AN ELGIN seamstress who began a business selling dog coats has experienced a phenomenal first year in trade.
Aileen Perry made her first dog coat after getting fed up with continually having to wash Toto, her American Cocker Spaniel.
Friends at dog shows soon began asking her to make one to keep their pets warm and dry.
She received so many requests that she decided to set up K9 Clean Coats. Now the orders are coming in from as far afield as New Zealand and Canada.
Aileen (50) said: “It’s been incredible. I had absolutely no experience in business when I started.
“At first I was almost embarrassed to tell people I was selling the coats. But owners quickly began seeking me out.
“In fact, it’s all getting slightly out of hand now. I’m up at all hours dealing with the orders.
“I finally go to bed at night and in the morning there are another 30 new emails waiting for me.” Aileen has had to drastically scale back her hours as an administration secretary at Moray College. She’s also recently hired a seamstress – Fiona Purcell from Elgin – to help cope with the huge demand.
The coats cost, on average, £45 each. On Aileen’s website are details for owners on how to measure their dogs. Each coat is then made to fit each individual pet.
Speaking from the living-room of her home in Kyd Drive, which is crammed full of rolls of colourful materials, Aileen said: “Anyone who owns a hairy dog knows the problems involved.
“Toto would come back from a walk dripping wet and muddy.
“He’d also be shivering and I’d have to leave the heating on in the house while I went out to work.
“I only decided to make a coat for him myself after searching online and not being able to find anything suitable.
“The past 12 months have been amazing. I absolutely love what I’m doing. People love their pets and are so pleased when you can help them.
“I’ve never had a job where you get so much positive feedback.”