Article in the VN Times! Crowd Funding Accomplishment; and DVD case study
We are so pleased to see an article in the VN Times! Crowd Funding Accomplishment; and DVD case study about our story.
They very kindly help space for this story, and its now in print for the world to see.
Here is the article before it went to the VN Times.
The Puppy Massage DVD
By Donna Wills PGC A Phys, RVN, MIAAT, MASSVAP
Just over 1 year ago I started a crowd funded project through Kickstarter to raise funds to film my Puppy Massage DVD. 16 months and a lot of hard work later, after a successful campaign, it’s here!
In April 2015 I wrote an article telling everyone about my crowd funding, and what a wonderful way it is to raise funds to bring your own idea to life. I am pleased to say my campaign was a huge success and 45 days later I raised 134% of the goal I had set. My backers came from far and wide. One was from Japan, two from California, many were clients of mine, and some were past colleagues and employers. I was amazed to see the people found my project to fund from overseas and that I had never met these people before. I had many veterinary professionals and animal physiotherapists back me too which all helped fuel my confidence that this DVD was a great idea. So now I had to fulfil my dream of filming the Puppy Massage DVD and getting the Backer rewards to my Kickstarter funders.
The Puppy Massage DVD helps teach owners how to massage their own dog at home in a safe, step-by-step way. It gives them the tools to confidently deliver massage all over the dog ensuring the puppy grows up to be confident with all over body handling. This makes visits to the vet a more positive experience. It also gets the dog ready for the future as they may need a manual therapy, and this way they will be used to this type of handling and the owner will have some basic skills that the musculoskeletal therapist can build on for home therapy plans. There is also the added bonus of the strong bond that touch and massage can help strengthen. We of course already know all the physical benefits of massage like endorphin release, increased circulation and movement of toxin build up.
It was quite a journey and I had to learn a lot about film recording and production along the way. I had many plans in place but I soon learnt that a plan in my head was very much more difficult in real life. But I got through each challenge in turn. We found a beautiful location for filming, which was private so we had lots of time. One of my backers let me use her beloved Moremma puppy as the star, but as we all know from our work, they often don’t want to do as they are told when you need them to! Many hours later we had our footage. We then had to spend hours recording the voiceover for the film. My editor, Adrian Hamilton, then spent many hours putting it all together, and I had to sit there for many evenings too, to get it all correct. It was a big challenge as he hadn’t edited a film like this before.
Then the artwork had to be done and finally the proof checks and the big order. I was amazed to find that although I thought I had ordered my DVDs from the UK, they actually came from the official Sony production factory in Austria. My enormous palette of DVDs arrived on my doorstep just 9 days before my official launch. Scarily close timing.
Whilst all this DVD production was going on I also had to organise a launch event. No product can go without one. I teamed up with my local council, Bracknell Forest and Bracknell Town Council, as they had lost funding for their annual dog show, and so I made the annual “Paws in the Park” show the official launch of my Puppy Massage DVD too.
Organising a dog show and a DVD launch event was a big job, but with lots of reward on the big day. The show and DVD launch was on 20th August in Braybrooke Recreational Ground, Bracknell. I had so much support I still can’t believe it.
The Bracknell Town Mayor Ash Merry came and was a huge support, she was joined by both the deputy Mayor Clive Harrison and The Borough Mayor of Bracknell Forest Tony Virgo.
BBC Radio Berkshire’s Sue Kinnear did her live broadcast from the show. It was wonderful to have the information about the benefits of the Puppy Massage DVD broadcast live across Berkshire.
Channel 4’s Bentley the ChiWOWhua famous from “First Dates” joined us and Immy, the Puppy Massage DVD star. Immy was now considerably larger than last year so she needed a bandanna to point her out!
We even had an international circus act “Chimney Sweeps” from Circle of Two. It was amazing to have so much volunteered support for my show and my DVD.
The official launch was at 12pm and it was important to me that it had a lovely Hollywood feel with a dog twist. So I did a premier viewing. I had an astroturf carpet with daisies on, white picket fencing and lots of posters on the walls. We even had 1000 packs of Pup-corn given out by my two lovely friends working as promotion girls. This was for all the dogs who came to view the premier, though I think many owners were actually eating it.
The dog show was a roaring success and the local council were proud of the turnout of about 2000 visitors. This was impressive since the weather was dreadful and many people had to abandon their event shelters and gazeebo’s as the wind was making them fly away. Luckily the rain doesn’t hold a dog owner back.
It was a proud moment to see my dream finally come to delivery. It was wonderful to have this successful project available to the public. This was a momentous thing for everyone involved. Over the months so many people have been giving their support or this project, that it finally felt like I could say a proper thank you!
T.V. Vet Paul Manktelow had watched he DVD and supported it and even put his face on the cover. He said “learning to massage your puppy helps to create a strong loving bond and creates confidence with being handled by you, your vet, therapist or groomer”. The President of the BVNA, Samantha Morgan had given a 5-star review and said “Donna explains each technique very clearly and shows how spending time with your puppy performing massage can be both therapeutic to dog and owner alike, these techniques will greatly improve the overall well-being of your puppy". The DVD also had a 5-star review from the editor of Dogs Today magazine, Beverly Cuddy who said “Every dog wants their owner to watch this! If only every puppy could grow up loving a human's touch. Donna teaches you how to get even closer to your best friend than ever before." It was of course wonderful to be able to show the backers what they helped create.
This journey of funding, creation, production, marketing and the launch event has taught me a lot. But it has been great fun. It’s wonderful to see that there are ways to reach your goal, whatever it may be. I now have a product to sell that reflects my business and I know how well supported it is. I would recommend to anyone who has an idea, no matter how big or small. Have a go at making it happen! There are people out there who will want to support you too. I thank everyone of mine.
For the Puppy Massage DVD, the marketing and sales chapter begins. I have made some sales already and I have one registered stockist. If you want to stock the Puppy Massage DVD for your clients, then get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org or find more information and the trailer at www.animalphysiotherapy.org.uk/puppy-massage-dvd.