Description: Stylish pet accessories
Start-Up: $30,000 in 2002
Sales: 2003 projected sales of approximately $1 million
Pet Project: One day, Lori Pacchiano asked herself what she really wanted to do in life. "I realized it was something with my dog, Lola," she recalls. Getting to work immediately on an idea she had long envisioned, she showed her creation, Pet Feathers--a feather boa for dogs and cats--to a local pet store, which offered to carry the product.
The B-Word: Thank Lori's co-founder and brother for the High Maintenance Bitch (HMB) name. Unsure of a synonym for "dog" that would fit, Lori asked Ryan for his thoughts and was highly amused by the double entendre. Now the name is trademarked.
Hip Chicks: HMB's line is where pet accessories meet Sex and the City, and customers are often professional, confident women. "[Other pet-product companies] have marketed toward the pet," Ryan explains. "We definitely market toward women." Their products are sold in pet-related boutiques as well as boutiques for women, gift shops, bookstores, four-star hotels and airports. Items in HMB's Muttini Toy Collection ooze cool (think martini glass chew toy, olive, cherry and cigar). Their other lines include bone- and heart-shaped pillows and cushy mats.
On the Loose: With its products in more than 400 stores nationwide, HMB is looking to franchise by year's end.