Sometimes people believe Bunny Approved is a big company with lots of employees, which is very flattering. The truth is, it officially consists of one person and unofficially of two humans and two bunnies. Here’s a little look behind-the-scenes…
My name is Christina and I am the owner of Bunny Approved. Also, I am the one who packs your orders, e-mails you when you have a question or problem, interacts with everyone on social media, updates the website, writes the articles, handles the finances, and takes all the pictures. Most of the website was created by me with a bit of help and guidance from a couple of programmers – including my husband, Shawn. He’s the one who adds custom functionality to the website, fixes issues way beyond my programming skills, and gives me input on new ideas. Oh, and he’s one half of the Bunstructors. Can’t forget that!
And then there are our rabbits. Bunny is the boss, the face of the business, and the official product tester. He’s the reason Bunny Approved exists – when we first adopted him, we realized that pet stores in the US had very few toys for rabbits and the ones they had didn’t interest him one bit. We were able to ask family members in Europe to send more interesting items over to us, but what about all the other bunnies out there!? That’s when the idea for this shop was born.
Every day Bunny is busy making sure the toys and snacks are the best available out there. No matter how many treats he has to eat and how many toys he has to play with, he will get it done – and take 25 naps in between. Bailey helps him with those tasks and shares the spotlight.
We don’t have a fancy warehouse or retail space somewhere. Bunny Approved is based out of our home. Instead of a dining area and guest room, we have an office and neat rows of shelves with storage space. The shelves are filled with all kinds of rabbit toys, snacks, and other accessories. The bunnies are allowed in the office, but don’t worry, they don’t get to go anywhere near the products. Bunny would insist on testing everything!
We purchased products at full price for a while to see if there was even a demand for them. Then I began to contact different manufacturers and wholesalers – you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to find people willing to work with us. I definitely learned that every step in the right direction always takes much longer than anticipated. Our goal was to only offer items that we would give our own bunnies, but we were restricted by the amount of money we had and by the number of companies that answered my e-mails and calls.
When we first started out on this venture we had just enough money to place one small wholesale order to fill one shelf. It’s always difficult to predict which items sell quickly and which ones will sit on the shelves for a while. It’s especially important to make a good prediction when you rely on sales to purchase more products! Slowly slowly we see-sawed our way up, always reinvesting the profits to get more items, always working long hours without any pay (other small business owners might be able to relate to that). At the time I had a full-time job, too, which I kept until we moved to Concord last December. Some friends and family members think we are crazy, others love the idea! Either way, it never fails to amuse me to see the look on a stranger’s face when I tell him I “own an online retail business for pet rabbits”. Ha!
It’s been a lot of hard work and we still don’t have all the products we want to offer. Bunny Approved is still small, there is still so much to do, so many goals to reach, and I absolutely love doing it! It makes us so happy to see your bunnies enjoy “our” toys and snacks and to know that people like the website and social media community. We both know so many of you and your rabbits by name and it all feels like an extended family.
We’ve come a long way from the very first facebook post on June 30th, 2012 and are so very grateful to everyone who has supported us along the way and continues to support us! Every view, like, comment, share, and purchase is appreciated! And who knows, maybe one day we can have a dining room again.