Our Dog Beds Exhibition at Crufts 2019
We had a tremendous Crufts again this year. What a fantastic welcome we get from all our customers, who come to our stall to see our luxury dog beds and to see what is new in the Tuffies world. We travel all the way from Aberdeenshire to show our waterproof mattress dog beds and our waterproof nest dog beds and we are received at Crufts with open arms. Our Raised Tuffies dog bed was popular again this year (picture below).
The big setting up to prepare for dog bed sale
We only have a relatively small stall of 4×6 meters, but we try to cram in as much stuff as we can and it takes planning and hard work to get it all set up. Every year we have more colours and more interesting dog bedding products and it gets increasingly tricky to fit it all in. The stalls are very expensive, so we are reluctant to buy more space. The NEC is doing their best to manage the enormous logistics of getting everyone in to the halls with their vans and products, but there is a rota system where you get just a two hour window to get in, off-load and get out again. That puts pressure on the man power. Basically we just chuck all our dog beds and our soft covers in the middle of the stand along with the hardware such as shelving, banners and tables and then we get the vehicle out of the hall so others can do their off-loading. We then return to our little chaos and start putting it all right.
As we work away, the stall starts taking shape and the colours start to come in to their own. Somehow, when we put all the colour schemes together for the dog beds and the covers, they all compliment each other and the result is a great looking dog bed stand.
It is a really nice feeling to finish the setting up and leave it all ready for the Thursday opening.
Why our Customers Love us Coming to Crufts.
There are many reasons why our stall is busy at Crufts. Firstly, it takes 20 years to be an overnight success, as they say. We have been making dog beds for almost 20 years and dog lovers know the quality. One lady said that she had asked on Instagram: “What is the best dog bed?” and as she said, “Straight away five people answered: Tuffies”. So she came along to see and buy.
We also have the Tuffies fans, who just want to say hello and see if there are any new products or colours they should know about. There is a standard set of people, who come, religiously, to the stall every year to see what we have. Some simply never buy on line, they want to do it all in person.
There are many dogs at Crufts (27,000 this year) and we have a stream of people coming along with their dogs to see which size would be the best. It can be very deceptive to pick the right size out of all the dog beds when you don’t have your dog with you. So try before you buy is the solution for a number of dog owners. We also learn from this as we get to see what breeds fit in to various sizes of bed styles.
Why We Love Exhibiting our Dog Beds at Crufts
We learn a lot! We would like to think that IF there were any problems with our products, customers would come and tell us. We do of course have the odd person, who wants to ask a question and usually, if there is any discontent, it is merely due to a misunderstanding such as for example a nest looking a bit squint because the cushion has not been put in the right way round. Little misunderstandings like this are easier ironed out if we are able to demonstrate directly to the customer how to put the cushion in correctly. Another one is about the luxury fleece dog bed covers that can look a bit too long when you first put them on the dog beds. This is because we have to cut the sizes with washing shrinkage in mind. Once the covers are washed, they fit like a glove.
Of course we also learn about different dog breeds and their dog bedding needs. Crufts visitors are naturally extremely interested in their dogs and want the best. They will explain to us which dogs prefer a cooler mattress dog bed (such as Bernese Mountain dogs or New Foundlanders) and which ones want more warmth. Different breeds simply have different habits in general and we can learn a lot from that. It is very interesting.
Equally, we would like to think that after 20 years of making the best dog beds, we have good experience to share with our fans and indeed with new dog owners, who are unsure what to get for the new pup.
We also see a lot of Things that are Completely Outside the Box.
Here are some photos that are classic for Crufts and quite remote from our daily experience of working dogs and pets. Sometimes Crufts can be an amazing eye opener.
The Famous Tuffies Trophy
Every year, on Gun Dog Day, there are many fancy trophies given out to great dogs in BASC’s area. Tuffies has donated a beautiful trophy made from wood with carvings of a Vizsla and a woodcock. This trophy is each year given to the best working Pointer, Setter or HPR bitch. This year it was won by Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla Zoldmali Anizs at Genlusa owned by Mr D Wearing. It was an honour again to pass the trophy on to the proud winner.
There is so much Dog Love at Crufts.
Everyone loves their dogs and it is amazing to have 27,000 dogs at Crufts over four days without seeing any dogs snapping at each other. All the dogs at Crufts are so well behaved and they are very used to be looked at and to be in big crowds.
Well, almost. I spotted this Golden Retriever at BASC. He was clearly not very comfortable being in the big busy hall and was clinging to his mum. You can see it in his eyes here:
I also took this photo of a very loving dog giving her owner a bit hug.
All in all, we had a tremendous Crufts establishing how much Tuffies dog beds are loved by all.