So there I was, fawning all over like a giddy teenager in front of her crush.
A couple of weeks ago I was at Superzoo – a huge pet product trade show – and visited the Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear booth. I had a special mission.
My hubby and I were going to Bend, OR for a vacation with the dogs in a couple of weeks and that is where the Ruffwear headquarters are located. It was a dream of mine to visit their warehouse for a tour. Also, as a social media geek and pending digital communication graduate student, I wanted to find out who was behind their amazing social media image.
I wasn’t ashamed. I gushed to the Ruffwear representative about how much I LOVE the Ruffwear brand and what they stand for. I went on and on about how well their products were made and how I liked that they were for REAL outdoorsy dogs (they sponsor the Mt. Bachelor Avalanche Rescue Dogs). I told him about my passion for social media and to learn more.
He kindly gave me the card for the Ruffwear Marketing Coordinator. I contacted him and he agreed to meet with me, and the Social Media Marketing Coordinator as well, and let me tour the warehouse with my hubby and Chester and Gretel.
We met and ate lunch at 10 Barrel Brewing – a local dog-friendly restaurant.
I grilled them for over an our on their social media strategy, where Ruffwear was going and told them about us crazy pet bloggers – spinning stories of twitter parties and blog hops. I talked with them about their affiliate program (the first one I have ever considered joining). Afterward, we went back to the Ruffwear headquarters to check it out.
It was the realization of a dream for me. I have always wanted to look behind the scenes at an outdoor gear manufacturer. That dream has always been out of my reach because I was just another gear junkie. Finally, I found a way in with my two tickets named Chester and Gretel.
After a quick tour of the warehouse, we met all of the staff and had our photos taken. We got to see their product testing room.
They had this cool box that they put the fabric in to test what the color looks like under different lighting conditions (maybe to make sure your dog looks good no matter what kind of light they are in? ha, ha)!
The staff said they didn’t get many small dog models in that they could measure (because they all own medium dogs) so Chester and Gretel got their measurements taken.
Gretel got to try on one of their prototypes (I can’t share it with you now but it is very exciting and I will tell you about it later). They actually asked me for some feedback on how they could improve the fit for small dogs! Here we were, bonafide outdoor gear testers!
After some pictures, and *ahem* Chester peeing on their warehouse floor, we got out of their hair. It was a super fun experience though and I hope to get to do it, or something like it, again in the future. Even if that was our 15 minutes of gear-tester fame, it was the most awesome 15 minutes of glory. I can cross “get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of my favorite outdoor gear manufacturers” of my bucket list.