From Concept to Customer – Ringling College Students Design Pet Toys Sold Locally at DOGPerfect

From Concept to Customer – Ringling College Students Design Pet Toys Sold Locally at DOGPerfect

Ringling College student, Tu Cam Malaspina (right), stopped by DOGPerfect to see her toy design on display.

Toys for pets designed by Ringling College of Art and Design students are now available exclusively at DOGPerfect through October 31 and will be available at other retailers thereafter. DOGPerfect will also donate $5.00 to Ringling College of Art and Design for each toy purchased until October 31!

“We’re thrilled to provide the opportunity for Ringling College students to see their exceptional designs on our store shelves,” said Fernando Carrera, Director of Operations at DOGPerfect. “Our customers will love the toys, and knowing they were created by local students is an added bonus.”

The project was run through Ringling College’s Collaboratory, a partnership between Ringling College and the Patterson Foundation through which the College is able to guarantee every student the opportunity to work on a real-world project with a real-world client before graduation.

“Our Collaboratory Commitment helps our students overcome the often-faced dilemma of recent college graduates: I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, and I can’t get experience because I don’t have a job,” said Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design. “We are thrilled to have partnered with DOGPerfect to give our students this incredible opportunity to use their art and design education in a real-world context.” 

The students were able to see their work go from concept to design, and then from production to finished piece. The top three designers, Tu Cam Malaspina, Bea Patarata, and DeAnna Boyer, were each awarded scholarship money. Dog toy manufacturer SmartPetLove created the prototypes and produced two of the winning designs.

Tu Cam Malaspina designed the tender-tuffs Platypup, a 24-inch multi-function toy that can be stretched, tossed, and shook to maximize play. It has a squeaker located in its tail and one in its head. Bea Patarata designed the tender-tuffs Cactus, a 10-inch toy with a squeaker and enticing shape to keep dogs engaged and having fun. Future production plans may include DeAnna Boyer’s concept for a line of toys called Cozi Cosmonauts, designed to embrace the bravery and companionship of our furry pets.

“The opportunity offered by SmartPetLove was one I was eager to participate in,” said DeAnna Boyer, Ringling College of Art & Design scholarship winner. “I have always loved problem solving. Being able to freely create and see my sketches turn into a real-world product in the future is an experience I will not soon forget.”

Want to pick up the perfect toys for your pooch? Stores are located in Lakewood Ranch, University Park, and the Landings of Sarasota. 

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