Waste not, want not

Madison-based inventor sees success
marketing dog waste bags

‘Bow Wow Bags’ sold internationally to dog walkers

By Amy Casebier
Contributing Writer

(April 2008) – Most communities require owners to clean up after their dogs during their walks for health and environmental concerns. But what is a dog lover to do when he must cart around several bags full of “presents” from man’s best friend while walking, hanging onto the leash, answering the cell phone and holding his child’s hand?
There is now an answer to this awkward and stressful problem.
Lisa Spencer, a wife, mother of four, nurse and dog lover can now add one more title to the list: inventor.

Lisa Spencer

Photos provided

Lisa Spencer took inspiration from her
dog, Abby, for her invention. Bow Wow
Bags come in a variety of colors.

Bow Wow Bag

She has designed an attachable pouch to be used on dog leashes called the Bow Wow Bag. A patent is pending on the product. Dog owners can Velcro the bag onto their pets’ leashes to transport everything from doggie toys to bagged doggie droppings. Bags are washable, come in small and large sizes to accommodate different sized dogs and include a cord and cable lock system to keep them closed. The bag contains an inner zippered portion for cell phones, keys and other small essentials. Customers can choose from 12 different colors and patterns of fabric for their bag, such as hot pink, retro print, camouflage and cheetah print.
“Each dog has its own personality,” said Glen Spencer, Lisa’s husband. “We try to have a Bow Wow Bag to match the dog-walker or the dog’s personality.”
Glen works at Clayton Homes, though he also helps with the Bow Wow Bags and said that managing the product was going to become a full-time profession for Lisa.
The idea for such a product first came to Lisa in 2001 when she and her family still lived in Sioux Falls, S.D. Lisa became tired of carrying around her dog Abby’s leavings in plastic shopping bags during their walks or jogs, particularly when pushing around a stroller or carrying other things.
“I was stuffing waste in my jogging pants,” said Lisa, 40, recalling her experience prior to the Bow Wow Bag. Out of frustration and embarrassment when she did not have enough bags for the waste or encountered an acquaintance while carrying the droppings, Lisa devised a discreet and stylish way to transport the bags and other on-the-go essentials.
After her initial idea, Lisa began pursuing her goal of introducing the world to her invention.
She created a prototype bag and then started researching companies in China that made handbags and suitcases in order to get her product on the market. Over the course of four or five months, she sent ideas and prototypes to her contact at the company until they developed a final product worthy of Lisa’s dreams.
“The hardest thing is that it’s taken a long time,” she said.
Glen seconds that feeling. “It’s been a challenge going through the whole process,” he said.
Although the process has been stressful, the end result is the most exciting part of the experience for Glen.
“A lot of people have ideas,” said Glen, 42. “Just seeing the fruition of a concept she thought of years ago is exciting.”
The Spencers are their own manufacturer, Prairie Mutts, LLC, and designed and developed the bag themselves. Bags are stitched and assembled in a facility in China. Although she had to wait for some time, Lisa finally achieved her dream. The first shipment of 24,000 Bow Wow Bags arrived in December. There are already several stores around the world selling the bags, including locations in London, Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis and more.
The Spencers have already seen a positive response to the product from initial sells in stores and on the Internet, Glen said. “Everyone seems to like it.”
Bow Wow Bags are not being sold locally due to the lack of a pet boutique in Madison, Ind., but they can be purchased online at the Bow Wow Bags website, http://bowwowbag.com. Small bags cost $13.40, while large bags go for $15.90.

• For more information, visit: http://bowwowbag.com, e-mail Lisa Spencer at info@bowwowbag.com or call her at (812) 493-9634.

Back to April 2008 Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta