathman adopted their eight month-old Labradoodles Gracie & Pyper in 2015.The couple quickly realized that they could not leave their canine companions in the house all day while at work. After destroyed drywall, chewed shoes, and frayed rugs, it was evident that they could also not leave them inside unattended all day either.
With an eye for detail and design, Bethany had come to loathe the common, ugly wire kennels they had succumbed to using for Pyper and Gracie. They were too bulky, too dirty, an eye sore never meant for the inside of a home. After failing to find a more functional and attractive option, Brody and Bethany decided to create one for themselves.
Brody crafted the kennel to their pups’ specific needs, but the Rathmans were shocked when their friends and community began asking if they took customized orders. After two pictures went viral on Facebook in 2015 and 2106 reaching 8 million people each the Rathmans knew they had a business. Who knew there would be such a demand for well-made designer wood dog crates? Bethany and Brody realized that dog kennels are not necessarily one-size-fits-all, nor are they one-style-fits-all. With the creation of B&B Kustom Kennels, the Rathmans are giving dog owners everywhere the opportunity to customize their pet’s home to exact specifications and preferences. In the years since, Brody & Bethany have added to their line of inventive products, including Doggie Loungers and kennels of every shape, size, and color—perfect for the breeds and homes we love.
Has it been a smooth road?
In short, building our brand and story has not been smooth, but the challenges have made us who we are! We started off in our garage and basement building kennels in 450 square feet. Our first year in business was 2016. To gain exposure we drove to pet expos across the country in Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas and Denver. The road trips were fun, but exhausting! We were both working two jobs for months until we finally took the leap and went all in on our new business. Brody quit his corporate desk job to build kennels and run our company full time. I was teaching full time and coaching varsity volleyball and I eventually had to step down from coaching and go to part time teaching. At one point in the first year we had two employees living upstairs in our home and we were building kennels in our basement. At least we all had a short commute to work!! Our business was growing, and our neighbors were getting sick of semi-trucks delivering to our house twice a week, so we had to make the decision to expand out of our house. The real estate market was tough in Colorado, but we had the option to build a new shop on my parents’ property. This was supposed to be a perfect transition and solution, but halfway through the building process of our new shop, our contractor walked off the job. We had metal framing but no walls, and at this point our home/business/shop was already sold. Finding a contractor who wants to pick up in the middle of a project is tough, but we found a local company and they came in and finished our building for us. Our final inspection just so happened to be on the same day that we had to be out of our house. We will never forget that day as we had moving trucks loaded with all our personal belongings as well as tools and kennel parts! Not exactly the smooth expansion we were looking for, but it gives us a great story to look back on. Since February of 2017, our shop has been stable and making quality hand-built kennels. We have a great group of carpenters who work side by side with Brody every day. Eventually we would like to get into a bigger space again for us to potentially build kennels faster. We are in no rush and want to make sure we make the move right and continue to focus on the quality of our products!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We make custom kennels for dogs all around the country! We are really proud of the product we create. We have amazing reviews and great customer service. We own five registered trademarks including “Wire kennels are ugly” and “Doggie Den”. We have four design patents and two utility patents close to issuing. We have been featured on HGTV, The Washington post, country living and good morning Arizona.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Colorado is an amazing state to do business in. Our shop is a little on the outskirts of town so we would eventually like to be closer to Colorado Springs or a bigger city. Besides the unpredictable snowstorms, we love being able to look out the window of our building and see the mountains!
- Website: https://bbkustomkennels.com/
- Phone: 719-502-5480
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: bbkustomkennels
- Facebook: B&B Kustom Kennels
- Other: Pinterest B&B Kustom Kennels