Daniel O. created his @dogdads Instagram account as a way to connect with other pet-minded individuals. In just 9 months, Daniel’s account grew from a passion project to a full-scale operation—complete with user submissions, a merch line, and 46,000 followers. Now, Daniel is sharing his story to give others insight on his design process and explain how you can stay true to your brand when creating merch.
Birth of the ‘Pawpas’
Daniel’s internet fame happened by accident, beginning by posting on Instagram in September 2018. The content he shared focused on his relationship and adventures with his dog, Indiana. Daniel noticed a steady increase in the amount of likes and engagements on his posts almost instantly. His personal Instagram quickly transformed into a forum where fellow “dog dads” could submit and share their own photos.
Daniel and Indiana
Selling merch without “selling out”
At this point Daniel began to consider the possibility of connecting his community of “Proud Pawpas’ with custom merch. His main concern was providing followers with custom, quality products they would truly love.
“A couple dog brands reached out to me asking [for] help promoting their apparel products. I honestly didn’t like what they were selling, and due to the right circumstances, I figured I could try and create my own designs. I see it like this; any company, brand or even just a Instagram account has a debt to their audience, and I feel my audience deserves an option of premium goods and creative designs, and I owe that to them.”
By staying true to his roots, Daniel continue to build trust with his audience and work on products they’ll actually enjoy. After discovering Teespring through work, Daniel began working on his merchandise.
A fan wearing a piece of Daniel’s merch.
Teespring’s ease of use is what first attracted Daniel to our platform, but he’s stayed for the quality of our products and the fun he gets from designing. Of Teespring, Daniel explains,
“Once I discovered your site, I understood the potential, and I thought to myself, this site is pure genius. The flow from the designed UI makes the creative process a joy to experience, bringing back the importance of imagination, inspiration, and enlightening focus on artwork.”
Currently, he is working with multiple designers to release new merch in line with the dog dads brand. His favorite thing about Dog Dads is the community he’s built, so much so that some fans use it as a dating platform.