Today is our second birthday: Two wonderful years of being in business

Milgi Coats is two years oldI thought I’d share some of the highlights along the way. 

The very first greyhound coat we sold online was a 28” Pink Floral Fleece Coat. Two years on, and the 28” fleece coat is still the best-selling size, with it and 26” making up 50% of our sales. 

The best selling bandana by a mile is our Red Star Bandana. I think there’d be a riot at shows if we stopped doing this!

Milgi customers love purple as much as we do. The imperial purple is our best selling fleece coat, and the Purple Haze is by far our best selling raincoat, outselling the others by a ratio of three to one. 

The very first show we attended was the South West Greyhound Gathering down at Upottery. This is still one of our favourite events, with a wonderful atmosphere and some amazing cakes. I was chatting to Vicky recently, and although the event isn’t happening this year, she says it’s likely to go ahead next year.  We can strongly recommend it, and look forward to it. 

The biggest event in our calendar is the Great Greyhound Gathering at Nottingham, run by the RGT. It’s huuuuuge! If you’ve never attended, it will boggle your mind, and empty your wallet, and you will see the most wonderful array of hounds, and can enjoy shopping till you drop, buying things you didn’t even know you could imagine for your hound. 

A close second is the Perry Barr RGT Annual show, held indoors each autumn. Four rings of faultlessly organised dog show classes make it an amazing day. 

We’re international – we’ve sold items to Ireland, Monaco, Belgium, Spain, the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. 

Within the UK, there are Milgi coats everywhere from Cornwall to the far north of Scotland, with coats going to Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

Our bespoke service has been very well used – we’ve made coats for every sort of dog from a Jack Russell terrier to an Irish Wolfhound.  We’ve also made coats for a cat (yes, really!) and at our last show had a serious enquiry about coats for miniature Shetland foals.     

A special mention to one of our bespoke customers, CJ the Staffie. After we made her coat, we used the template to create some Dreamcoats, and we are now regularly able to provide these for the Senior Staffy Club, and more recently, Molly a beautiful Staffy girl in the care of Kim’s Home for Elderly Dogs, and currently fostered with a very loving mum.    

All the modelling on our website is done by our own hounds – this includes our beautiful bridge boy Boola, and our current four – Andy, Mick, Sara and Callie.  If you come along to one of our events, you will be able to meet the girls, who are always delighted to say hello. 

We opened with a full online shop to take credit cards, but last year introduced PayPal.  Now, over 50% of transactions on our website go through this channel. 

We’re already planning for our next online dog show in January.  This is a free, fun event to brighten up the dark days of January for our customers. Just send us your favourite pics of your hound wearing Milgi gear.  There’s rosettes, prizes and some super things for rescues.   

All our items are made here in the UK, either here in Wales or in Plymouth, Devon. We are proud to be a small part of UK manufacturing, and very proud that our coats are not made in overseas sweatshops. Even our Milgi coat labels are made in Wales, down in Pembrokeshire. 

We are delighted that we are involved with the Great British Greyhound Walk, and this year were honoured to make the Ambassador’s Official Coats. 

Andrew does the building and maintenance of the website, though of course we use a secure merchant service for online transactions. Behind the scenes, we are currently building and testing a new, updated site, which will incorporate several improvements, including making it easier for overseas customers and improving the PayPal shopping experience.   

The single thing I am most happy about is the help we’ve been able to give to various rescues since we started. This is not an exhaustive list, but we’ve been able to support in some way the following rescues - Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue, Greyhound Rescue Wales, Perry Barr RGT, Galgos del Sol, Carlotta Galgos, Birmingham Greyhound Protection, BGP Scotland, Greyhound Rescue Fife, Scruples Whippet Rescue, Bristol DAWG, Celia Cross Greyhound Trust, Sighthounds Online, Canine Epilepsy, the Greyt Charity Dog Meet, the wonderful Senior Staffy Club, Shropshire and Borders Greyhound Rescue, Hounds First Sighthound Rescue, Greyhound Welfare, Animal Lifeline Wales, the Greyhound Sanctuary, Portsmouth Greyhounds and Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary.   

We could not have done any of this without you, our customers (both human and hound!). I’d like to say a huge thank you for all the support we’ve received, and especially the feedback and comments which help us to continually improve. Here’s to the next chapter of the adventure!

Kathryn, Andrew, and the four Milgi hounds – Andy, Mick, Callie and Sara (and remembering with love our bridge hounds Booty and Boola) xxxx

Published: 13th August 2014