Updated: Aug 16, 2021
13th August 2021
My name is Sekha and I'm the Co-Founder of SoFur. If you love dramas or having a sh*tty day and want to feel less sh*tty , read on.
Starting of Pandemic
I've been working as a Travel Agent for the last 14 years and I bloody loved it as I got to send so many clients away to amazing places in the world......... until the pandemic hit hard in the beginning of 2020 all around the globe🌏 Back in March 2020, we were all meant to go to our good friends' wedding in Bangkok, Thailand where I flew out a week beforehand to spend time with my mom. We all thought the travel restriction was only level 2 so everything should be fine and just had to be cautious about covid. Everyone had concerns and wanted to wait and see if the situation would improve.
As soon as when I landed in Bangkok, I had about 50 emails from clients who wished to get back to Australia asap as the government had raised the travel restriction to level 3. Instead of spending time with my mom, I literally was working from morning til night everyday to get my clients back home safely. Some were in Europe, Africa and Asia which the borders started to shut down one by one so it was super challenging to rearrange everything with the time limit. After 6 days I finally got everyone home safely and the government had put on Level 4 Travel restriction which no one can travel and Aussies who were overseas should get home asap. I rebooked my flight back sooner than expected on the Friday. Only those who have Australian citizens, PR or spouse were allowed to return. Some people didn't know and boy oh boy, 63 people got denied boarding on the same flight as me 😥 Check out how I helped my clients get back home during the pandemic here📽
Return to Australia just in time 🦘
When I got back to do self quarantine, I had to cancel 50 hotel bookings, 60 flights and tours for clients and try to get either credit and refund. Worst time of my life as a Travel Agent. I cried about 10 times cus I didn't know what my future would be and I had to keep reassuring clients that I won't disappear and am here for them no matter what.
How SoFur started 🐣
It started out with doing Amazon training as my life partner is also selling his leather journal set called Essential Alchemist in the US so he encouraged me to find unique products to sell online as a backup plan if my travel career goes down the drain. I researched so much to the point where I still couldn't find any cool products that I feel like it's cool enough to market or I just feel "MEH" about it. Then an idea popped into my little brain 💡🧠 I have a dog and I usually featured her with my travel business to get people's attention. I love spending time with Pixie and getting her involve with my work was just PURE JOY 🥰 And as a pet owner I have spent so much money on her cus you know, it's your little fur baby and they deserve the BEST OF THE BEST right? I got super excited cus I finally know that I want to be in the pet business even though I don't even know what to sell. All I know is that whatever I find, I'll get to work with my fur baby and we will have so much fun together 🙃🐶
Finding The Right Manufacturer🔍
Eventually I have found the pawfect product that I want to create, now just have to find the right manufacturer who can help me achieve my goal. Michelle was the very first supplier who truely understand my needs and care about my passion project.
I narrowed down the 6 samples of the dog travel beds I want to see and the plan was to conduct a survey party and get real feedback from pet owners so that I can create the ultimate pet travel bed in the market. I have a few competitors but I feel like it's just a side hustle for them where I want to make SoFur a luxury pet brand that also functional. I mean if I'm going to make this work, I need to put in 200% effort in to the business.
I also love to get my hands dirty (well I'm more of a tight ass and didn't want to pay big bucks 😛 ) so I did everything from logo, design, material, functionality, colors, social media and website. I started social media to show people the journey of a small business owner and my main dream is to at least inspire 1 person to start something for themselves. I know how hard it can be and it takes bravery to get out of your comfort zone. Make sure to hit me up if you ever want to start your own business cus I may know a thing or two 😃 Make sure to stalk us on Facebook & Instagram
Would Pet Owners Love SoFur Travel Beds❓💕
After I got my samples, it was time to see if people would love SoFur or not. On 28 March 2021 we had organised a "Survey Pawty" which 14 pawrents and 12 fur babies came along to test our travel bed and gave us their feedback. It was such a wonderful day and nervous wracking AF. Everyone who came that day really made SoFur levelled up cus we got so much feedback and we knew what we had to improve.
I'd like to take this opportunity once again to say how grateful I am and thankful that you guys came for me that day to make SoFur travel bed bloody amazing!!!! Special thanks to
Eugene, Brett, Terri, Michael, Tanya, Gary, Rachel, Michael, David A, David H, Michelle, Mikayla, Debbie and Mitch. Fur Babies Theo, Dolce, Willow, Millie, Ryo, Moet, Lil, Dave, Coco, Mickey and Sumo. My friends Mel, An, Khoi, Ohh and little Kaius for helping out on the day.
My life partner
Scott. You have pushed me to be better at myself and now we have SoFur.
My fur daughter
Pixie. You came into our lives by accident and SoFur was born because of you.
Daddy loves you to the moon and back🌛
💓A wonderful memory that I will forever cherish💓
The Final Cuts✌
Going through all the feedback from our Survey Pawty, we got our 2 final designs and had to jazz up a few things so our dog beds are the out of this world. We fixed up our zippers, compartments, safety leash, handles etc so they not only look amazing but also functional. I mean having a beautiful product is one thing but it has to be practical for everyday use too! Not only we upgraded a few things, we have decided to include a separate safety leash that connects directly to your car, pet hair remover, 150 biodegradable poop bags with a dispencer and a reusable packaging storage bag with our SoFurPet dog travel beds .
What's next for SoFur❓
Our bulk production is nearly done and our pet travel beds will be sea shipped which we are hoping to get them into our warehouse by September/October but due to covid, delay can happen and we just have to deal with it. We will be launching a pre-sale on 19 August and we are super excited about it.
My journey as a Travel Agent may have come to an end due to the pandemic and as much as I was so so sad about it, I see it as a POSITIVE THING as I got the chance to create SoFur.
You are never too old or too late to start something. Find something that you are passionate about or make you happy and you will never feel like it's a chore.
Thank you for reading SoFur's 1st blog and I hope you have a pawsome day🐾 Pixie + Sekha💕🐾