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MAKING DOG BEDS FOR OVER 43 YEARS
Barka Parka began as a hobby in Australia in 1976. Simon’s late mother, Marion, had a Labrador, Lucas. By the age of 11 months, he had outgrown his basket - the biggest available. Marion had trouble finding a substitute. Nothing that could be bought seemed to fit the bill - or the dog! With her sister Janet she concluded that the only solution was to make a bed themselves.In making that bed they created an entirely new concept in bean bags and dog beds. They made them not only comfortable and easy to keep clean, but stylish enough to grace any room in the house. A friend asked them to make a dog bed for her dog... And a friend of hers... And then another friend did and so on, and thus Barka Parka dog beds was born..Since then they have never deviated from the principle of producing a quality product that anyone is proud to have in their home! As a cottage industry they developed Barka Parka so successfully in Australia that they seriously considered producing the beds full time. But as so often happens, fate intervened - Lucas died suddenly in 1985 and they returned to England. Before long new friends wanted a Barka Parka dog bed and the business resumed once again! Now the girls have been joined by their youngest sister Brenda.
Sadly, as Marion has died, Janet and Brenda have sold the business. Regretably the people who bought it have thrown out most of the design features that made Barka Parka unique. They have added bean insers (???), relegated bespoke made to just a second line option, have designed bedding mats (who know why though they claim they are good in the car, like a proper Barka Parka isn't?) and have generaly shown little dedication, knowledge or interest in maintaing the brand standard. But we will never change. Pride in product is far more important to me than “commercial considerations”. It's not that I object to making money but I do believe in principle.and maintaing brand standards in the face of a world where quality seems to be a secondary and reducing quality.!
BARKA PARKA IN AUSTRALIA
In 1991 Simon, who was adopted out at birth, travelled from Australia to the UK to find his birth mother, Marion. He ended up joining the family business and staying with them for 7 years. Soon after returning to Australia in 1997, he met his now wife and business partner, Kara. Together they have re-established Barka Parka in Melbourne - where it all began in 1976. Their two rescue Bichons, Sasston and McCartney have now joined the Barka Parka clan. Since its inception, Barka Parka has flourished in a very competitive market because we satisfy the market’s long standing need for an eye-pleasing bed that lasts. Many of their clients in both the U.K. and Australia come back to Barka Parka for extra beds as their families expand. Barka Parka has regularly supplied a famous London store, famous people and exported to many countries around the world. The original bed that started it all so many years ago is still in daily use with its eighth owner. It’s become a family heirloom! As each new owner has come to live with Janet and Brenda, he has snuggled into it and become an instant Barka Parka addict - just like Lucas!