When Bethany and Brody Ratham put their first custom-kennel order on Facebook, they had no idea it would be a game changer for their business B&B Kustom Kennels.
Showcasing their XL double kennel, the post was shared more than 66,000 times, received 20,000 likes and reached 7 million people.
“Our inbox was flooded, and we knew we had to act quickly,” says Bethany. “Little did people know we had only made two kennels at that point, ours and our one customer.”
The viral factor could be due to the fact the kennels resonated with dog owners, as they incorporate beautiful design into a functional product.
Started in 2015, B&B Kustom Kennels was founded by the pair after they redesigned their home and were looking for a fashionable option for kennels for their dogs Gracie and Pyper.
“We were sick of having wire kennels in our house and started looking for a piece of furniture that we could make into a dog kennel,” says Bethany. “After searching for a month we decided to make our own.”
Each kennel, or Doggie Den as the company calls them, is handcrafted by a small group of carpenters and finishers in Larkspur, Colorado, using high-quality solid wood and metal details. Taking about 8 to 10 hours to complete, the farm-style kennels also serve as end tables, cabinets, consoles and dressers, allowing people to prop pictures, books and small accessories on top of them.
Not only does the passion for craftsmanship show through but so does the dog’s needs.
The Doggie Dens allow for black plastic trays to fit inside the kennels in case of dog accidents or water spillage. They wood is also sealed to protect from moisture, while some styles have removable dividers to house more than one dog.
Because of the quality, time and resources, the custom kennels will set you back a few bones. The single Doggie Den ranges from $599 to $999, while the double Doggie Den starts at $949 and goes up to $1299. There is also a great dane option, for the really big dogs, which costs anywhere from $899 to $1099.
The price tag hasn’t stopped people from wanting a B&B Kustom Kennel. Last August, a picture of one of the Doggie Dens posted on Facebook again went viral.
“The first time it went viral it started our business, but the second time it almost ended us,” says Bethany. “It actually shut our website down because of how many people were trying to access our site.”
“At the time we were building and selling about 20 to 30 kennels a month. The month it went viral we sold 30 in one day and a total of 220 that month,” she adds. “That can really disrupt your building process and set you back a bit.”
Because of the Doggie Dens popularity, the current wait time is 30 to 32 weeks – and people are okay with the long lead time.
“There’s quality time and effort put into each Doggie Den and you can expect to receive a product that you’ll be proud to have in your home,” says Bethany. “Most customers are more than willing to wait for something so special.”
She did note that their number-one goal right now is reducing the time and have taken proactive steps, including hiring more people.
As their business continues to gain steam, the Rathams decided to sell their home, move back in with their parents and buy a warehouse for B&B Kustom Kennels. They hope by investing in the company, delivery time can be cut down, the process is optimized and more people can have a Doggie Den in their home.