Cincy Chic: Tell us about some of your previous jobs…
Marianne Buttner: Much of my prior work experience has helped prepare me for being an entrepreneur and bringing my products to market. I grew up in Roselle Park, NJ, a small town about 20 miles from New York City. New York's infectious can do attitude got in my blood and I'm forever grateful.
Most of my professional life has been spent as a public relations and marketing professional. My first job was for a book editor at McGraw-Hill. Ive since worked for advertising and public relations agencies in New York, Boston, Syracuse and Dallas. I taught at Syracuse University as an adjunct professor; I had graduated from SUs Newhouse School of Public Communications. I also worked as a freelance writer/reporter for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including McGraw-Hills Business Week.
When I was 22, I worked on Wall Street for a financial PR firm. Two decades later I worked as a stockbroker for Dean Witter and then Bank of America. I was in Dean Witters training class in the World Trade Center. There were 120 people in the class; only 15 were women.
Cincy Chic: How old is Gizmo and how long have you had him?
Buttner: Gizmo is 12 and Ive had him since he was a puppy. He is a black and chocolate toy poodle with the heart of a lion and a persona to match. He is our C.E.O., the "Canine Executive Officer," and is definitely the star of the company. If you have any doubts about that…just ask him!
Cincy Chic: How did you get the idea to do Creative Coverlets?
Buttner: I was looking for a new pet carrier when I lived in Delray Beach, Fla. Florida is especially dog friendly. I saw a lot of the same carriers, regardless of price, over and over again, both on the streets and in the stores. I wanted our carrier to reflect our own personal style without being limited to just one look. I could not find what I was looking for, not even on the Web. With Gizmo as the inspiration and my design skills, I turned our need into action. I invented an interchangeable accessory product for pet carriers that change the look of a carrier in a matter of seconds.
Creative Coverlets (patent pending) are custom, interchangeable design attachments that transform pet carriers and coordinated handbags into where did you get that traffic stoppers!
With multiples Coverlets, you can match your mood or coordinate the look of your carrier with your outfit. On a whim, your carrier could change from fun and funky to classic or highly sophisticated. The design possibilities are limitless. They can include beautiful and unusual fabrics, faux leather, faux fur, trim, lace, beads, jewels, paints, ribbons, silk flowers, etc.
Creative Coverlets allow for a variety of attach and release systems including hook and pile like Velcro, snaps, buttons, etc. The size, shape and positioning of the Creative Coverlets can be adapted to fit most ready-made carriers in the marketplace.
Cincy Chic: What do you see in the future for your company?
Buttner: As part of phase one my company is offering the Creative Coverlets products for both pet carriers and coordinated handbags on a custom, personal appointment basis. This will allow for direct feedback from customers to help me evaluate the desires of the Cincinnati market. Customers can make selections from our line of fabrics and carriers, or bring in their own.
Im also in the process of adding an e-commerce store to our Web site so that customers from anywhere can order select Creative Coverlets styles, carriers, womens accessories and, of course, the Petrosexual and Proud! doggie tank shirt.
The 2008 winter line for Creative Coverlets includes extraordinary fur fabrics from Donna Salyers Fabulous-Furs , maker of the worlds finest faux fur. Our latest carrier collection comes from PuchiBag, the L.A. manufacturer of pet carriers coveted by Hollywood celebrities. Gizmo and I just love them, and we hope our customers do too.
Phase 2 of our plan is to address the primary goal of the company, which is to license the rights of the Creative Coverlets product to manufacturers of pet carriers and/or handbags in exchange for royalties.
Creative Coverlets is the first of several pet products the company plans to bring to market.
Cincy Chic: How did you get the idea for the Petrosexual line?
Buttner: Gizmo is the quintessential Petrosexual, and I thought it is the perfect word to describe the doggie apparel line. A Petrosexual is a pet who has refined taste and exceptional style, and one who enjoys the good life. He (or she) appreciates epicurean delights, fashionable clothes, beautiful accessories and the best of everything!
We are introducing the line with the Petrosexual and Proud! doggie tank shirt. It makes people laugh out loud, and thats the best part!
Cincy Chic: If Gizmo could talk, what do you think hed say about all the things you dress him up in and put him in?
Buttner: Well, Gizmo kind of does talk, or he certainly lets me know how he feels. He loves his carriers, car seat, stroller and backpack. He associates them all with going out and about. When I pull one of these out, he barks and spins around; hes ready to go. He also enjoys wearing clothes because they attract attention to him. We should all have this little guys self-image. But if the clothes arent comfortable or if the leash restraint in a carrier is too short and makes him gag, hell let me know that, too. Actually, in addition to being our Canine Executive Officer, he is our quality control expert. If I dont get a paws up from him, it is a no go.
Click here to view an exclusive Webcast with Buttner as she gives a demonstration of her handbags and Creative Coverlets.
Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes Granite Spring Model Home
Models: Marianne Buttner and Gizmo