I'm a 27 year old dog training addict living in Longmont, Colorado. Before moving to CO, I graduated from the University of North Texas with an Applied Behavior Analysis major. I've also been a dog agility competitor at the national level, traveling for shows, always driving all over the country to sit in a dusty horse barn or indoor soccer facility for a weekend and make it back in time for class on Mondays. I share my life with two border collies, Fever and Bang, and two pyrenean shepherds, Orca and Folly. Fever's a stunning loudmouth redhead, totally chill outside the agility ring and psychotic the moment we walk in. We call her a space coyote because she's what a coyote would look like if coyotes were from space. It makes tons of sense, really. Bang's a curly tailed merley sporter collie, an incredible athlete and a true teammate in agility, mostly sugar sweet with a bit of an anger problem to make things interesting. Orca's a darling 18lbs of frantic energy, exceptionally clever and unbelievably devoted. Once she's your friend she's your friend for life and most everyone falls in love with her instantly. Folly's a little pipsqueak face rase puppy from Tottakai kennel in Finland, and she looks more like a tiny Tervuren than a Pyrenean Shepherd. She's bold and funny and loves to run fast and snap her teeth. Mad Dog Metal is my vision for providing awesome custom products for people as dog crazy as me and for companions as special as mine.
MDM: It happened like this
In 2009, I was looking for a special gift for a friend and came across hand stamped metal jewelry. It turned out that this was absolutely what I was looking for. I found the perfect present for my friend, but my interest in hand stamping lingered. It became an obsession-- I fell in love with the little blackened letters, shiny metal and smooth edges. Night after night, I spent hours looking through the work of a zillion talented artists and I honestly thought to myself, "If I could do anything, it would be this." I kept coming back to it and wondering, but the idea of starting with exactly zero knowledge, acquiring the correct tools and teaching myself the skills involved was completely overwhelming. It didn't seem overly realistic and I shelved the idea for almost a year. In August of 2010 I gave in and purchased my first letter stamp set. I sat down with a rusty old household hammer, aluminum coke cans cut into pieces and some scraps of copper that came with my letter set to test my new tools on. I loved stamping immediately although I was unsatisfied by the results-- I struggled to get the letters where I wanted them in space or the same depth as the ones next to them. I was terribly unhappy with many of the initial attempts to make blank tag bases too. I was absolutely determined to make what I wanted to and spent frustrating hour after hour figuring out which problems were based in lack of skill and which problems could be solved using nontraditional equipment or traditional equipment in a nontraditional way. I obsessed, constantly measuring the difference between what I could currently produce and what I wanted to produce, and worked it out piece by piece. A year of that later, Mad Dog Metal opened in October 2011 and my first customers were thrilled with their tags. I've never stopped improving my products and never will. However, I struggled to meet demand for my products and customers were the victims of my glaring lack of customer service experience and my difficulty balancing school, travel, dog and work-related responsibilities. In cases where I got backlogged and customers failed to receive their items in a timely manner, I always tried to make things right with a refund or extra tag. Overwhelmed, I decided that things had to completely change or I could no longer run the business. I stopped advertising, took a long break, and figured out how to turn things around. I quietly reopened the store on Etsy, building my confidence that I could provide the kind of service my customers deserved. Slowly returning to advertising and pulling the new website together, I'm thrilled to be back in action making Mad Dog tags. I'm determined to make MDM known for incredible customer service, not just exceptional products.