September 28, 2016

Spotlight: Sniff Design Studio Caters Specifically to Pet Businesses


sniff design studio graphic design pet business

With so many different pet-related businesses out there, it was just a matter of time until marketing and design minded entrepreneurs began focusing their efforts on that niche. Sniff Design Studio does just that. The design business creates a variety of different products and services just for pet-related businesses. Read more about the company in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides graphic design and illustration services to companies in the pet industry.

Monica Cevallos, owner of Sniff Design Studio told Small Business Trends, “This little design atelier is an all-in-one design studio with creative services ranging from: business logo design [to] Web design + development, Web hosting, branding and more. After all, “cute” and “whimsical” definitely has its place in [the] business market — proven by this ever, exciting, expanding and muti-billion dollar nice market.”

Business Niche

Focusing specifically on the pet industry.

How the Business Got Started

Because of a gap in the market.

Cevallos says, “The design studio was created because I had noticed that there were no studios around that catered to just pet businesses and as a result, so many of them had terrible design. I really believed and still do, that a business should know its own value and as a result be willing to invest in its value. And if a business looks cheap, then it becomes the first impression a person has when seeing it.”

sniff design studio graphic design pet business

Biggest Win

Getting a board featured by Pinterest.

The board led to Sniff Design Studio securing more than 20,000 Pinterest followers.

Biggest Risk

Expanding beyond design and illustration.

Cevallos explains, “I tried tackling the (at the time), new and emerging eCommerce market. So, we decided to offer services for this. Well …major fail! eCommerce is a wonderful thing and wonderful market, however it’s very complex and requires much training and experience and that is something that I had little of. So after a few projects had failed I had to concede to this fact. It also reminded me of an invaluable lesson and that was to remain true to what I am good at and what keeps my interest piqued.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Building a team.

Cevallos says, “I would hire people who are better than me in fact. Better designers, better Web developers, a better project manager, a better receptionist. A good while ago, I read a book that has really inspired me in many ways. (Studio Culture by Tony Brook & Adrain Shaughnessy) The biggest thing I have taken from it is that many of the studio/design firm owners have all said how important it was to hire people better and stronger than you. And than when you do, your team is all the more resilient, strengthened and simply solidified. In other words, you are only as strong as your team is.”

sniff design studio graphic design pet business

Company Mascots

Two mischievous dachshunds, Mina and Max.

Cevallos says, “Mina and Max were so popular that I created a comic just for them and it was also [the] main comic for Pup Culture Mag – back in the day. Here is a link to see it.”

The company now has a new mascot as well, a nine-month-old miniature wire-haired dachshund named Mia.

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.

Featured Image: Sniff Design Studio/Facebook; Other Image: Cevallos and Mina

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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3 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I am seeing business’s target markets getting smaller and smaller. It is like they are starting to get more niche-specific. I think that this is the trend when it comes to small businesses in the coming years.

  2. Thank you so much for featuring us! We love to design + illustrate and can’t get enough of pet design. The pet industry is indeed a wonderful niche market to be a part of. 🙂

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