Looking for a dog toy that provides hours of fun, a wonderful opportunity for bonding, and can even get you through the difficult teething stage? We at Living with a Golden highly recommend Knots of Fun by Happy Hands Happy Dog Toys. These locally made, braided fleece toys are a favorite of Chuck Billy and Asa, and are great for tugging, fetch, and during Asa’s teething stage provided relief for his need to chew. Recently we interviewed Happy Hands Happy Dog founder, Lisa Kamer.
LWAG: What is the story behind Knots of Fun?
Lisa: After a long business career I unexpectedly found myself with time on my hands, I have always loved Corgis and after loosing my beloved dogs Georgie and Dana (one week apart) I knew it was time to bring home 12 week old Leo. Leo quickly began teething on everything in sight and I mean EVERYTHING! To save my blankets, sofa and rugs, I began to think of ways to entertain this bursting bundle of energy. When I realized that Leo’s favorite items were made of fabric: Knots of Fun was born. I created knots of fabric and suddenly this bounding ball of movement was quietly entertained.
Before I entered the retail market I created fundraising kits for local not for profits. The kits have everything an organization needs to create their own toys so that they creatively fundraise. It was my way of giving back. The kits quickly became a successful way for organizations like The Perkins and Maryland Schools for the blind to engage their students and their community. When I saw the enthusiasm about the product I began selling my toys at small local pet boutiques and a year later, my products are sold at 25 Whole Foods Markets and retailers in 16 states.
LWAG: What makes your fleece toys different from others?
Lisa: I am a 100% made in the USA business. My fabric and manufacturing is all done in Massachusetts. Why are these toys exceptional? I’d like to begin with telling you three things about my product:
- My toys are made in the USA, every bit of them (fabric, manufacturing and tags). They come in a variety of color combinations.
- My toys are durable, machine washable, you can freeze them and they float- dogs love them!
- The toys are to be used to encourage play with your dog, after all, that’s what they really want!
Knots of Fun are not just a way to keep your dog busy, but also a great way for you to bond with your dog by encouraging play – Leo learned quickly that when he saw his toy it meant playtime. This business has become a dream come true. I’ve made hundreds of new relationships, met great dogs and their humans and am excited for the future.
LWAG: Please tell us more about your work with the students at the Perkins School for the Blind.
Lisa: When Leo first came home, I tried making a few different toys for him. As I sat outside one sunny day, I closed my eyes while braiding a toy and thought to myself that you could do this with your eyes closed and suddenly a thought crossed my mind that perhaps this would be a good project for the students at Perkins. I contacted them and made a presentation to the Vocational Team. The students began making toys to sell at their holiday bazaar and they sold out almost immediately. This is how it all began… From there I began to work with some other schools including The Maryland School for the Blind, Mill Neck Manor, The Learning Center for the Deaf and the Autism Alliance of Metro West to name a few.
LWAG: That’s great that you use Knots of Love to give back to the community. Our readers can learn more about your work with nonprofits by visiting your website.
Lisa: I love all my customers and try and post about all of them on Happy Hands Happy Dog’s Facebook page.
LWAG: Please tell us more about Leo, the inspiration for these great toys.
Lisa: What can I say? I have two Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Leo is 4 1/2 and probably belongs on a farm. He is quite “communicative” and loves to herd things including his baby sister Jenny! Jenny is 5 months old and is the polar opposite of Leo although they are both very sweet dogs; Jenny seems to be quite gentle with a mild personality. She is learning to “communicate” with Leo!
Thank you Lisa for taking the time to tell our readers about Happy Hands Happy Dog Toys. To find out which retailers sell Knots of Fun or to purchase the toys online, please visit their website at Happy Hands Happy Dogs.