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Inspiring Conversations with Dan & Kelly McLemore of So Cal Corgi Nation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan & Kelly McLemore.

Hi Dan & Kelly, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Corgi Beach Day began in October 2012, with an informal gathering of just 15 corgis at HB Dog Beach and since has grown to over 12,000 attendees per event! Our own corgi, Mr. Pickles, had undergone a series of surgeries on his leg…he had finally recovered after a year of being cooped up and we simply wanted to meet other corgi owners and friends with an impromptu meet up at the beach. We threw a quick Facebook event invite out and had 15 corgis and corgi owners show up that very first day. We had a blast and did it again three months later….100 corgis and people showed up that time. Three months later, 500…then again three months later and 1000 showed up, then thousands and thousands…it just kept growing. Eventually, we added in vendors, corgi contests, food trucks, and our own Corgi Beach Day merch turning it into what you see today. We host the event 2x yearly, Spring and Fall at Huntington Dog Beach, the home of Corgi Beach Day. It has grown exponentially, with our last event (pre-covid Fall 2019) drawing in over 12,000+ attendees and corgis!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As with any business, there are always growing pains and with Corgi Beach Day’s quick growth, we learned very quickly how to work with the City of HB (who have been so wonderful BTW), obtaining proper permits for the operation of such a large festival event. Something that many do not know is that Corgi Beach Day is primarily a 2-person operation….a husband and wife team of Dan & Kelly. We produce and have our hand in everything from concept to completion which includes, social media & website, branded merchandise development and production, event set up and contests, volunteer coordination, sponsor & vendor outreach and coordiantin, and much, much more. We rely on a great network of volunteers day of event who assist with setup and tear down and other various tasks. It a lot of work but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it. The corgi community is so special and unique and it’s all worth it.

As you know, we’re big fans of So Cal Corgi Nation. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We are most proud of Corgi Beach Day by the amazing community that has been created and continues to build. We make CorgI Beach Day an event that everyone is welcome to attend, whether or not you have a corgi, dream of having a corgi or have an “honorary corgi”. The lifetime friendships that have developed and the way that everyone teams together by their love of corgis, you just can’t help but have an ear to ear smile all day at Corgi Beach Day. We’ve had marriage proposals at Corgi Beach Day even! Providing everyone a great experience and fond memories is our biggest WHY that we do Corgi Beach Day. We love hearing about all the great times that people have had with their friends, family and corgis (or honorary corgis) at Corgi Beach Day. In turn, we met our friends at Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue, a local SoCal rescue that helps corgis in need and have partnered with them since the very beginning as the main rescue that we encourage all of our followers and attendees to support. QBSDR has grown along with Corgi Beach Day over the past nine years, and we include them in all of our events and fundraising efforts.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Do everything from a place of giving and love. The community is so strong and any corgi lover can tell you, we all share a unique and common bond. There is truly something special with our So Cal (and beyond!) corgi culture!

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