Thursday, June 30, 2011

We'll be in Redwood City on July 4

Stop by our booth on Monday at the Family 4th, Redwood City's annual Independence Day Celebration. View the Family 4th web site.

The Fireworks Pack

Just in time for the Fourth of July, we offer the Fireworks Pack, an original pack that is bursting with patriotic spirit.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We made the newspaper!

This Valley Life: Happy Tails business packs a punch
By Jim Ott, Columnist
Posted: 06/23/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT

Look up "entrepreneur" in the dictionary and some day you just might find a reference to Janet Vigallon, founder of Happy Tails Dog Packs.

"I got the idea for my company after searching in stores and online for a dog pack," she said. Vigallon was heeding the advice of television's "Dog Whisperer," Cesar Milan, and wanted to buy a pack to use when walking her 1-year-old, high-energy mixed-breed rescue dog, Daisy.

Vigallon wanted a green or blue pack, and one that wasn't bulky or stiff that could carry upright water bottles and other items.

"After not finding what I wanted, I spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in 2010 crafting the dog pack in my mind with scraps of fabric," she said. "While others were sleeping in or watching parades and football, I was sewing."

Vigallon said she was surprised at the responses she received from people as she walked Daisy in her pack.

"Sometimes we would get a thumbs-up or a smile," she said, "and several kids seemed amazed that Daisy was carrying her own water bottles."

When several people encouraged Vigallon to make and sell packs for those who don't sew, she tucked the idea away until October, when she and her husband were on a long drive. "We talked about the possibility of actually marketing dog packs as a home business," she said, "and we got so excited brainstorming options that we decided to learn how to start a business."

Vigallon began taking business seminars and started sewing and improving her pattern and adapting it to fit different-size dogs.

"I'd be out at dog parks measuring everyone's dogs," she said, smiling as she recalled the thought. "Then I would go back to the parks to confirm that the packs fit."

Vigallon said as she and her husband filed the paperwork to create their company, they were thinking of company names when their 17-year-old daughter, Karen, suggested Happy Tails. "Right away, we knew that was the right name," she said.

As with most startup firms, Vigallon's company is "mostly hidden in our house," she said. "In my bedroom are yards of fabrics and zippers, decorative trim, and other materials."

Vigallon said most of her sewing is in a corner of the living room. "I'm back and forth all the time between my sewing corner and the dining room, cutting fabrics on the dinner table," she said.

Happy Tails Dog Packs is a true family business. While Vigallon is the chief executive officer, her husband, Scott, is both the chief technology officer and the chief financial officer. Similarly, their daughter is the western regional sales manager, and their 15-year-old son, Kevin, is the associate vice president of communication.

"He spreads the word and walks Daisy in her pack during the summer so I can sew," Vigallon said.

The family company became official and able to accept orders in February.

To promote their business, family members will represent their company at a booth at Pleasanton's First Wednesday Street Party on July 6 and again on Aug. 3. They also plan to attend the Fremont Art and Wine Festival on Aug. 6-7.

While Vigallon hopes readers will stop by these events, anyone interested in photos of cute dogs wearing dog packs is encouraged to visit the company website, designed by the Las Positas College Design Shop. The website includes a photo of Daisy and animated clips about products. Go to

Contact Jim Ott at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Introducing the Baby Pack

For parents who want their dogs to carry supplies while strolling their babies or toddlers, we introduce the Baby Pack. This pack has room for diapers, wipes, and other children's supplies, along with room for dog supplies.

Introducing the Beach Pack

Perfect for that day at the beach, the Beach Pack allows your dog to carry your water supplies and toys. With the mesh fabric, your dog stays cool. Also keeps your helpful dog from getting too hot on warmer days.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sneaking into our booth

We had a furry, little visitor at our booth Sunday at the H.A.L.O. Ramble.

At the H.A.L.O. Ramble

Had a great day at the H.A.L.O. Pooch Promenade and Pet Awareness Day on Sunday in Antioch. The Contra Costa Fairgrounds was H.A.L.O.'s new setting, and it was a beautiful day with fantastic weather. Hope to see you there next year.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Specialty Packs

We're currently working on two new, exciting dog packs: the Beach Pack and the Baby Pack. The Beach Pack will be made of mesh, so sand and water will sift through. The Baby Pack will be made of a cute, quilted baby print and will carry your baby's bottles, diapers, wipes, along with dog supplies for your outing with the dog.