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Exploring Life & Business with Lily Truong of Tale After Tail

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lily Truong.

Hi Lily, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Our story started the moment we got Odin in February 2020, one month before everything suddenly went downhill for many households, including ours. Jose (my boyfriend) and I were both in really promising places with our jobs at the time, and we were both very excited for our future. We already had our cat, Rikku, but we knew the only thing missing was having a dog in our lives. The country went into lockdown in March 2020 & we both got laid off shortly after. We were doing everything that we needed to do to survive because the last thing we wanted to do was get rid of Odin & Rikku. We’d be okay with cup noodles for lunch & dinner as long as they had everything they needed to stay healthy and well-fed. We struggled and we had to sell a lot of things in our house to sometimes make due, but we stuck it through.

Even though our household took a hard hit, there were still some amazing things that happened in 2020 for us. We were welcomed into an amazing, loving community full of like-minded dog people. We connected with many friends from around the world and helped us in our journey. Through Odin, we were able to see a positive light shine through the hard times. Because of the dog community and what it did for us, I knew that I wanted to pursue something in the dog-related industry. Owning Odin made such an impact on my life that this decision was easy.

It was now just a matter of, what do I pursue? Leashes? Treats & chews? Collars? No… I support a couple of small businesses who make amazing products in those categories already. Only one other thing came to mind, and that was dog bandanas. I loved how they looked on Odin but only had two because it just wasn’t affordable at the time. I told myself to do the research, borrow my mother’s old sewing machine, and make a bandana for Odin. I enjoyed it so much that 2-3 weeks of practicing led to me finalizing that I wanted to open my own business making bandanas for dogs & cats.

The name “Tale After Tail” is in reference to this story. The struggles and obstacles we went through almost immediately after getting Odin. But our story also includes the fact that those obstacles lead us to friends all over the world, a supportive community, and a new passion for sewing.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think with every business, there is going to be struggles. I definitely did not expect it to be a smooth road, as I knew I was going into a very saturated market. Many people had the same idea as me and small businesses were starting all over the world in 2020. In the dog-related industry, most were probably bandana shops. I knew that. My biggest struggle was trying to figure out how I could stand out in that crowd. I recognize I’m not the most creative person. It did eat at me in the beginning of my business and I started the business trying to follow the crowd with a cute logo, bright aesthetic, etc. I quickly realized that the best thing for me to do was just to be honest and authentic, 110% me. I changed everything according to how I felt it portrayed me best & I have been nothing but transparent with my supporters. Since then, I have been moving forward with nothing but positivity.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Tale After Tail?
We are a small business that handmakes colorful and modern bandanas for your pets. We specialize specifically in making 2-sided reversible bandanas which makes it seem like you’re getting 2 for 1. Our bandanas are typically released with matching scrunchies or face masks for the pet owners who love matching with their pets. We release original prints drawn by our artist @ohpenyo of different dog breeds. We currently have Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Jindos, Shibas, and German Shepherds. As we continue to grow our client base, we are releasing more breeds based on the client demand. We also have collections like the “Anime Club Collection” and “Welcome to Dogwarts Collection” to ensure we are not just sticking to one crowd but reaching out to all. We want to make sure there is something for everyone, no matter what the taste or aesthetic. If you have a suggestion, we are most likely to try it because we want everyone to be heard.

People came for the bandanas but stayed for the community we built.

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