Spotlight | Teeka Rahman, Wanderless Barkley
a dog lover solves one of her own problems
Teeka Rahman just wanted a stylish, washable bed for her German Shepard.
While it didn’t seem to much to ask, most dog owners will agree that with the current beds available, you either need to sacrifice design or sacrifice the ability to wash it. But now, thanks to Teeka’s range at Wanderless Barkley, the only choice you need to make is what beautiful colour you’d like your velvety, washable dog beg to come in!
We sat down with Teeka to learn more about her side hustle, how she spends her weekend, and her favourite place to walk Jango and Ciri.
Name: atiqah abdul rahman (known as ‘teeka rahman’ for short!)
Occupation: engagement & Marketing officer by day; entrepreneur by night
Known For: being a crazy dog mum, and designing washable, fancy dog beds
Local since: forever! with a Brisbane stint from 2013-2015
First things first: why Toowoomba?
I grew up in Withcott and lived in the Toowoomba region until I finished high school. I moved to Brisbane at the start of 2013 to study public relations and marketing at QUT. Once I graduated at the end of 2015, I was offered a job back in Toowoomba and I was more than happy to move back because I was a bit over ‘city life’. Toowoomba is a great place to live — it’s a beautiful town with lots of open space, it has all the amenities you need and you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg for a dog friendly house!
what is wanderless barkley?
I found it difficult to find dog products that I loved. I started off hand making pet ID tags and have grown to offering washable dog beds. I struggled to find dog beds that didn’t look ‘novelty’ and that were also washable. So, I designed a range that suit home furnishings and decor, and are completely washable. While I was at it, I made sure to create dog beds that come in extra large sizing (I have two German Shepherds and finding a bed big enough was always difficult!) and use plant-based fibre in order to be more sustainable.
What have you learned about running a business in Toowoomba?
As Wanderless Barkley is primarily an online store, I could run in almost anywhere. However, I’m proud to run my business from Toowoomba. It’s such a picturesque and dog friendly place, that’s filled with creative people wanting to make their mark. This environment really motivates me to grow my business.
One of my main challenges is shipping to wholesalers. A wholesale order of dog beds can be very bulky so delivery can be a bit challenging.
What does an average day look like for you?
Wanderless Barkley is still a side hustle so during the week I work full time in marketing and events for a university.
Mornings consist of me either emailing suppliers/wholesalers, drafting Instagram posts or packing orders, all while eating breakfast.
While I’m driving to work, I’ll be listening to my favourite podcasts (it’s a mix between true crime, small business and general knowledge podcasts).
Then while I’m at work, I primarily coordinate outreach events and engagement as well as assisting with marketing duties, such as graphic design, content writing, social media management etc.).
Then when I get home, it’s a mixture of going to the gym, walking the dogs, making dinner, posting orders, doing market research and sneaking in some Netflix if I get time!
What does your ideal Toowoomba weekend look like?
Weekends are much more dedicated to Wanderless Barkley. However, since I can do this from home, it means getting to spend time with my partner and my two fur babies, Jango and Ciri.
When I want to unwind I’ll either play some video games, take the dogs for a walk or drink some wine on our porch and enjoy the leafy green views.
Only a Toowoomba local would know…
When it starts to get drizzling and the whole of Rangeville and Mount Lofty fogs up.
FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO:
PERK UP: Working up a sweat at The Bar Health & Fitness. They have a great community and the trainers will hold you accountable!
RELAX: Horn Park — my favourite place to take the dogs for a wander and take in the beautiful scenery.
EAT: I’ve loved every meal I’ve ever had from Chong Co and they make some tasty cocktails too.
INDULGE: I’m a sucker for a Max Brenner’s Italian thick hot chocolate.
SHOP: Spending way too much time in the plant section at Bunnings.
CATCH UP: Burrow makes a delicious garlic rubbed sourdough.
BE INSPIRED: I love looking at open homes. It gives me inspiration and ideas on dog bed styling and designs.
Shop the Wanderless Barkley collection here.