Episode 5 – Corey Abramowitz: BarkYours

Corey Abramowitz

 

BarkYours is a dog-themed marketplace showcasing artists & creatives of dog-inspired clothing, crafts & art. People inspired by their dogs are creating artsy, craftsy unique gifts because of them.

Alongside his wife, Corey started Bark Yours, which has evolved from being a marketplace for dog-inspired gifts for humans to now an online shop that sells items for dogs as well. Their goal is to sponsor and donate to organizations that they believe are making a positive and meaningful difference for dogs.

 

Find the pawfect gift for your dog-loving friends or yourself on Bark Yours:

BarkYours website: BarkYours.com

 

Follow Bark Yours on social media:

Facebook: Facebook.com/BarkYours

Instagram: Instagram.com/BarkYours

Twitter: Twitter.com/BarkYours

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/BarkYours


My name is Corey, and welcome to the Animal Innovations show.

You’ve turned into the animal innovation show, where we feature people, products, services and ideas that are helping animals. And the people who care for them live better lives if it’s innovative, and if it helps animals, you can find it here first. So get ready. Here comes this week’s newest innovation for animals.

All right, well, Corey, I’m so glad you came on today. Thanks for being here.

No, thanks, Chris. I appreciate it. So why don’t you tell us about you and how you’re innovating and helping animals?

So I’m an entrepreneur by nature. I’ve I’ve created a couple of different businesses. My background was mainly in technology, recruiting still is. I’ve been doing that for quite some time, but differently. I’m a dog lover. I’m a dog dad. I’m proponent of all sorts of dog issues. And so with that, I wanted to combine all those passions and bring together something that I kind of knew a little bit about. And so, in talking to people, it was sort of what is an issue that’s happening? My family and I started going to dog events more and more and more the people who are so creative and eventually a marketplace was inspired, and we decided to sort of take a niche, which is the dog-themed world, and sort of have people who create, you know, clothing, crafts, and artwork. All it’s by the dogs are all artists. They’re all creatives, and they list their collections and their artwork and their clothes and on BarkYours. That’s sort of how that happened.

That’s really super cool. Like you said, it’s all about dogs, right? It’s crafts and it’s all the people. So you’re providing the platform, then that’s exactly that. These creators, that’s exactly it’s always a matter of. How do you make it easy for people to list their items to sort of create their own little storefront and to, you know, show people what they do? And then also to try to make it easy enough for buyers to come in and just kind of by took a look around and to see?

I’m hoping that you know which there’s, a lot of people who look at it, that it just makes people happy to see that kind of creativity that are out there. Everybody is passionate about that dog. Certainly if you have a dog. Certainly, dog inspired gifts are the best gifts to me. I mean, if you saw my desk I have on my mouse pad on, you know, it’s pretty much everything here, So I mean, these are the best gifts, and and I’m happy that this sort of came about where people were able to use the platform for their art.

Now, when did you launch this? Launched? Probably around the holiday season of 2018, 2019 around that area is when it kind of just started. Kind of moving along. Not so much at a snail’s pace, but kind of taking on a little bit of steam. And then how would you see in the growth of the platform? And it’s what, almost two years? It’ll be right like next month. Yeah. Wow. Happy anniversary to BarkYours. It went from ah, lot of trying to get people because, you know you know, marketplaces. It’s sort of a Catch 22. You want people who are on it. You want people who know about it who keep coming back to it. I mean, you know, technical marketplaces are somewhat complex. So it was started off with just a few people putting their collections on. And then now it’s more than 55 artists and creatives that are on there. So from that perspective, it’s done pretty well. We grew as far as it used to be. A dog gifts for humans. So it was fun. T shirts, clay wine stoppers like your dog and, you know, purses and bags and so on to dog crafts. So collars and tags and so on. And then we just expanded to food treats. So it grew in that in that regard.

Yeah, I found it because when I was out there, I find it really interesting. And there’s home decor things. I mean everything from coffee mugs, two things you can hang on the wall, too, you know anything with pictures and custom pet portrait. And I mean, there’s so many things that I never knew existed. It’s like the perfect place to go to buy a gift for a dog lover, right to either remember a pet that they had, or even just to inspire them to get another one. Yeah, I completely agree. That was the whole purpose of it is just, you know, people who love that sort of background who loved between antiques of crafts. I mean, it’s all handcrafted stuff, and it’s all people who I mean. A lot of these artists are working out of their home, especially during Covid. You know, a lot of new home-based businesses were created, and so you know, it’s nice to meet entrepreneurs who are looking to just expand either side jobs or they just need some creativity. And this is their outlet. It’s their dog that ultimately inspired them to create artwork. And I think it’s great. I mean, I speak to so many of these people, and I think that they’re all just wonderful. Dog owners are wonderful. Going to these dog events was wonderful. These people who create it’s just a great experience watching people how happy they are talking about their own products.

One of things I know I said to you before we came on here was that I really appreciate the fact that you’re also doing what you can to support rescues and shelters. I mean, tell us a little bit about that. It’s easy to give when you’re in this field when you’re inside of a dog-themed world and just be a part of the culture and your meeting, other people who just are around it all the time. And so everybody gets the charity. I think that’s fantastic. And there’s a lot of great charities in New York. There’s a lot of young charities who I didn’t know. And when you start getting sort of immersed in that culture, you kind of learn all these people and how hard they work and how dedicated they are. So BarkYours is happy to get back as we grow, the charity component will certainly be larger, and we’re trying to figure out how to structure it appropriately. But it’s not only just, you know, the dog artists that are giving because most of them do, but it’s it’s bark. Yours is a platform is a huge goal in sort of bringing this to the next generation of how BarkYours works. So you know, we give and we try to do whatever we can because it’s one you should and to you start meeting so many people who do that and you become inspired by that whole world you become sort of knowledgeable in what’s going on and with that said, You know, if if we can, we do. So that was the goal. And again, my next generation, which I’m trying to figure out, is how to really structure it. So it’s something that’s automated. Currently, we have pick your charity right in a charity that there’s, Ah, a couple of different ways to go about it. The artists can pick their own charity. We’re trying to figure out next steps of how to make that a little bit easier, a little bit more fluid.

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That’s really cool. I like that idea. And I’m like you. I’m alright. I appreciate people that want to give back and help people and help animals and all that kind of stuff. So kudos to you for doing that. So what’s your vision fo BarkYours? Where you going to take it. I like it to be the go-to. You know, if you’re looking for a dog-inspired gift, why not come here? I mean, everything is one. I think that all of these everything the prices is right. There’s so many different levels of you know what you can purchase. Artists are all across the country, a couple of global. It’s a marketplace that sort of, you know, we took a niche out. It’s sort of just focused on one direct creative passion and cause. So that would be the goal is that if you’re going to look for a dog gift, let BarkYours be part of the strategy of how you’re going to buy a gift and he plans to do a Meow yours? You know, first cat lovers to Yes. Okay, Yeah. He’s gonna said nothing wrong with dogs, right? But give a shout out to the cats as well. Yeah, we talked about it all the time, and I get asked that question all the time and definitely, I just need this to sort of walk a little bit. You know, new businesses, as you know, is never easy. I sort of you know, it doesn’t happen overnight, and this so far is you know, it’s a lot between and trying to get the word out and trying to have people trust the site and have it be that go to its, ah, big endeavor.

Yeah. I mean, they always say overnight success takes about 7 to 10 years. So yeah, so we’re not there yet, but it’s like it’s the weight of trying to figure out how to market every artist individually and make sure that they’re comfortable with their products being on your platform. I mean, that’s the big deal. If someone’s taking time to upload what they create, I want to make sure that it’s in the best light and people like it, and it’s being seen enough by as many dog lovers as possible. That’s important now. What’s your background Corey? Have you always been a technology guy? E-commerce guy? I mean, tell us a little bit about you. Post-college. I got a job. Is a technology recruiter on it. I never stopped. I find technical people jobs. Interesting to like developer type people, designers like I mean, when you say technical, how broad does it go broad, from infrastructure to applications, applications that span across anything. You know, that comes up mainly within the field of financial services and those sorts of business verticals. But I have been in other business verticals too, but I mean, it’s great. I mean again, here’s another situation where I’m the platform for, you know, people looking for jobs to those that are people that need those people. You know, it’s always been that kind of middle man approach is where I was and technologies fantastic. It grows by, you know, from what it was when I first started. I mean, I cannot believe it if you just sit down for an hour and just think about how far it’s come. It’s unreal, so it always changes, and therefore it keeps things very, very interesting and meeting new people. And being I’m in New York, there’s a lot of, you know, people coming here to look for technical jobs. So you meet new people all the time. I love that.

That’s really cool. So you’re like me, right? You work the day job, and then you work the evening job is well right? Yes. When is the passion? Yeah, and it’s a lot becomes a 24 hour a day. Then that’s fine. Let it be that for as long as it needs to be. Yeah. So, you know, I’m curious. I mean, is there anybody along the way that’s really helped you or anything you’ve learned along the way? Yeah, I think that one, you know, this was co-founded at the time with my wife. So she is a very macro person who kind of helped with the workflow so much to create what it looks like today, which is, you know, I think the site is great, but I think that she pushes quite a bit and I think that’s great. I think I need that. I sort of need the focus and you know so she is definitely family artists locally. I know a T-shirt designer who is on this site whose dog-inspired and amazing T-shirts. So all these things were just, you know, people who focus you and kind of push you along and say, you know, that’s a great idea. Why don’t you put that into it? And I think those are the sorts of people that I appreciate that helped.

Yeah. Have you ever done a website before? You started this? Just my own personal, you know, technical recruiting type websites. Nothing. Nothing of this large scale. Nothing of the marketplace with payment structures and uploads and messaging areas. Like, I’ve never done that. No, that was a new thing. You know, Websites. WordPress stuff. You know, single-page scroll up and down. And this is obviously a lot more than just a static WordPress site. Yes, yes. This is definitely a big change. So worth doing. I tell everybody that they should be, especially if you’re a more transactional professional to be creative to, have an outlet. You know, I think that just it just helps you. I think on a data focus on a day job or whatever you need to focus on. I think creativity is very important. I’m learning that more and more by the artists that I’m currently meeting, where they kind of you similar things where they have day jobs and they’re creating because they just need to work with their hands and or make T-shirts or whatever it is.

So, Corey, what did you learn about yourself along the way? I think that I had a lot of time to do this. I’m like, Wow, there’s a plus between walking a dog and there’s a family and kids and there’s like a lot who knew this takes a lot of time. Who knew? I learned how to structure. I think the organizational aspect. I think I’m pretty good at learning not just about myself more broadly about, you know, social media, things like that. Just, you know, I’m learning how to really create more on a, creative scale, and I haven’t done that before. Usually, I mean, you could imagine recruiting is is very interview ish and, you know, it’s phones and emails. This is really kind of listening, Thio. The passions of people and trying, you know, creating a site that kind of manages that for them. And I think it just it just changes a little bit. It just it’s a little bit different than what I was used to beforehand. I didn’t know how different it would be until I started. I thought I could do thoughtful marketing campaigns and kind of move that along, and it sort of changed a little bit. It’s a lot to get the word out requires a lot of time and a lot of hope and a, lot of discussion. And you hope that others were talking about it to in great light. And there’s reviews and so on, and it’s a lot to think about at any given moment. Yeah, I think it’s interesting. Like you said, it’s a different type of person that’s making crafts and being creative and things like that. And they probably think very differently than the typical technical professionals that you said that you have been recruiting right, So it’s gotta challenge you in different ways to say, How do I support them? How do I work with them? Because I’m guessing a lot of them are not technical. Exactly. And you know, I’m coming at it also, from a technical perspective, but a marketing perspective. Let this be just an extension of your marketing strategy. I thought I always sort of. It’s a free site to list your products, right? Not every product can get listed. They need to fit the theme, obviously, but I’m always I’m surprised by the amount of people that really take this under consideration. They have the products that they love, and it’s a free site of a dog-inspired site. Why wouldn’t you wanna list it? What? You list your products on the site and they have their rationale on their reasoning. And so I find that fascinating that they wouldn’t. But I do. You know, ultimately, I had to understand it. And with more conversation, I get it that this is extremely personal to them. They’re artists extremely personal. And that stuff that I had to really learn that they might not want it on this platform. I think we do a lot of their artwork justice. I think that I take it very seriously. I’m really appreciated by those that put their art on the site, and I’m hopeful that it sells a lot and people look at it or people just are happy to look at it. But always, you know, I’m always thinking that I take it very seriously like I know that they’re thinking about it. It’s not just an automatic. Yes, I would love to. It’s ah, it’s thought by them.

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Yeah, and it sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into this yourself, and you’re trying to cater to them and learn from them and say, Look, we want to be this trusted place, and it’s not just about you. You’re trying to help them as well with their brand with what they’re trying to do. Yes, yes. And I do find all that stuff beautiful. I mean, there’s so many clever things on the site. I’m shocked by what people can create, and it looks so beautiful. I mean, it’s surprising and between, you know, the work they put into it. I know that there is so many charity organizations that they will deal with. I know that this is so much going on in their head about how to get these things out. And then if they sell, they have to get. Obviously, they have to create the product and get it to their customer. So it’s a lot going on. It’s a lot for everybody, but it’s a great site. It’s a marketplace is to me. I think, that you know, you have to be a big believer in the marketplace that I am. There’s great marketplaces that are out there, you know? Is the world ready for, you know, a niche? You know, something smaller, more focused? I hope so. But, you know, we’ll see as we go along.

No, I think it’s really cool. I mean, why don’t you remind people, Corey, how to find you? How to get in contact with you? I mean… yeah the website is barkyours.com b a r k y o u r s and email [email protected] anything you know, it’s there’s a lot of Google is a lot of, but it’s barkyours.com and it’s a great site. It’s great on phone. It’s great. And on laptop desktop, go in, log in, sign up. You’ll get emails created by me, you know, and I think it’s great It’s a great site just to kind of look through different categories and see what people are inspired to do because of their dog.

No, I think it’s really cool, and I’m definitely a fan, and I’ll definitely be a new customer for sure, because I found a lot of stuff out there already. I’m like, this would be great. Great gift for my wife for any holiday that’s coming up, right, That I need to find something we’re about to push out holiday. So, you know, ornaments and crazy. What gorgeous stuff. But yeah, that’s exactly what it was made for. And, you know, your friend gets a puppy. It’s a lots of great stuff. People who like, you know, I wear a dog-inspired T-shirt almost on a daily basis. Yeah, that’s on there, too, you know, Very clever fun stuff. So I hope people like it and shop and support these local artists and support the charities that they support and we support and so on. Well, I’m really glad you came on to. Talk to us about it today, Corey. I really appreciate you. Thank you, Chris. No, me too. I’m really glad I was really excited to do the show. I’ve known your site, so I mean, this is great. I really appreciate it. Thanks. And just as a reminder to all of our listeners, right, if you’ve got an idea for a product, a service, or know somebody that we should talk. Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and let us know about it. Maybe we can get them on the show. So thanks again, Corey, I really appreciate you joining us today, and everybody go check out BARKYOURS.COM. Thank you, Chris.

Thanks for joining us for the animal Innovations show. If you want to volunteer to help animals, check out DOOBERT.COM, where you can join tens of thousands of Dooberteers supporting rescues and shelters around the world to help animals. And if you know, if something or someone innovative that’s helping animals, let us know by going to WWW.INNOVATIONS.SHOW.

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