You must see Huxley on YouTube. Huxley is a Pomeranian puppy who has the good fortune of having Eugenia Chen as his human. Eugenia created a panda bear Halloween costume for Huxley and then videoed him. Never one to miss a chance to be in the limelight, Huxley frolicked through the living room, a panda puppy scampering from chair to table to sofa much to the delight of 130 million-plus YouTube viewers. Many of the viewers wanted that costume, and Eugenia’s website, pandaloon.com, exploded.

Pandaloon was Eugenia’s “one small step” toward being an entrepreneur, a long-held dream. Panda lovers could purchase apparel with panda designs and a few pet products. At the time, with her educational background (a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees in mathematics), she was comfortably settled into academe teaching college math. Business on Pandaloon was moving slowly but it was moving. And then opportunity knocked. Or maybe I should say opportunity barked: Huxley in his panda costume became a star on the internet.

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Eugenia hired a professional seamstress to help her find the perfect design, fit and engineering to make a soft, plush costume that is flexible enough to look custom made for each dog that wears it. There are three sizes available according to your dog’s measurements. Instructions for how to measure your dog can be found on the website. The most important one is the height of the dog from paws to ears, since the face opening and back are adjustable.

Eugenia then expanded the line into polo bear, teddy bear and lion puppy costumes. Due to the continued demand and customers’ suggestions, she is now in the midst of designing costumes of other animals and holiday-themed costumes.

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Your dog, however, does not have to wait for a special occasion to dress up. For everyday wear, your puppy’s harness can make him or her best dressed in the neighborhood: Fido wearing a tux one day, a dapper bow tie and pinstripe vest another day; Fifi sashaying about in her pink ruffle dress or glittering in red sequins. The harnesses are easy to use, safe and comfortable—Rover won’t be squirming around trying to get out of it. And, for the cat lovers out there, the harnesses look great on Tabby also.

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For the panda-loving humans, Pandaloon is full of really clever apparel and accessories. (My favorite is the T-shirt that says, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.”) There is an amazing array of panda products, including hats with paws, cozy slippers, purses, backpacks, dog carriers, and, believe it or not, iPhone cases!

Through Pandaloon, Eugenia is able to put her money where her heart is. A dollar from every purchase is donated to Pandas International to help ensure that the dwindling Giant Panda population (fewer than 2,200) is safe and able to thrive. As the company grows, Eugenia will include other animal-centric organizations to her philanthropic endeavors.

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Shark Tank Air Date: 1/14/18 – Season 9 – Episode 17

 
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