Every successful founder’s journey starts with a passion. For Sam Stocking, dog trainer and founder of Korey the Kanine, that passion was dogs. “We always had dogs in my family growing up, and I always loved being around them,” Sam shared with Squarespace. “But I became really interested in dog training when I got Korey.”
In 2019, looking for a new way to help manage her Type 1 diabetes, Sam and her husband decided to welcome Korey to their family. The golden labrador retriever was just a puppy at the time, but their goal was to train Korey to become a Diabetic Alert Dog—a type of service animal trained to detect and alert their person to spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.
As she and Korey started working with a specialized trainer to help Korey grow up into the life-saving Diabetic Alert Dog that Sam needed, Sam’s passion for dogs transformed into a business idea. “Seeing the amazing things that Korey could learn to do, it sparked my dream of becoming a dog trainer—which led to founding Korey the Kanine.”
Now, Korey the Kanine offers a variety of dog training classes for dogs and puppies, including popular programs for Diabetic Alert Dog training. “Squarespace has made it possible and incredibly easy for me,” Sam says. From streamlining those bookings on her website—to creating new growth opportunities and an engaging social media presence—learn how Sam (and Korey) have turned her passion into a thriving business with the power of Squarespace.
Scaling with Squarespace Scheduling
Sam first launched Korey the Kanine while living in Germany during the early months of the pandemic. “I was able to start my business solely online, and then further develop it into both online and in-person appointments once we moved back to the USA and got settled into our new community.”
That hybrid service model, where clients can learn how to train their dogs either virtually or in person, continues today. “Squarespace Scheduling has helped scale my business,” Sam says. “Clients are able to directly schedule their own appointments without me having to constantly update and change my schedule.”
That ability to automate client scheduling through her Squarespace website has streamlined the booking process, freeing up the time for more clients and other brand-building efforts—like growing an active community on social media.
Engaging and converting audiences via social media
With over 600,000 people following Korey the Kanine on TikTok and Instagram, combined, Sam and Korey have the attention of a large online community. “I have used a variety of social media platforms to create client engagement and interest in my business,” Sam says. Whether engaging with fans of Korey content, or nurturing prospective clients, Sam’s social media strategy is about consistency: She posts daily, and she stays focused on her brand by sharing the “tips and tricks of dog training.”
“I have utilized social media as my main way to communicate and engage with clients and fans, which drives people to my website and to book appointments.” To easily direct social media followers back to her Squarespace website, Sam created her own Unfold Bio Site. The customizable link-in-bio site empowers her to point her audience to all of Korey the Kanine’s online touchpoints, which creates a more cohesive brand experience.
Diversifying income streams with ecommerce
Inspired by the success of Korey’s large social media following, Sam decided to launch a Korey the Kanine online shop. “I thought it would be a good idea to create merchandise for fans to buy.” Creating a new income stream has helped Sam to monetize her business in a way that leverages not only her dog training clients, but anyone who’s a fan of her and Korey.
“I chose the types of products to sell based on what I feel people want to have, which is typically clothing, stickers, or accessories,” Sam says of her strategy for deciding what to sell. Adding a new income stream doesn’t have to mean adding a heavier workload—print-on-demand services make selling products online easy. Korey the Kanine’s online store uses a third-party print-on-demand Squarespace extension. As Sam says: “It takes care of the inventory and fulfillment process for me.”
Planning for future growth opportunities with Member Areas
Streamlining key aspects of her business, like scheduling and selling, has given Sam the space to brainstorm new growth opportunities for Korey the Kanine. “This is still a work in progress,” Sam says, but the plan is to build her own Member Area: a subscription-based, members-only section of her Squarespace website.
“My strategy is to record and post videos of dog training basics that members can pay to have access to. This way, if they prefer, they can watch the video and practice on their own.” This exclusive video collection would create more client independence, while clients continue to engage with the Korey the Kanine brand. “Members will also be able to engage with one another and share their experiences and advice,” Sam envisions.
As Sam continues to expand Korey the Kanine’s core business and community of dog lovers, she has her own advice to share with other entrepreneurs and small business owners out there: “Breaking down information into smaller, more manageable chunks is helpful for doing online business. Determine what your clientele's needs are, and base your online business around that.”
Inspired by Sam and Korey’s story? Start building your own brand on Squarespace.