Actually, Morse gives credit to his Australian Shepherd rescue, Cody, for giving him the idea for creating Chomp-A-Chump.
“I was watching the Republican debate with Cody about a year ago, and Trump said something about one of the other candidates,” said Morse. “Cody began growling and rag dolling his toy while staring intensely at Trump. Every time I'd turn the volume up, Cody would grab his toy and start shaking it violently side-to-side. It was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen, and kind of sparked the idea.”
Noting he's “not much of a designer,” Morse nonetheless thought it would be a fun project to follow-up on. He consulted some tutorials on Youtube and, along with the help of some tech-savvy friends, was able to complete some designs for a prototype for the new dog-chew toy.
Morse's next step was to find a manufacturer to make the new comedic product, which turned out to be more challenging yet.
“Time was ticking and I didn't realize finding a manufacturer would take as long as it did,” he said adding it was a real “learning experience.”
“It's so hard for a small business to find someone to make your stuff in America,” said Morse, a full-time law student with little leftover time. Finally, he found the perfect manufacturer in China. So he ordered an initial batch of 1,000 Chomp-A-Chumps.
“I sold 200 dog toys in the first four hours, a 1,000 in 23 days, mostly just by word of mouth,” Morse said. “It was the best reaction. The toy is so fun, a symbol of so much ridiculousness — people just want it.”
Finding an overseas manufacturer had the extra-added advantage of keeping the price of the dog chew down, noting people aren't willing to pay much more than about $20 for such a novelty item.
The budding entrepreneur has also pledged to donate Chomp-A-Chump pull-toys to benefit animals in local shelters.
Morse himself has an interesting story to relate. At age 12, he found himself homeless.
“My mom, two sisters and I moved around a lot,” Morse said. “We lived out of our car and a little mobile home,” he said adding, “I decided to run away and started staying with friends of mine sleeping on their couches, etc."
Morse credits staying in school in large measure for his ability to turn his life around from difficult circumstances.
“School, education, was my foundation,” he said. “I had control of my future.”
Morse has gotten a new brainstorm for another dog chew toy featuring an equally controversial politician.
“I'm making a Hillary (Clinton) toy,” he said adding, “I don't want to be (politically) biased. It's going to have her in an orange prison jump suit that on the back says, 'criminal-in-chief.' "
Where to buy?
Chomp-A-Chump dog chew toys are sold in Ocean Beach at Saltwater Surf & Supply, 1874 Bacon St.
For more information, visit www.chompachump.com.