Renata Du Toit chats to Kerrie Bosse, owner of Long Dog, to find out more about her business that’s all about the dachshund.
Growing up, Kerrie was always surrounded by dogs. However, it was when she met her husband that she not only fell in love with him, but with his dachshunds as well. And so the story began… Kerrie was a sports journalist for over ten years, traveling around the world with the Proteas and Springboks reporting on their tournaments. After that, she moved back to South Africa and took on a corporate role while starting a small business at the same time. Both roles came to an end when she moved and got married.
One day whilst living in Harrismith Kerrie’s dachshund, Lulu, was in a severe accident. She walked underneath a bakkie when a heavy object fell down onto her back, causing a bad break. The vet recommended that she stay in an enclosed area and keep as still as possible for six weeks so healing could take place. Knowing her little busy-body pooch, Kerrie said there was no way that Lulu would be able to manage that. Kerrie changed her schedule around – and her life – to help her furbaby heal. Every time Lulu needed to go outside or move around, Kerrie picked her up and carried her to where she had to be. A bond already so strong, became unbreakable.
Inspired by her new muse, Kerrie started doing some research to see if there were businesses that promoted the dachshund breed and found a gap in the South African market. She worked on a proposal and presented it to her husband, expecting him to tell her she’s mad. To her surprise he was all for it! Combining previous business experience with her creativity, the search for products began.
It was important for Kerrie to support local businesses as much as possible.
Like herself, she understood that everyone has a dream and through living hers, she wanted to give them wings to reach their dreams as well.
To this day most products are sourced within South Africa and a large percentage of that is made by creative individuals who are underprivileged and disabled.Kerrie Bosse
Her good-hearted gestures don’t stop there. With each purchase an automatic donation is added onto one’s bill and passed on to the Cape
Dachshund and Dachshund Haven rescues. Furthermore, she often delves into her available stock and makes up hampers to gift to the rescue centers, or she aids them with generous monetary donations. It’s heartbreaking for her to see the orphan dogs who long to have loving homes. Safe from adopting all of them, these tokens of goodwill are ways to give back to the well-run organisations who take care of and try their best to rehome the dogs.
As a small-business owner Kerrie has experienced many highs and lows, but proclaims that it’s important to always get back up when you are knocked down. If you’re passionate about something don’t allow fear or self-doubt to get in the way – believe in yourself!
Other tips include thorough research, watching the trends and making sure to save as much as possible, because a startup can be a costly endeavor. Kerrie has invested in products before that she believed were extraordinary, but the market was not on board with her. Thus, she learnt that having a good balance between stock and demand is important, and of course keeping your finances and cash flow running smoothly can be tricky.
Kerrie’s highlights come with uplifting messages and photos of happy clients; seeing the joy she brings to others and the difference she can make in their lives. The loyalty of customers has been phenomenal, especially during the Covid-pandemic. It has allowed Long Dog to survive and prosper when many other businesses had to close their doors.
This reaffirms to Kerrie that the love dachshund owners have for the breed is strong and runs deep. On the Long Dog site one can browse all the goodies – from clothing, jewellery, stationery and art for the human (to name but a few), to funky bandanas and harnesses for the furry ones. Whether you own a sausage dog or not and you want to spoil yourself or send a gift to someone, you can be sure to find unique items here that are made with love and care.
If you’ve ever been in the company of a dachshund you’ll understand that there’s explicit respect demanded. At first glance they might look comical – long bodies being carried by stumpy legs and trotting on fat little paws – until you see their teeth backed by enormous attitude!
There is a reason why they are said to be the most vicious breed. That being said, it’s not surprising why they’re such an inspiration; it doesn’t matter what your size, rank or status is in life – if you have the spirit, will-power and confidence you can do anything.
Dynamite comes in small packages, but so do cuddles and kisses.