PTM 006: Making Extra Money by Creating Vintage T-Shirts for Dogs, with Cara Bergeson of bentleyB.com

Part Time Money PodcastIn this episode of the Part-Time Money podcast I speak with Cara Bergeson, creator of bentleyB.com. In her part-time small business, Cara makes custom t-shirts for dogs out of the material from vintage t-shirts. It’s really a one-of-a-kind business.

Cara started this business a few years ago as a way to express her creative side, as well as meet some financial goals: getting out of credit card debt, doing some more traveling, etc. Cara has taken the business to the point where it is grossing over $1,000 a month with just 30 hours of effort. She loves the work, she is able to keep her full-time job, and it allows her the freedom and flexibility to have a family life.

Listen to the Podcast

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Here’s more from Cara about her side business:

I started bentley B a few years ago to earn a few extra dollars… what started with a new puppy, an old t-shirt and a sewing machine has turned into a booming side business. bentley B takes fashion to the dogs in an incredible line of vintage styled tshirts for small dogs (up to 25 lbs). Each bentley B dog tee is refashioned/sewn from the fabrics of vintage, recycled and discounted clothing. Each tshirt is one-of-a-kind, no two tees are exactly alike. I sell bentley B tshirts on my website, www.bentleyB.com, as well as in high-end pet boutiques across the United States. Most popular tees include the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Superman, Wonder Woman, Popeye, Smurfs, etc.

bentleyB custom vintage dog teesWhen I started bentley B, I was excited if I grossed an extra $100 a month. Now I gross around $1,000 each month. Not bad considering I put in maybe 20-30 hrs a month, depending on the orders. I still personally sew each and every t-shirt. I wanted to start a side business that would help bring in cash but allow me to be home with my dog and determine my own schedule.

We have been featured in a number of national and regional publications including Modern Dog, Pet Style News, Doggie Aficionado, City Dog, Everyday Dog and The New Barker. We have also walked the runway at local fashion shows. Every year we give a portion of our profits to help animal shelters, abused animals and to Dove Lewis Emergency and ICU Hospital.

In the interview, I ask Cara plenty of questions, like:

Why did you decide to start making part-time money?
Why did you choose to start a custom t-shirt company?
What gave you the confidence to make custom t-shirts for dogs?
How did you structure the business?
Where do you get all of the vintage t-shirts?
What mistakes have you made along the way?
What’s next for bentley B?

The e-commerce website Cara uses to run her site is called, Mal’s e-commerce.

To see the full transcript of this podcast, click show

Last Edited: February 11, 2011 @ 5:03 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. RE: bentleyB – cool shirts. KuDOGs on discovering them.
    Would you kindly correct the name of one of the magazines in the blog?: THE NEW BARKER is the full, legal name.
    Thanks so much.

  2. Will do, Anna. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with The New Barker.

  3. @Jane – Should be available in the next couple of days. Were you able to listen to the audio above? I’m sure your dogs were cute in their Christmas outfits.

  4. Jane Sanders says:

    I can’t wait for the full transcript.

    I’ve always loved dogs. I buy a lot of these cute shirts for my furballs. A few years ago, I even sew Christmas clothes for them. The clothes didn’t look so great but my family loved it!