Van Woof & The Quest To Get Fun Art Into Every Home
The 2 Week Lockdown Project Started In June, That Generated $150k in December, Featured On The BBC And Has A Raving Fan Base
I started Van Woof in June as a friendly competition with my friend to see who could turn a profit with a new business in 2 weeks. I have been a full time ecommerce entrepreneur since 2018 as well as having an art and design background so I decided on these humanised pet portraits that I'd seen around.
The business grew rapidly, with December 2020 being our busiest month selling over $150k and having 50 people working full time completing artwork and running the operational side of the business.
The BBC took notice and reached out to us back in October to film a segment for their prime time show The One Show.
Van Woof On The BBC...
In January 2021 Van Woof was featured on BBC’s The One Show airing to 5mil+ people across the UK. One of the customers in the show broke down into tears after receiving her Van Woof artwork. Watch the full video here on YouTube.
What is Van Woof?
Van Woof is an art company, and we turn pet photos into gallery quality artwork. You think you have seen other companies do the same thing, but the results that Van Woof give will be the same as if you are paying a pet artist $500.
1,000+ Hours of Training
All of our artists have been trained in the Van Woof style, and now most of them have put in over 1,000+ hours of e-painting for us. My aim was to train all the artists with the same fundamental skills that neo-classical painters would have learnt 250 years ago, but utilising digital media for efficiency.
This meant pushing the artists abilities as far as I could, and often they will have to redo an artwork multiple times before it is ready to go to a customer.
That skill shows through in every piece. Look at the image below, you can see how this low quality photo is turned into a beautiful piece of art, and zooming in further you can even see the brush strokes.
A Costume For Every Unique Pet Personality
We are working on some really cool artwork this year. I take inspiration from artworks like The Garden of Earthly Delights where you can spend time exploring the images. I want to create artwork like that, and give customers the chance to make their artwork even more unique.
If you look at the books in The Relaxed Gent portrait, they are all popular book titles but PETified. I like dropping easter eggs into the artwork, as it makes people enjoy their art much more than they had originally thought.
Here is a taste of some of our newer artwork
10,000+ Portraits Sold With No Marketing?
I have only spent a modest amount of money on advertising since we started, as most of our marketing has been done by people talking about our brand. I think when you have a really good product it does tend to sell itself. Having the BBC reach out to us was a great boost for sales.
This year I hope to be able to spend more money on advertising so we can get more amazing artwork in to peoples homes.
Giving Back To Pets
The reason I had chosen pet portraits as a business is because I'm an animal lover. All of my charitable donations in the past have been to animal charities, and I wanted to incorporate something charitable into the business.
Right now we are donating 6 meals to animal shelters with every purchase, and 1 meal for every email sign up. There is much more I want to do around the world, but I am going to spend the next few months choosing the right charity to team up with.
Want To Write or Film A Feature About Us?
I'd be really happy if you would like to write or film a short feature about Van Woof, and I insist that you get a portrait so you can see the quality in person.
We have recently brought in a new product that allows you to create your own costume so I think it would be great if you choose a new costume; we can even launch it on the site as a permanent feature!