New Beginnings - From Center St. Doodles to Joley Aire
We began breeding dogs for fun and for a little side income. I know, I know, that’s the very definition of “backyard breeder” and it’s something people tend to turn their noses up at. Everyone has to start somewhere and I wasn’t completely uninformed. After all, I grew up with puppies and breeding animals and many of my family members breed dogs.
But there was a lot I didn’t know.
We started with Reagan, our Goldendoodle that was really just our family pet. I had always wanted to breed her, but my husband, Brian, was skeptical. He let me go ahead with it, and in 2017 we had our first litter of 10 amazing puppies! After the success of that litter, Brian was on board and the next year we adopted a Mini Goldendoodle into our family, Ronnie.
I didn’t like the thought of calling our little breeding operation a business because that sounded so cold and like we were these mean people exploiting our dogs for money. However, I had to have something to put on top of the contracts new puppy owners signed and on our Facebook page, so I hastily came up with Center St. Doodles because, well, we lived on Center Street.
I still knew very little about the art of breeding with specific traits in mind and simply paired our two girls with the most available stud (who happened to be my sister’s dog). When we had those first litters of puppies, I didn’t know to do any training on them, I figured that should all be done with their new family. One thing I did get right in those early days was the health of our dogs. We kept in close communication with our vet and made sure to have all puppies vet checked and vaccinated.
If I could go back and do things differently, I would.
Our decision to move from our house on the edge of town to a rural home on 2.5 acres had a bit to do with the dogs. Sure, we’d always dreamed of living “in the country”, but when we considered that we could have more dogs and expand our business, it was an easy choice.
The move gave me a chance to do things differently…better. I began researching like crazy and learned all I could about breeding dogs. I like to do things right, by the book, intentionally, and as it should be, so I took our move as a chance to start over. I remember telling Brian, “if we’re going to do this, I want to be all in”. He agreed.
The first change was to call this what it is: a business. And since it was going to be a real business, we had to come up with a name that we actually liked and made sense. Center St. Doodles didn’t work anymore since we didn’t live on Center St. and never really loved the name.
Naming the business was harder than naming any one of our three kids! Before I could settle on something, I wanted to have a clear vision of what we were about and how we would position ourselves with branding. I also happen to be a bit of a business nerd and soak in any entrepreneurial information I can get my hands on, so I knew how important branding and positioning were and how costly brand changes are.
There were several months of brainstorming, but we finally settled on a mission and a name: Joley Aire.
Joley Aire is simply the combination of our three kid’s names: Jordan, Riley, and Blair (we added the “e” at the end to help pronunciation and because it looked more fancy). The fact that our kid’s names will never change like our location did is an improvement, but it also means so much more to us.
Joley Aire is a daily reminder of our mission to provide puppies to kids to help them have an amazing childhood.
See, as a kid, we always had animals. Most of my days were spent running barefoot in my parent’s 5 acre field training, playing with, petting, and caring for our assortment of horses, goats, ducks, chickens, and the random other type of animal from time to time. I can think of so many important life lessons I gained from those animals. Things like how to care for something and be responsible, how to love and be loved, and how to have empathy for other living creatures. I learned to spend time outside and get active, how to work hard, and gained an appreciation for God’s creation. Those animals were there with me when things were good and when times were harder and I think I became emotionally stronger because of them.
I’ve always known that I want all that for my own kids. I want them to love to be outside and to choose active play over electronics, to learn to be kind to other living things, and to be confident and have strong self esteem. I want them to marvel at what God put on this earth for them the same way I always did and understand that life is a gift not to be wasted.
I realized something: if I’m so passionate about passing these lessons on to my kids, I bet other parents are too. And what better way to help them do so than to provide their kids with amazing puppies to grow up with and learn from.
So we aren’t just selling puppies, but providing families with something real that will provide them with years of valuable lessons and experiences.
Of course, if these dogs are going to be that important to families they must be top quality. They must be bred from the healthiest parents and certain measure to be taken to ensure long lives. They also must be bred for wonderful temperaments and personalities that are compatible with kids of all ages. It helps if they are lower shedding (as a mom, I know how important it is for your sanity to not have hair to clean all the time) and more hypoallergenic for kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to have a dog.
We’ve kept all those things in mind when investing in our future breeding dogs. We decided to phase away from Goldendoodles toward Bernedoodles (Bernese Mountain Dogs x Poodle) because they have a calmer temperament. We adopted Akira and Denali, purebred, AKC registered Bernese Mountain Dogs from great lines at the end of 2018 and will be adding our own Poodle stud late this spring.
I have so many plans and ideas to help kids get off their electronics and outside with their dog. I think it would be cool to develop a whole program or book that helps parents teach kids important life lessons through their dog. I thought of doing play date events and even hosting a sponsorship where people can donate to provide a dog and it’s care to kids who couldn’t otherwise afford one. I’d love to start a blog to share ideas, inspiration, and tips to further this mission.
All those things will take some time to come to fruition, so for now, we will keep investing in our dogs to make sure they are the BEST around and take little steps toward our goals.
We’d love for you to to follow along and join in our journey! If you are at all interested, definitely follow us on Instagram or join our community of subscribers through our newsletter. And, definitely, if you are interested in adopting a puppy from us, join the Waiting List to stay informed on new litters.
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