D.I.G. Founders

D.I.G. Founders: Jon Kurtz, Gila Kurtz

ABOUT DOG IS GOOD

Dog is Good, a Dog lifestyle company, creates and markets gifts and apparel for dog lovers. Located in Los Alamitos, CA, the company sells wholesale and retail, and licenses the brand to numerous manufacturers in the pet, gift and home product industries. Primarily still recognized as an apparel company, Dog is Good is quickly gaining recognition in the gift and pet markets. They have also developed a reputation for generously giving back to animal welfare organizations.

The company’s success lies in its ability to deliver messaging that resonates with dog lovers. With clever and poignant sentiments, they remind us all how great it feels to be with Dog.

DOG IS GOOD MISSION

Deliver Dogvergnügen (The joy you feel in the presence of Dog).

DOG IS GOOD  GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • 100% Customer-focused: We Listen – We Respond
  • Clever, Unique and Creative
  • Highly Ethical
  • Socially Responsible and Philanthropic
  • Conscientious – We’re On it!
  • Accountable

THE IDEA

Jon and Gila Kurtz always knew their future involved running their own business. While living in Washington state (circa 2005), Jon, an active duty US Navy Captain and Gila, a professional dog trainer, saw a void in the marketplace and subsequently, an opportunity.
Dog Is Good Tee
Gila had long-complained about the lack of clothing which both expressed her love of dog and was actually fashionable. Jon could have cared less about women’s clothing, but he saw a chance to inject his brand of humor into what he classified as his new favorite oxymoron, a “really big niche.” In this case, a brand that celebrates the remarkable bond people have with their dogs, in a way to which they could really relate. Full of ideas and energy, the Kurtzes decided they could make a good run at it. Thinking of the myriad possibilities for irreverent humor and plays on words, Jon suggested changing “God is Good “to “Dog is Good.” They knew it was a winning idea.

J.Nichole Smith, a young pet photographer and designer was also living in the “booming metropolis” of Poulsbo, WA. Her photography caught Gila’s attention, and after they had referred clients back and forth, they got to know each other a little better. Gila and Jon shared their idea for “Dog is Good” with Nichole, who immediately saw the potential in the concept and was excited about helping to build the brand.

A short time later {September 2006}, the Navy moved the Kurtz family to Seal Beach, CA. After they got settled in sunny SoCal, they created a few very simple hats and T-shirts, which they sold at local events. The sentiment went over big time. Confidence grew. But they knew the words alone weren’t going to cut it – they needed a sensational logo to go with their sensational company name.

THE  LOGO

DIG_logo_112015-170The creation of the iconic logo dog, BOLO (Be On the Look Out), is a story in itself. Suffice it to say, however, BOLO represents the good we see and feel in our dogs. At the same time, the canted halo represents the mischievous streak to which dogs are prone and also gives us license to use some irreverent humor linked to the Dog is Good / God is Good play on words.

The Company story is somewhat typical of a grass-roots start up. Dog is Good started in a room in the house, then a bigger room, then the playroom went away (but the resentment lingers), then a couple of rooms, etc. The first warehouse was quite small and DIG is now at its third location – which might last a little longer. Dog is Good is growing at a rapid pace and sells into many hundreds of retail locations in the USA and Canada (and some internationally), sells retail here on the website and at many local events across the country through its Exhibitor Program. DIG also licenses the brand to a number of manufacturers which expands the reach into thousands of outlets. It is through licensing that DIG continues to expand the brand’s product offering into a very diverse mix. The Company contributes to many charitable organizations dedicated to improving animal welfare and improving life with dog.

THE  PRODUCTS

The major ingredient in Dog is Good as a company and each product individually, is capturing that remarkable feeling we as dog lovers have when when we’re near dogs… they don’t even have to be our own! Here at D.I.G. we often say “we don’t sell products, we sell a feeling” – this feeling is somewhat indescribable so we had to think long and hard about how to succinctly convey it. There is no word in the American lexicon to describe it, so we turned to a combination of both german and english and made it up: Dogvergnügen: The unique joy you feel in the presence of Dog.

JON KURTZ

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Jon grew up mostly in Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1982 and determined soon after that the Navy would not be a career. True to his word, he retired after only 27 1/2 years of service with the rank of Captain. Along the way he earned master’s degrees from The George Washington University (Information Systems Management) and The US Army War College (Strategic Studies), neither of which have much applicability to what he now does for a living. Though he is an avid triathlete, Jon has sworn it off for a few years in favor of less time-consuming fitness activities to build the Dog is Good business. He has been married to (his first wife) Gila for 26 years.

GILA KURTZ

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Gila is a product of northern Virginia and she graduated from Virginia Tech University in 1987. When she bought Jon with her Visa card at a bid for bachelors auction in 1988 (true story), it effectively ended her teaching career. They married and proceeded to move about every 2 years until 2006 when they were able to finally settle in sunny Seal Beach, CA . Still, in addition to supporting a stressful navy lifestyle, she always had some sort of sales gig going on. After she convinced Jon to adopt a too-young dalmatian puppy, Gila learned she really liked dogs and decided to pursue a career as a dog trainer. She immersed herself in science of canine behavior and quickly became the go-to dog trainer wherever she moved (much to the disappointment of the third human Kurtz family member, daughter Abby). A recurring theme with Gila is that “anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

Finalist: Pet Age Women of Influence, 2015
Finalist : Women In the Pet Industry, Woman of the Year, 2013
Winner: SBA and SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives)
Best Veteran Owned Business, 2013

Our Valuable Team members

(From left to Right, Top Row: Lindsey, Jason, Kari, Michele, Gayle, Tricia, Zack, Nancy, Gila, Jon Bottom Row: Luna, Beke, Donata)