Those of us with pets likely keep pictures of them so we can absorb their cuteness and overall good vibes remotely until we can see their sweet faces in person again.

MyPoochFace.com is an online platform that produces hand-painted pet portraits, or “pawtraits,” based on photos submitted by pet owners.

With a background in software, technology and financial services, MyPoochFace founder David Lefkovits knew that steps were necessary to ensure the website’s success before it was launched last year.

After only 11 months, MyPoochFace has shipped more than 1,000 pawtraits across the United States. The website has received a MAX (Marketing Award for Excellence) presented by the marketing department at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

MyPoochFace founder David Lefkovits

MyPoochFace founder David Lefkovits

To put that in perspective, Coca-Cola also received the award for its “Share a Coke” campaign.

“Growth hacker” marketing and bootstrapping expenses provided Lefkovits a thorough understanding of his target market before he invested in the official website.

“You don’t want to invest in a large solution without really understanding the market, the product,” he said.

Interested pet owners can choose the size of the canvas, the number of pets on the canvas and the artistic style in which the pet is expressed.

Choices includes “Granola Doggie,” which conforms to the tones and colors of the pet as shown in the given photo; “Happy Puppy,” which blends the natural tones from the photo with subtle added colors; and “Hippy Puppy,” which incorporates vibrant streaks of color into the pawtrait.

“Portraits are a way to really celebrate the life of pets, to memorialize those that have passed, and are a great gift for dog lovers in people’s lives,” Lefkovits said.

MyPoochFace can be traced to a portrait of a dog, Lucy, by proud owner and artist Aziz Kadmiri. Now, while the business focuses on dogs, users can get paintings of any kind of pet animal. It’s even done a zebra.

Photos courtesy of MyPoochFace - Lucy, a Jack Russell terrier, has pawtraits in the Hippy Puppy style.

Photos courtesy of MyPoochFace –
Lucy, a Jack Russell terrier, has pawtraits in the Hippy Puppy style.

The regular price for an acrylic painting on canvas starts at $495 for one dog, although at press time the site was offering a $250 discount. The largest canvases with multiple pets can run well over $1,000.

The platform has a uniform style guide for artists to follow in creating their pawtraits, but those standards don’t impede creativity or unique representations of individual pets.

“A lot of this is operational and intensive in terms of making sure there’s consistency in the product and still having this in-depth, artistic and creative interpretation,” Lefkovits said. “That’s a big part of the business.”

MyPoochFace recently launched a digital portrait line. Portraits are hand-rendered using software, then printed on museum-quality canvases. This summer MyPoochFace will begin to offer digital portraits printed on apparel, mugs and other products.