Small Business, Big Impact: Get Wagging

Posted by Arvind Bala

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This is Bodie. She is just one of over 300 dogs that Jason and Christina have helped over the past 6 months with their subscription box, Get Wagging. Get Wagging gives subscribers a new, seasonal dog collar every month with the option of returning each month’s gently-used collar to be reused by a shelter dog.

The Idea

Before they started their subscription box, the duo lived in Silicon Valley. Jason is a former tech executive and Christina is an AKC recognized dog trainer who ran her own dog service business called Walks and Wags which had amassed over 350 clients across the Bay Area. 

Knowing they wanted to make an impact in the field of animal rescue, the couple started sniffing out their next dog-based venture– considering physical locations and stores but ultimately deciding against it due to the high startup costs. “I just woke up with the idea for a fun collar business one morning!” Christina said, “but after the initial excitement I needed to incorporate a way to give back and not just create more waste. That’s where the ‘recycling’ idea was born.”

Growing Their Local Roots: Austin, Texas

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In early 2016, Jason and Christina left Silicon Valley for Austin, one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, to start Get Wagging. Though there have been a lot of changes and an unexpected number of moving parts, the duo has wholeheartedly embraced this dog-loving city that they now call home. The design of the collar (done by Christina herself) right down to the factory that produces the merchandise is all done in Austin. “Our goal was to be a local business for the local community” said Jason. “Even the backend of our operations down to our business software and shipping service provider are local businesses.” Despite their operation’s Austin roots, Get Wagging’s products can be seen in over a dozen major cities across the country.

But when asked about the best part of running Get Wagging, the two jumped to their relationship with local shelters. “Some of the shelters we help really need it. Their volunteers scour local Goodwills looking for discarded collars and things that could serve as makeshift collars and leashes. We’ve seen some dogs wearing shoelaces. Knowing that we’re making an impact on those dogs is the most rewarding part of our business.”

With just as much enthusiasm, Jason and Christina spoke about their customers. “They truly enjoy being part of the process. The act of physically removing the slightly-used collar off their dog, shipping it back to us, and replacing it with the new one makes them feel truly part of the process. They don’t have to take our word for it that we’re going to donate a certain amount of our profit. I really think that’s why about 85% of our subscribers choose to send us the previous collar.”

While sending back the previous month’s collar is encouraged, it’s not required. Oftentimes the two will get messages from customers asking if they can keep the collar because they like it so much. And their answer is always “Yes! We hope that you love our collars enough to keep them!” And, more often than not, they’ll see a collar returned the next month. But you don’t have to be a subscriber to give back to a dog in need. Get Wagging also has their very own store where you can make one-time purchases or send gifts. All one-time purchases function with a give one, get one policy. For every individual collar or leash purchased through their store, Get Wagging will donate another to a dog in need.

“The Collar With Two Lives”

Get Wagging Donation
At the end of the day, Jason, Christina, and all of their subscribers ultimately want to do good. “Dogs don’t need a new collar every 30 days. Our subscribers know that. But they do it anyway because it’s fun, it’s seasonal, and they actually get to participate in giving” said Jason. “One of the best parts is opening up the return packages of the collars our subscribers send back and we can see how much fun the dog had and the great use they got out of it.” Not only that, but with each collar their subscribers recycle, they know a dog in need will get great use out of it too. A shelter will get great use out of it.

For so many us, dogs are such a meaningful part of our lives. But for Jason and Christina, they’ve made it their whole life. They’ve made sure that their products impact the local community. They’ve made sure their collar, as their slogan says, truly does have two lives.That’s why, this holiday season, we’re telling you about Get Wagging– a small business with a big impact.

Have a furry friend or thinking about a gift? Check out Get Wagging on the Cratejoy Marketplace!