Founder Story: Waggs and Bone by April McCullin


Sales & Marketing





Series A

Welcome to the exciting journey of Waggs and Bone, founded by April McCullin from the sunny Gold Coast in Australia. April turned her passion into a thriving online business that sells luxury dog travel accessories.

Launched in mid-2019, Waggs and Bone began with a mission to ease dogs' car anxiety and motion sickness, inspired by April's own puppy's struggles with travel.

What started as a solution for her dog has now captured the hearts of pet owners globally. With the help of social media, especially TikTok, where one video alone garnered over 5.1 million views, Waggs and Bone has expanded internationally, reaching dog lovers in the UK and US.

The company now offers a wider range of dog car seats in various sizes and colors, along with innovative products like shock-absorbing car restraints, sustainable reusable pee pads, and cooling mats.

Each product is designed to make car journeys safer and more comfortable for dogs and their owners alike.

Let's hear directly from them, how Waggs and Bone is making a difference in the lives of pets and their families around the world.

Please Introduce Yourself and Tell Us About Your Startup?

My name is April McCullin, and I'm the founder of Waggs and Bone, a small but rapidly growing business based on the Gold Coast, Australia. I have an online website where we sell luxury dog travel accessories.

Since mid 2019, I've seen my passion project transform into a viral sensation, all thanks to a unique product within the pet industry. I'm proud to introduce my luxury dog car beds that have been carefully designed to alleviate dogs car anxiety and motion sickness.

What started as a personal mission, I had a puppy with severe travel anxiety and I wanted to solve a common problem for dog owners. This has quickly turned into a thriving business.

Despite taking a significant financial risk by investing all my savings into launching this venture, the response has been overwhelming. In fact, we've sold out three times within the first 8 months of operation!Our success story doesn't end there.

Thanks to the power of social media, particularly TikTok, we have generated up to 5.1 million views on one of our videos, our products have reached far beyond our local community in Australia and recently we have entered the UK and US market.

Dog owners everywhere are discovering the benefits of our luxury car beds, and the feedback has been nothing short of incredible.Since launching, we have now increased our size and colour variety of our viral dog car seats and also additional new products such as shock-absorbing car restraints and sustainable, reuasble pee pads and cooling mats.

All the perfect addition to your car for safe and comfortable journeys with your dog.

Overview of Waggs and Bone

Waggs and Bone, founded by April McCullin on the Gold Coast of Australia, is revolutionizing the way pet owners travel with their dogs. Launched in mid-2019, the company quickly became a sensation for its luxury dog car beds designed to alleviate car anxiety and motion sickness in dogs.

April started this venture to address her own puppy's severe travel anxiety, and it has blossomed into a thriving business that caters to a common need among dog owners.

The brand’s flagship product, the luxury dog car seat, has not only improved safety and comfort for traveling pets but has also seen immense popularity, selling out three times in the first eight months.

Thanks to viral marketing on TikTok, which generated up to 5.1 million views on a single video, Waggs and Bone expanded its market reach from Australia to the UK and the US.

The company has since diversified its product line to include shock-absorbing car restraints, sustainable reusable pee pads, and cooling mats, enhancing its portfolio of dog travel accessories.

April's strategy for gaining traction involved leveraging social media for organic reach and addressing initial trust barriers by encouraging customer reviews through incentives.

Looking ahead, Waggs and Bone plans to introduce new products that complement its bestseller and expand its brand awareness through more content creation and public relations efforts.

Despite the challenges, April remains committed to innovative solutions for pet travel, setting Waggs and Bone apart in the pet industry.

What Problem(s) Does Your Startup Solve?

The idea of our best selling luxury dog car seat came from a passion of mine which was to help dog owners reduce anxiety in their dogs and improve their experience in the car (which can be traumatic for some dogs).

It also reduces the risk of injury for many pets if they were to be unrestrained whilst travelling in the car.

How Did Your Startup Gain Its Initial Momentum? Share Successful Strategies or Future Plans.

One word...TikTok! Organic reach at absolutely no cost. Viral videos selling me out in hours.

What Were the Biggest Hurdles in Gaining Traction, and How Did You Overcome Them?

Building enough trust for my customers to convert, as a start up I lacked customer reviews so I did an incentive on my post-purchase email flow, offering my customers a chance to win a prize if they add a review with a photo. This skyrocketed my reviews to over 100 5 * reviews in 1 year.

From Your Perspective, What’s Missing in the Current Startup Environment?

More education around the actual reality of being a startup business owner, its very much glamorized online and can give a false expectation for new entrepreneurs.

Can You Share Your Experience With Fundraising? What Was Your Approach?

No experience fundraising yet, its on the cards for the future though.

What’s Next for Your Startup? Any Exciting Developments on the Horizon?

New products that compliment my existing best seller! More PR, more UGC and more content creation to push growth and brand awareness.

The threat of TikTok being banned in Australia.

If You Could Go back and Give Yourself One Piece of Advice at the Start of Your Journey, What Would It Be?

Don't be afraid to do things differently.

Your idea can change the world, let's make it a reality!

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