Tuesday Topics #38 - Treat Pouch & Giveaway

It has been almost 3 months since I posted a Tuesday Topic! Not that I haven't had questions. But Tuesdays would go by before I could get the question posted, and then I'd miss my opportunity for the week, since heaven forbid I ask a question on Wednesday or Saturday. Because then it wouldn't be a Tuesday Topic!
french hinged bait bags with black webbing, fabric colors are rust, army green, blue, and hunter greenOnce again combining my love for sewing and for dogs, here are some treat pouches or bait bags that I made. A couple years ago, my puppy group gave out Gentle Leader/Premier pouches, and I loved it. Eventually, the French hinge wore out and broke, but I loved the stay-open convenience of that hinge.

open pouch with treats shown insideI knew the hinge feature was one I wanted to incorporate in my own design because it's so easy to pop open and slap closed. But I also wanted to try to improve on the overall design, including other features that I personally found useful.

open pouch with a ball insideMy pouches have enough room to hold a ball, in case Cabana ever wants to play. (She likes to retrieve when no other dogs are around to play with, kind of like, "Sure, Mom, I'll play with you IF there's no one better.")

outside pocket with zipper holding a cell phoneThe zipped outer pocket holds a cell phone or other items that you want to keep secure.

back panel pouches showing keys, credit cards and ID, and poop bagAnd on the back, there's another zipped compartment for keys and ID, with an open pocket for easy access to a poop bag. The design of the back panel also helps keep the pouch from flopping around too much when you're walking or running.

loop in the black webbing strap showing a carabiner and a tan leashThe webbing strap is adjustable and has a loop to insert a carabiner. I like to clip Cabana's leash onto the carabiner and go hands-free. (Mandy made me the pictured leather leash, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it--the color, the length, the texture. A number of volunteers at the shelter have commented on how nice it is.)

I am trying to decide whether to make and sell these treat pouches, before I invest in more supplies. But I need a little market research first, which is where this post and the GIVEAWAY comes in! I tried to incorporate features that I'd like in a treat pouch, but is there anything I've left out? Here are some questions I'd love to get feedback on.

Which of the included features are most appealing to you?
Are there other features that you think I should add?
Is my color selection too boring? Should I be using bright colors and prints instead of solids? (I also have it in solid burgundy, but it's not pictured.)
What would a reasonable price be for these pouches, remembering that they are a handmade item (no sweat shops or overseas production)?
Are there already too many competing bait bags like this on the market?

I would appreciate constructive feedback with specific information (not just "those are nice" please). A random winner will be selected to receive a free treat pouch in the color of your choice. If possible, I will even try to incorporate your preferences into the design. I will announce a winner next Tuesday morning, May 10, 2011. Thank you in advance for your help, I really appreciate it!!

Ally and Eclipse  – (May 3, 2011 at 7:22 AM)  

Very nice! My bait bag is one of my favorite tools although I would greatly like for it to have additional pockets for my cell phone, keys, poop bags and a ball. The only feature the one I have that yours doesn't isn't a separation for two different types of treats and while it's a good idea it doesn't really work out all that well since the treats get all mixed up and I just end up putting the higher value treats in a bag anyway. I'd say more colors/patterns, maybe something a little brighter and I'd be willing to pay $20 for one since I got mine for $14. You're so crafty, it just kills me! The only thing I can do is repair dead stuffies, and not even very well at that! ;-)

Amber-Mae  – (May 3, 2011 at 8:10 AM)  

OH I am LIKING those bags! Great sewing job too.

• Which of the included features are most appealing to you?

I like the big, spacious hinge on those pouches. You can easily take a treat or a toy out of there without having to DIG inside the pouch. I hate those kinds hence the reason why I stopped using pouches for a very long time. They were just too inconvenient for me. But with a big hinge like that, it's very convenient & I like it that way!

• Are there other features that you think I should add?

I don't think so. It looks good the way it is right now. Too many zippers & pockets will just make it look messy. It's good to just keep it simple like it is right now.

• Is my color selection too boring? Should I be using bright colors and prints instead of solids? (I also have it in solid burgundy, but it's not pictured.)

IMHO, those colours are too common & too dull. Nothing wrong with them being plain though as some people will prefer it that way but perhaps using different colours would be good such as hot pink, bright yellow or just plain white. I'd certainly go for pouches with those bright colours! For patterns, just do something simple & nice like maybe just adding different breeds of dogs for each pouches, you know what I mean? Some people own or love a certain breed of dog & they would like to have a pouch with their favourite breed printed right on it.

• What would a reasonable price be for these pouches, remembering that they are a handmade item (no sweat shops or overseas production)?
This is hard for me to answer because I live in a different country & the pricing over here is SO different from America. I'll leave it to the rest to answer this.

• Are there already too many competing bait bags like this on the market?
Well, I see NONE of these pouches being sold here in Malaysia! I'm not sure about other countries though.

lindsey  – (May 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM)  

I really love the zip pocket in the back that's large enough for keys and cards. Also, the fact that the front pocket is large enough for a phone is nice...is it large enough for a blackberry or iphone though? Personally, I don't want my bait bag to stand out, so I generally go for a black or dark color, so I think your color selection is great. I think you could sell these for $25ish dollars. There are many similar items out there, but I've noticed usually you have to find them online and haven't seen them in pet stores around my area.

Cassie & The Dogs  – (May 3, 2011 at 8:54 AM)  

Those are awesome! I love that you take something I think about and do something! (I just sit back and wish someone would read my mind and get it right!)

Color is a hard thing for me - my ideal would be something bright and fun. BUT, as a puppy raiser who has a kibble pouch attached much of the time, I tend to stick to a low key black.

My suggestions are kind of odd. I would want the actual kibble pouch part to be lined with that plastic-y stuff to keep the oil from bleeding through (it also helps ME not smell the kibble all the time).

Then, because I swap kibble pouches around class, I would prefer the option of the belt clip with a way to secure the strap out of the way. I don't use the belt clip outside of class though, as I don't want to have to continually make sure it is still with me.

Well written out, that sounds like I am asking for the world! :)

Kari in WeHo  – (May 3, 2011 at 9:16 AM)  

Holy moly those are awesome! I think that hinge feature is the best part since the other ones I have seen have a zipper or a slide rope thing which are both clumsy.

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

Meghan  – (May 3, 2011 at 10:47 AM)  

I have one of the gentle leader treat pouches that is on its last legs, and I agree that the closure on it is very useful. i think solid collars that aren't super obvious are best, because I tend to cary the pouch in all different settings when I'm raising a young puppy, and I want it to be useful, but I don't want it to stand out. I think it would be cool if the treat pouch had a small pocket with a slit in it so you could feed the little rolls of baggies through...does that make sense? Other than that, I think you're on your way to designing the perfect bag. I really don't know how much the necessary supplies cost you to design/create these, so am not sure what price to suggest.

Brittany  – (May 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM)  

* I also love the stay open feature of these kinds of treat bags! It is very convenient for clicker training because the treats are easily accessibly.

* I think that if the pockets in the back don't Velcro closed or zip they should. I don't want to be losing poop bags along my walks.

* I think you could do a couple prints, but I don't have any specific suggestions. I am glad you said you have one in burgundy, because I was sad when I didn't see some kind of red in the color options.

* I think you could get away with asking $15-20 for them seeing that they are handmade.

* Until I get one of these to last more than a year without the clasp breaking, there will never be too many of these pouches.

Mandy and Saxon  – (May 3, 2011 at 2:26 PM)  

I love these, I was going to add my critique and be like "they look like fanny packs!" but I guess that's pretty much a given. I love the functionality! But since we're talking openly out fanny packs, I will come right and admit that my mom tells me I look like a dork then flat out laughs at me when I am wearing the treat pouch. With that in mind, I would totally rock a brightly colored treat pouch - that'd be cool. Go big or go home, right? Also so glad you like the leash, it looks WAY cleaner than mine. So happy it seems to have broken in just fine as well. If your friends want leashes, let me know - I sold 2 last week and have a request for another! :)

Martha G  – (May 3, 2011 at 2:36 PM)  

I love your pouches because of all the extra pockets for odds and ends we all need to carry with us when we're out and about with our dogs. I hate having to carry a purse to the dog park. I also like this pouch because in addition to carrying treats, I could easily carry iPod, keys, ID, etc. to the gym.

I like the colors because they match a lot of fall/winter outerwear. I prefer solid colors and I'd love it if you offered burgundy.

For price, 25.00 to 30.00. I think I bought a pouch through my old puppy club for around 15, and it seems I see handmade pouches and bags in this range at knitting stores. I'm not the best person to price crafts though!

Mango  – (May 3, 2011 at 5:26 PM)  

Oh, those are nice. Hehehe.

Let me see... I like the wide open pouch so you don't have to fish around for stuff.

Is it machine washable? Because I like to run my training pouches through the wash now and then. Are any of the compartments big enough for a small digital camera?

I do like multiple zipper pockets so that I can reserve one for "clean items" I found a somewhat comperable bag for $18.95 online but it does not appear to be nearly as well made as yours. I think $25 might be a tipping point for people, but you could go anywhere between 20-24.99

I like the colors and the material looks sturdy. I don't want my bait bag to stand out.

Mango Momma

Brooke, Phoenix, Cessna, Aspen & Canyon  – (May 3, 2011 at 6:50 PM)  

Those are wonderful treat bags!

I agree with the first person who wrote on her suggestion of adding the two compartments for high value and regular treats, but am thinking that maybe one of the compartments could have some sort of closure so I wouldn't be grabbing the wrong stuff? I also like bright colours! I'm not sure what to suggest for price, but think I'd be iffy on spending more than $20 for one. I love that you have been able to incorporate spots for non-dog related stuff and would also love if it could hold a digital camera and Blackberry or Iphone. Not sure if I've answered all your questions, but can't think of anything else I'd really add.

Good job!

Emily and Keno  – (May 3, 2011 at 8:55 PM)  

I like them!! I have one very similar, yet I love the back pocket on yours! Having the ability to carry my keys would be great. I tend to like some bright colors, a purple bag would be right up my alley. I think around $25 would be what I would pay, just because they're are so many different kinds you can get for pretty cheap.

Raiser Erin  – (May 3, 2011 at 10:37 PM)  

I love this design of bait bag. I really like how you've improved on the pocket idea by adding the zippers and the back pocket. The front pocket on the Gentle Leader ones is lovely, but it's all velcrow and I'm afraid my key might fall out. Now, you say that the front pocket is large enough to hold a phone. Would it be large enough to hold an iPhone? This is my biggest problem if I'm walking without pockets, but don't wan to listen to music and still need to have my phone on my person. One thing that I would like is the addition of a metal ring (if possible) on the bag itself. I have a poop bag dispenser that I take everywhere just in case my puppy comes down with bad diarrhea or if someone else needs a bag. On my gentle leader one I clip it to the metal ring so it doesn't shift on the waist band. Now, I have to say, I might buy one as my gentle leader bag has worn (the hinges are broken so it doesn't snap shut all the way which leads to messy cars), but I'm not sure how many people would. I'm not entirely sure if enough people would to merit selling them for a long period of time. You might get a lot more people buying them if you did have more colours because the gentle leader selection isn't great and gosh, I'd like to have a colour that matches my dog ;-). I've been trying to get a green bag for a while and they're never in stock.

Raiser Erin  – (May 3, 2011 at 10:42 PM)  

Oh, I also agree with Cassie. A plasticy lined thing would be great. It's not as bad for GDB raisers anymore since we stopped using Science Diet, but oh I remember the oily stains and pure puppy food smell that was attached to me for about 6 months before we discovered Freya was allergic to Science Diet.

Also, there are a lot of competing bags like this which is why I'm not sure if enough people would buy them to warrant anything but a "special edition" type thing. And...PWAP does supply bait bags to California puppy raisers as a year long fund raisers so I'm not sure if I could technically endorse this, but if there could be some personalization I would totally buy one. What would be better than a bait bag that says "ERIN" on it? :D

Beth and Alfie  – (May 4, 2011 at 6:47 AM)  

First off -- you really made me giggle with your "asking questions only on Tuesday!" ;) lol!

Amazing treat pouch! I love the ability to carry keys & phone. As some have already mentioned, my first thoughts were: Is it machine washable?, and Does it have a lining? I like the colors you have, but a fun & bright color/stripe/print would be appealing too (provided it's not too light...again, just thinking of those oily stains!) I think $20 sounds about right.

I know, from the items I already have from you, that the treat bag would be quality. You're just too creative!

Cassie & The Dogs  – (May 4, 2011 at 8:33 AM)  

But Erin, then everyone would know your fanny's name! ;-)

I didn't answer the pricing question before. I would say $25. My current pouch was $16 and has some features I really like, but yours has more :)

Tessa99999  – (May 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM)  

Holy!! Could you have any better timing?! My friend America and I have been dying to find a good treat pouch for ages! Addie JUST started her second training class last night and I was so annoyed by not having a good place to store treats!!!

• Which of the included features are most appealing to you?

The most appealing features for this treat pouch for me are by far the size of the treat pouch and the hinges that keep the pouch open or closed depending! How awesome that it can hold a ball too!!! My friend and I have used other treat pouches before and usually the treats end up on the floor before either we had to bend down to pick something up or just from walking the pouch was bounced around so much.

• Are there other features that you think I should add?

One commenter suggested something along the lines of a lining for the treat pocket. I actually really like this idea. That being said I would still love one even if it didn't have that feature. I have a washing machine for a reason. I'm not sure there are many more features needed. I think it might get a bit messy and clunky if too much more was added.

• Is my color selection too boring? Should I be using bright colors and prints instead of solids? (I also have it in solid burgundy, but it's not pictured.)

I think the color selection is spot on, especially when just starting. I know if I were to buy one I would want either Black or (bright) red. I don't actually like red, and the only reason I would want one is specifically because Addie's leash/collar are bright red. I think some patterns might be nice. For some reason I have this mental picture of someone toting around a pouch with like a Hawaiian flower design on it. I don't know that I'd make tons of them, but I think at least offering other patterns would be nice as a custom order type thing.

• What would a reasonable price be for these pouches, remembering that they are a handmade item (no sweat shops or overseas production)?

The price I would *LIKE* to pay for this would be $20-$30, BUT that doesn't really take into consideration they are hand made and take time. I honestly think $30-$40 is reasonable considering the workmanship involved in making it. Of course no one wants to pay more for something if they can get it cheaper, but I do think it could very easily be worth that.

• Are there already too many competing bait bags like this on the market?

I haven't really looked on the market too much. I have mainly just looked in PetSmart. They only really have one type of pouch and it's really not that great. I definitely don't think there are too many bait bags on the market. Plus this one offers something a lot of others don't. You have a lot of conveniences wrapped into one little bag. You have a place for your phone, keys, poop bags, etc etc etc. When I take Addie for a walk I usually put my keys and things in her backpack, but last night we went on another walk sans backpack and I had no where to put my things. Women's jeans are NOT the best as far as pocket space goes, so having a bag like this would have been a HUGE help!!

All in all it looks GREAT!!! I'm excited to see who get the bag. If I don't get one I will probably end up buying one (or two) from you later. It looks like an AMAZING product!

P.S. I'll be posting an entry about this awesome contest of your momentarily, so hopefully you can get more constructive criticism.

Min  – (May 4, 2011 at 9:17 PM)  

Mimi, I'm always amazed by your talent!

I can see that you put in a lot of thought behind your treat pouch. I especially like the multiple pockets, and the zippers are especially wonderful so that I don't worry about losing my valuables.

I think making some kind of oilcloth lining would be a nice touch for holding oily treats. Definitely advertise it as machine washable as that is always a major selling point for me.

I typically like solids over other prints. And I realized that I have a lot of black clothing even though Bella's fur is so light.

I've never looked for pouches like this before so I don't really know how to price it.

I don't think I've said anything others have already mentioned, but I just wanted to let you know that I think your bag is really brilliant and well designed.

Also, I'm not entering in the giveaway. Just wanted to comment :)

Hobbes Dogs  – (May 5, 2011 at 7:18 PM)  

Yay - I love your Tuesday topics and I love this treat pouch!

• Which of the included features are most appealing to you?
Wow - this is like a combination of my two favourite treat pouches. One is just a big pouch with the convenient hinge feature, but doesn't have other pockets for id cards, poo bags etc. The other is more of a fanny pack with different sections and a zippered pocket, but it doesn't have much space for actual treats. So I really like that yours combines pretty much everything that I like!

• Are there other features that you think I should add?
I think it's great as it is ... I was going to comment that one of my pouches has a place for a carabiner (I find it useful for clipping keys, etc) and then I went back and saw that you already had that!

• Is my color selection too boring? Should I be using bright colors and prints instead of solids? (I also have it in solid burgundy, but it's not pictured.)
Personally, I like the solid colours best ... love the blue and green you have pictured, and red or black would be my other likely choices, but I think it would look neat in a pattern too - maybe some doggy theme?

• What would a reasonable price be for these pouches, remembering that they are a handmade item (no sweat shops or overseas production)?
$20, maybe even a little more.

• Are there already too many competing bait bags like this on the market?
No, I've never seen one with all the features of yours.

Erin and Co.  – (May 6, 2011 at 11:45 AM)  

• Which of the included features are most appealing to you?

I love that you have FOUR pockets incorporated instead of one, and that they are big enough for things I DO carry when training...cell phone, clickers, keys etc..

• Are there other features that you think I should add?

I do like Ally's idea regarding the two separate pockets for different treats, but don't know how that would work out. Though I'm sure YOU could do it if anyone could. I also like the suggestion of plastic lining. As someone who uses real meat as treats...it would make clean up soo much easier.

• Is my color selection too boring? Should I be using bright colors and prints instead of solids? (I also have it in solid burgundy, but it's not pictured.)

Patterns would be cool... :)

• What would a reasonable price be for these pouches, remembering that they are a handmade item (no sweat shops or overseas production)?

I'll defer to others :)

• Are there already too many competing bait bags like this on the market?

You know, there really aren't. (i know. I've looked and looked!) the ones at Petsmart (as you know) are pathetic at best. the Ball and teat one, doesn't close, flaps around pathetically, and I nly use it because its available. I try to stuff clickers, plastic baggies, and all kinds of stuff into the tiny pocket ok the side ands its horrid.

Tonyalynne  – (July 24, 2014 at 11:38 PM)  

Where do I purchase one of these? They are fabulous.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (July 25, 2014 at 5:58 AM)  

Hi tonyalynne, you can buy them in my Etsy shop. Unfortunately, I'm closed this week. I will reopen on August 1. But here's the link:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/GiveADogAHome?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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