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Meet Mike Lee of Mr. Puppy in South Bay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Lee.

Mike, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Mr. Puppy was inspired by my childhood and experiences as a photojournalist. Covering wars and other horrible events in the world I saw things no one should see and went places no one should go. One day I was in one of those hot spots, taking a break from the action, and I started doodling. I drew an old friend–Mr. Puppy.

My grandmother gave me a plush dog toy when I was a kid and I named him Mr. Puppy. Mr. Puppy was a pal and always made me happy. That day those doodles of Mr. Puppy took me back to a happy time. They gave me a smile and some relief.

Later back in the states I decided if Mr. Puppy could give me a happy feeling, maybe he could have that effect on others. Maybe he could give people all over the world a smile. I began to develop the concept of Mr. Puppy as a graphic art brand. I experimented and saw Mr. Puppy’s art was a good match for products. I spent over a year creating product development concepts. A few more years making prototypes and product samples.

And then I began exhibiting Mr. Puppy products at trade shows and other events. We’re talking years of hard work in development, and more hard work pitching merchants and distributors. Eventually, Mr. Puppy apparel and accessories found a market with boutiques and specialty shops across the USA.

Those years were full of painful setbacks, unbelievable disappointments, and the reality of knowing that few properties without a TV show or big movie make it. But I was determined and ready to fight for the brand everyday. I knew in my heart Mr. Puppy could have a powerful impact on people everywhere.

Perseverance, determination and faith can push you forward. It’s all how you think. It is your attitude that matters. You just don’t listen to anybody –just your heart.

Now Mr. Puppy is a licensed brand with several U.S. partners developing products. Mr. Puppy is on track to go worldwide with international licensees in Japan and Australia.

And Mr. Puppy is moving into entertainment with a new musical, Mr. Puppy The Musical!

It’s an exciting time for the brand.

Has it been a smooth road?
I would tell anyone you have to be brave. You have to be willing to take risks. Big risks. 

You have to have determination. You are in the trenches everyday. You will win some battles and lose many.

But you keep going because you believe in your brand.

You have to make many sacrifices. When your friends are at the beach you’re working. To build a brand takes everything you’ve got and more.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mr. Puppy – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Mr. Puppy is all about fun. We specialize in cool apparel and accessories that give people a happy feeling.

Every order comes with fun hangtags and Mr. Puppy stickers to enhance the Mr. Puppy experience.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Best would be the cultural diversity, the arts and great climate.

Worst is the traffic and too many people, not caring enough.

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