Tulane’s Closet SAINT PETERS, MISSOURI
Stephanie Syberg had worked in veterinary medicine for 16 years and knew how much people and their dogs hated postsurgical plastic cones and e-collars. “I always had this idea I could come up with something more comfortable and convenient,” she says. So she invented Cover Me by Tui, an adjustable pet garment that resembles a dog onesie. After getting rave reviews from clients, family, and friends, Stephanie began manufacturing the garments in different styles, sizes, and colors and launched Tulane’s Closet in 2012. “My heartbeat was as fast as a beagle’s wagging tail!” she recalls. “It’s scary to start something on your own.” But with sales propelled by the Internet, the market responded with a big, affirmative “Woof!”
Tulane’s Closet sells their products to veterinary practices, retailers, and directly to consumers via their website. They rely on AdWords, Google’s advertising program, which currently drives 65 percent of their sales. “It helps me tremendously with getting the word out, not only in the U.S. but also to all of the different countries,” Stephanie says. “We’re now in seven countries, and a quarter of our sales come from outside the U.S., which is amazing for a company with only five people.” They also use Google Analytics daily to gain insight on their customers, web traffic, and “everything that we want to know.” And YouTube provides “a great way to show people how easy it is to use Cover Me by Tui’s built-in potty cover—you just roll up the potty cover like a burrito and snap it onto the chest area,” Stephanie describes. “The more we advertise,
make videos on YouTube, and do everything that’s out there, the more we keep growing, growing, growing.”
Today, Tulane’s Closet has sold over 43,000 Cover Me by Tui garments. They have nearly doubled their revenue every year and expanded their operation from the basement to all of the top floors, taking over the entire building. “We’re literally moving up in the world,” Stephanie says. With three new products set to launch this year, Stephanie can’t help but marvel at how far they’ve come. “I still remember the first time somebody called us and said they saw a dog in Central Park wearing a Cover Me by Tui,” she says. “It’s amazing that, with what’s out there on the Internet and Google, if you have a product that you truly love, you really can start and grow a business. Anybody—everybody if they really wanted to, they can do it.”
“Last year was the first year that we relied solely on online advertising. It was our biggest growth year.” STEPHANIE SYBERG, OWNER & DEVELOPER
25% of Tulane’s Closet’s sales come from outside the U.S.