Spotlight | Ken & Shauna Kelly, Outback Mutts
fetching bags and bowls for your fur babies
We love a good local business success story at The Field Guide.
Obviously we’re completely biased, but there is something thrilling about coming across a concept you love – and then finding out it’s Toowoomba-based! That’s how we felt about Outback Mutts, a brand new online store selling fetching bowls and bags for dogs. The stylish and practical collection of ‘muttware’ is all locally-designed by Shauna and Ken Kelly, a Toowoomba couple very much besotted with Harry and Teddy, their well-accessorised dogs.
Shauna and Ken have lived in Toowoomba all their lives, so they know a thing or two about the best dog-friendly places in town. We sat down with them to spill the beans.
Name: Ken & Shauna Kelly
Occupation: owners of Outback Mutts
Known For: creating chic, durable wares for your pups
Local Since: the 1960s!
First things first: why Toowoomba?
We live at the bottom of the Toowoomba range with a view of Tabletop Mountain. We were both born here.
Toowoomba is the perfect place to live for us. We love that it is close to Brisbane and both coasts. The weather is beautiful. The parks are great for walking the dogs, there are plenty of scenic walks and we love that more and more dog-friendly places are popping up like Bar Wunder and Burrow.
What is Outback Mutts?
Outback Mutts offer practical, stylish, must-have accessories for our mutts that love to get out and about, whether it’s to the dog park, to the beach, for coffee, or to Paradise Pet Retreat.
We’re a husband and wife team who started a side business because of our love of our two dogs, Harry and Teddy, and the joy they bring to our lives, especially when we take them places. We sell bags and accessories that you can grab, knowing you have all the essentials to take on trips – kind of like a baby bag but for your fur babies.
What have you learned about running a business in Toowoomba? What are the unique opportunities, benefits and challenges?
Toowoomba is a great community to build a business in. There are many startups in the area and lots of resources, people and places to assist small businesses. There are also many dog-related business opportunities for us to be a part of, such as the Million Paws walk, dog kennels, local markets and dog-friendly places to visit. Our website ships internationally but we are really proud to have our roots here in Toowoomba.
What does an average day look like for you?
We continue to work while we grow our little business. Ken is up early at around 4am, having a health regime he has to do each morning before heading off to work. Harry and Teddy race into me in bed for a cuddle until it’s time for our morning walk. They love getting out and about, sniffing out who’s been on their patch throughout the night! I then head to work for the day. Ken works part-time, so he comes home to pack and send orders.
What does your ideal Toowoomba weekend look like?
Morning walks and farm work – pulling and spraying weeds, cattle work, etc. Harry and Teddy love sniffing out bunnies in the paddock, swimming in the dams, riding on the ute, running with the four-wheeler, getting up close to cows. Then we love to finish with a session at Bar Wunder with the mutts!
Only a Toowoomba local would know…
Their dog can be their best heater in winter.
FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO:
PERK UP: We always perk up just being at home at Blanchview in the fresh air. Otherwise, we have partnered with Paradise Pet Retreat for a few projects, and we know their dog guests always feel perked up after a visit.
RELAX: Bar Wunder – a great spot to take the dogs
EAT: Burrow – another great spot to take the dogs!
INDULGE: We love to take a drive to Hampton to visit Emeraude for a little indulgence
SHOP: Pet Café. Harry and Teddy love going there to sniff out all the treats on show. Harry was fixed sniffing out the crocodile feet last visit.
CATCH UP: Jilly’s Café for the friendly atmosphere!
BE INSPIRED: Canvas Co-Working Space. Their Friday Lunch & Learn sessions are great for learning new skills or business strategies.
See the full range of stylish muttware at the Outback Mutts website.