The Purpose of this report is to evaluate the successes and failures that led a Fabulous Furballs to go from the 6th top growing company in Alberta (Jan 2012) to out of business in less than three months. How can a company go from accolades to the court house in a few short months? The answers lie in a perfect marketing plan and crash due to dishonest reporting of income and outright fraudulent activities. This was a company where the owner needed to concentrate on her strong suits (Marketing) and allow someone else to handle the financial and business sides.(MacLeod, Venture Alberta, 2012) Company Background
Fabulous Furballs was formed back in early 2007 when owner and CEO Krista Castellarin relocated to Edmonton, Alberta from Las Vegas to be with her new husband. Krista was upset to find that she could not purchase high end clothing and products for her pampered Chihuahua. After ranting to her husband of the non-existing products, he encouraged her to fill that void, so she did.
Starting with nothing but a credit card, she got signed mainly with exclusive distribution contracts for high end pet products such as specialty poop pick-up bags to $5000 diamond collars, and hypoallergenic spa products. A few months after starting her first store, she purchased a grooming school, which she immediately got licensed.
In the short time of four years Fabulous Furballs went from concept to four retail locations and a grooming school, with four additional stores looking to open during 2012. Markets and Products
Fabulous Furballs was broken up into three different divisions. There were the retail outlets, the grooming school and the spa/grooming salons. Store
Revenues come from the sale of a variety of products
a.Most inexpensive product: Scented poop bags $10.
b.Most expensive product: Diamond studded dog collars imported from Europe that cost $5,000 c.Hypoallergenic pet products
The company averaged sales of $410 per square foot in 2009 (MacLeod, Venture Alberta, 2012). Items come from everywhere around the world and from very famous designers Luxury Pet Spa
Customers could select from various pet grooming services
They taught students how to properly groom animals and give the pets the most pampered experience that they could. They boasted a 100% graduate employment rate, with an average starting salary of $60,000. (Hall, 2011) Key Strategies
There really was no other business that provided the type of merchandise that Fabulous Furballs showcased in Alberta. Some of these products included baby powder scented dog waste bags and crystal studded collars. The salon was luxurious and plush; when customers came in they would often compliment the gorgeous interior. There were also trained groomers who provided unique haircuts and styles for the pets, such as mohawks and perms. Because of this unique and fun service, the business boomed.
The company used social networking as a form of marketing. The owner, Krista Casellarin was quite active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and had multiple blogs that she kept active and many people followed her.
Another marketing venue she used very well was free TV airtime. Fabulous Furballs aired on four different TV programs (see below)
Fabulous Furballs TV show (pilot)
A pilot was aired on Slice network on August 17 2011. The show was based on life in a dog grooming school. It showcased the ups and downs as students were taught to be professional pet stylists. (Post, 2011)
Krista Castellarin went to the dragons asking for a $200,000 investment for a 15% share of Fabulous Furballs. A deal was offered and accepted for a $200,000 loan with the option of a 10% share. After the show aired they had over 400 people interested in becoming a franchisee as well as more than 100 investors. (MacLeod, Alberta Venture, 2012) (Dragons...