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An Interview With Dox Design Founder, Kaila Piepkow

As a design agency, it can be easy to fall behind-the-scenes without reallllly getting to know who we are as individuals. When people hear the word “agency,” they tend to think they’re working with people who don’t typically care about their brand and their business. That is simply not the case with us – we live and breathe great design, especially for the pet industry.

Being able to take your vision for your pet brand and bringing it to life is what we do best. we’re able to do this because we truly care.

So, we thought it might be beneficial for you to get to know our team members, starting with the founder and owner of Dox Design, Kaila Piepkow!

 

1. “We want to know…How did you come up with the name Dox Design?”

Well as many of you know, we have three #officeweens over here at Dox. I wanted my business name to reflect the breed I love so much: Dachshunds! Unfortunately, Dachshunds can be really hard to spell and it’s not the most user-friendly to type in the search engines, so Dox was short for that.

Then, of course, I wanted people to know instantly what we do, which is design work! Thus Dox Design was born and it rolled off the tongue nicely.

 

2. “How did you end up starting your business?”

Dox Design actually began as a “happy accident.” After I graduated with my Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design, I was lucky enough to work in the agency world for one of the top design agencies in the Midwest working with some pretty amazing national brands.

I was on the fast track to working in a big city like New York, which I thought was always my dream. However, I quickly realized that working in that environment wasn’t for me. It was hard to leave my dogs behind every day and I worked many long nights in order to meet deadlines. Most of all, I just wasn’t even inspired.

I began freelancing on the side on several ‘passion projects.’ Naturally being a dog mom and being ingrained in the dog community in Grand Rapids, most of my initial clients were dog walkers and pet sitters. From there, I quickly saw there was a gap of beautiful branding in the pet industry.

So many of these brands looked the same: Everything is red, has paw prints, and has the same stock photos (heck, some of them even had the same premade logo). I started getting really passionate about educating pet businesses on #droolworthy design.

It really evolved from there, when I realized that I could actually make a business out of this. After about 6 months of freelancing, I filed for an LLC and Dox Design was born.

 

3. “What is your favorite part of the design process?”

Oohh, that’s a great question. I’d have to say COLOR SELECTION…by far!

I LOVE using my knowledge of color theory and crafting custom color palettes that are unique for each and every pet business. I love how certain colors evoke emotions and I love really nailing down what “emotion” each business should be portraying and reflecting that in a #droolworthy palette. We actually have a whole new series over on our Instagram page called Canine Colors that pairs a color palette with your favorite breed!

 

4. “What is the MOST important aspect of successful design?”

I’d have to say you really need to be consistent with your visuals.

This means having a selected color palette, typeface, and brand elements you consistently use throughout website pages, platforms, print material, promotional products…you name it!

Brands that really #killit are consistent. You will never see them using an off-brand image or color because everything is crafted to communicate to their target audience and it really shows.

The second I land on a brand’s website or Facebook Page, you can tell if it’s a beautifully packaged company. It really adds an extra layer of legitimacy and trust. Thus…turning into purchases and new customers!

 

3. “What is your favorite part of the design process?”

Oohh, that’s a great question. I’d have to say COLOR SELECTION…by far!

I LOVE using my knowledge of color theory and crafting custom color palettes that are unique for each and every pet business. I love how certain colors evoke emotions and I love really nailing down what “emotion” each business should be portraying and reflecting that in a #droolworthy palette. We actually have a whole new series over on our Instagram page called Canine Colors that pairs a color palette with your favorite breed!

 

4. “What is the MOST important aspect of successful design?”

I’d have to say you really need to be consistent with your visuals.

This means having a selected color palette, typeface, and brand elements you consistently use throughout website pages, platforms, print material, promotional products…you name it!

Brands that really #killit are consistent. You will never see them using an off-brand image or color because everything is crafted to communicate to their target audience and it really shows.

The second I land on a brand’s website or Facebook Page, you can tell if it’s a beautifully packaged company. It really adds an extra layer of legitimacy and trust. Thus…turning into purchases and new customers!

 5. “What’s your favorite client story?”

LOVE this question. If you’re a part of our social media and website community, you have probably heard us talk about Puppy Paws Coffee Company. In fact, you can actually view their Dox Design case study on our website.

They have been with us from the very beginning and we have grown with each other. I will never forget the day I was scrolling through Instagram and a message popped up from the owner of the company. A subscription box we designed for them was being featured on a huge influencers page right next to a subscription box from Chewy and Bark Box.

That moment…I thought, “OH MY GOSH, that is my work right there, next to these huge names.” It just spiraled from there and the box was actually featured in World Packaging Design. My client, Tonja, and I were in shock and were just frantically messaging back and forth celebrating and reminiscing on where we started.

I just love when my clients are my cheerleaders and vice versa. That moment just felt like a really big win for my client and our small pet branding and design studio.

 

6. “Enough about branding…We want to know more about YOU!”

Favorite Food 
PIZZA! Hands down, I could eat it for every single meal!

Favorite Animal (Besides Dogs, Of Course) 
Prairie Dogs (Ha, I know, I know…it still has the word, dog in it), but I think they are hilarious creatures.

Favorite Show 
Definitely GAME OF THRONES. I consider myself The Mother Of Dachshunds. Anyone who follows me knows I am a #diehard fan. I’ve been following the show since day one.

Favorite Quote
The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” I am not sure of the author, but I saw it on Pinterest one day and it really stuck with me. I have to always remind myself that growth takes time. As an entrepreneur (and I’m sure so many of our followers are the same way), I tend to get impatient and want to see progress immediately. This quote grounds me.


7. “What is your BEST piece of advice for other pet businesses out there?”

My best piece of advice is to just STICK WITH IT. I know it can be discouraging to launch a product or start a business and not get the flood of inquiries you were expecting.

TRUST ME, I was there. But, I promise that if you are passionate, which I know you are, and you stick to your plan, you will get there. It takes time to see success. But, it can and will happen for you, too – I know it!

We are more than just a pet brand design agency. We’re real people, passionate about YOU, your business, and your #droolworthy design. We’d love to have you in our free FB community, Creative Pet Marketing, a group full of freebies, design advice, support, and collaboration. We hope to see you on the inside!

This Could Be You!