By Kim Jansen
News Report Staff
Pet lovers are in for a treat, if they are searching for a unique pet bed for their furry babies.
Shelly Gardner, of rural Effingham, has mixed her love for crafting, art and pets to create a unique line of bed pets for her new business venture — Doodle Bug Designer Pet Furniture.
“There wasn’t anything around here like this, and I thought it was my chance to do something unique,” said Gardner. “I have always loved crafting, and I am an artist, so this is just another form of art.”
Although she has many hobbies and wasn’t really looking for another one, she enjoys making unique pet beds.
“I sure do have fun with these,” she said. “I am an animal lover and making furniture that will make any four-legged baby feel extra special makes me smile.”
Gardner has designed a variety of beds by repurposing items, including old tires and outdated furniture.
When making the tire beds, Gardner transforms old tires by creating a base and foam bedding inside the tire. She then sews a bed cover for the foam using a heavy cotton, machine-washable material. The look is finished off with ribbon or other accents to create a unique look.
Gardner’s current inventory includes a variety of styles, from bright flowery colors to orange and black flames.
“I can do just about anything under the sun when it comes to fabric,” said Gardner, who added she does take custom orders for those customers looking for a certain look.
When it comes to repurposing furniture, Gardner has a few pieces in her inventory, but also will refinish furniture into pet beds for those who already have a piece of furniture for their pet bed.
Although Gardner creates and sells other art and crafts, the pet bed business holds a special place in her heart and is named after her dog who died due to kidney failure a few years ago.
“Her name was Noodles, but we called her Doodle Bug. I loved that little dog, so I named my creations after her,” said Gardner. “Everyone who knows me knows how very special she was to me and how much she was loved and is missed.”
Gardner continues to work on inventory for her pet bed line and creates a variety of beds that will be for sale.
“I’m just getting started. I plan on continuing and adding to my designs,” said Gardner.
As an active member of the Effingham County Humane Society, Gardner donates a portion of all her proceeds to the local organization.
For all items that she sells that are over $100, she donates 10 percent of the proceeds to the Humane Society, and for all items under $100, she donates 5 percent to the organization.
“I have always been a pet lover,” said Gardner. “There are far too many homeless pets out there that need loving homes. I want to help support them until they find their forever homes.”
Gardner’s line of pet beds can be viewed and purchased through her Facebook page, which is Doodle Bug Designer Pet Furniture.
She also can be reached by phone at 217-821-0301. Custom orders requests can also be made through Facebook or via phone.