B&B Kustom Kennels has grown into a well-oiled machine, creating gorgeous custom kennels for families furriest members, but the company has humble beginnings. Bethany and Brody Rathman share a passion for beautiful handcrafted furniture and for some time, that meant creating pieces for their own home that fit their style while being unique, beautiful, and well made.
In 2015, the Rathman’s adopted two adorable Labradoodles, Gracie and Piper. The girls couldn’t be left alone in the house all day while Bethany and Brody were at work but leaving them outside in Colorado’s unpredictable weather wasn’t a solution either. As many pet owners do, they turned to wire kennels but hated the look of the clunky metal crates. Bethany wanted to find a comfortable, cute solution for their pups without sacrificing style in a large area of their home. After some careful planning and designing, they developed the first Doggie Den.
Friends and family loved the kennel that the Rathman’s had designed and they were encouraged to post it on a local Facebook Buy & Sell page. The photo went viral, racking up nearly 7 million views on Facebook. Suddenly thousands of people were interested in getting their hands on a custom piece of their own. They sold several kennels locally and quickly realized that they weren't the only family searching for a more stylish solution for housing their fur babies. After some consideration, Bethany and Brody took a leap of faith and B&B Kustom Kennels was born.
The Christmas season flew by and they needed help filling the orders they were getting. Bethany quickly filed trademarks and patents on their products in December 2015. They rallied their community and had friends and family building kennels with them in their 400 sq ft basement and garage. Bethany’s dad helped out by taking a week off of work to cut lumber, rebar, paint and stain kennel after kennel. In January of 2016, they launched their first website with the help of a college friend. Things were moving quickly and just three months in, Brody left his job and dove headfirst into production at B&B.
Their labor of love became overwhelmingly successful, leading them to move two employees into their home with them and begin building a shop on Bethany's parent's property in their first year. After expanding to five employees this operation needed more space. In August of that year, they had a massive spike in orders and sold 225 kennels in just one month after a second picture went viral on Facebook, reaching nearly 7 million people once again. The orders came with a 30-32 week wait but customers weren't swayed. The customer service and outstanding quality spoke for itself.
B&B Kustom Kennels has remained busy and they learned so much from those first whirlwind years. As they enter their fifth year, they have expanded their business to include raised dog beds, feeders, accessories, and apparel. They have been featured in many publications but most notably and exciting are HGTV's Sharing Paradise, The Washington Post, and Country Living Magazine. In 2019 they were invited to share their growing company during a feature on Good Morning Arizona.
The couple has taken the growth in stride, adding to their family of employees, their customer base and even their own brood, with the addition of their son Emmitt in 2018. The future looks bright for these trailblazers.