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Up Dog Toys

MICHELLE, BILLY & ODIN

We’re not playing around. For the first time ever, Lucy & Co. will offer toys thanks to Up Dog Toys’ beautiful and challenging design. Up Dog’s classic “Odin” toy is a modern, modular puzzle that puts the “fun” in functional.

Our aesthetic is a bit of a reflection of our own personal home decor style, so our designs will always be what we want in our home at the time.”

Two years ago, Michelle and Billy started working in their tiny city studio apartment on something they felt was lacking in their dog, Odin’s life: cool, modern dog toys. Sure, there were lots of toy options on the market, but they were on the hunt for a hard good that challenged Odin. Rather than complain, they launched into action, creating a puzzle toy that was functional, complimented their home decor (rather than take away from it), and was unlike anything currently offered. Fueled by her obsession with dogs - especially, her Odin - and a belief that their toy was innovatively simple, Michelle left her full-time job and launched a Kickstarter campaign. 

This campaign was well-received by Kickstarter funders and big publications, such as Fast Company, allowing Up Dog toys to remain independent and continue on as a small business. This was paramount to Michelle and Billy because they strive to be a design-based company that stays true to what excites them aesthetically. So, keeping their operation close to home was of utmost importance. 

Design plays such a large role in Michelle and Billy’s everyday life and they take great pride in the things they thoughtfully curate for their home. They hold the strong belief that the products they produce should be well thought out in terms of functionality and that you shouldn’t have to compromise on how it looks to reach that end goal. Up Dog Toys believes that a good design will strike a balance between these aspects. 

“We strive to be a design-based company where the products we produce are modern, minimalistic, have geometric touches to them (because we are obsessed with geometric shapes!) and stay up-to-date with trends.”

Up Dog Toys are designed in Seattle, Washington. It was important to Michelle and Billy that they create a high quality toy at an affordable price and they knew they could only do this through manufacturing with a trusted source in China. Keeping quality, transparency, and responsibility at the forefront of their driving principles, Michelle travels to the factory herself to oversee production, upholding that all manufacturing and material sourcing lives up to Up Dog’s safety standards. 

Up Dog Toys also takes measures to ensure ethical practices within the factories, refusing to work with anyone who fails to meet their high expectations. Ever diligent, Up Dog Toys also conducts a third party U.S. based lab material testing to guarantee material safety for the dogs we love. The Odin is made from thermoplastic elastomers, which gives it both its hard shape and soft “give.” This TPR material is non-toxic, BPA free, phthalate free, and latex free, meaning your pup can play worry-free.

 

 

 

“Odin always seems to win employee of the month somehow - even though he is the laziest employee and just naps all day. That guy really has it figured out!”

Inspired by their five-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Odin, Michelle and Billy work to expand their product line, aspiring to create future toys that keep Odin’s eternal puppy spirit engaged and learning. Their longterm goals include helping pups close to home and at home. In addition to giving 1% of all sales to organizations serving animals in their local community, Michelle and Billy hope to adopt a rescue corgi in the near future, growing their family pack to four.

Photography courtesy of Up Dog Toys.

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Solid Manufacturing Co.

ALEX & DAN & CEDAR

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Solid Manufacturing Company is introducing an exclusive collar and leash set. Each leash and collar are constructed from real leather and are naturally conditioned, all made by hand from start to finish. As one of two inaugural collaborative lines, Lucy & Solid are introducing this partnership of products in two colors, with unified attention to design and concern for quality.

What officially launched just over a year ago, has actually been growing over the course of a deepening relationship for one couple and their their Shiba Inu. Dan Cordell and Alex Worre are the dedicated craftsmen behind Solid Manufacturing Company based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over four years ago, they began designing and building together. They started learning wood- and leatherworking in Dan’s dad’s workshop, long before their business grew into fruition. This joint venture came naturally, as Dan has a lifelong inclination toward handicrafts and Alex studied furniture design. During their time in dad’s shed, they taught themselves tricks of the trade, but they also learned how to work together “for better or for worse,” as the couple puts it.

Solid Manufacturing Company was born in May 2013 of Alex and Dan’s common passion for American manufacturing, commitment to well-made products, and inability to let their hands and creativity idle. Launching on Etsy with wood and leather goods, Solid’s success has ramped up to a reality unlike anything the couple anticipated, with each month receiving more orders than the previous and having shipped to 60 countries and counting. They humbly attribute most of their triumph to clean product designs made by hand with strong materials that are meant to last.  With their expansion and growing clientele, they remain adamant that products made in the United States of quality materials can also be affordable, with the hope that their goods will outlive their customers.

Solid’s product offerings are steadily increasing in number as the company evolves and matures, yet the simplicity of materials remains the same: wood and leather, as selected as their material-of-choice in their handmade leather collars and leashes. Their commitment to leather is also somewhat American in choice, as they note it was a material that moved people across the country. Leather boots, leather saddles - leather was used because leather was going to last the journey West. Solid really believes that as time goes on, leather only gets better as it evolves from a perfect piece to your object with your personal imprint and shared experiences upon its grains. They source their materials from around the US, with most of the leather and solid brass hardware coming from Texas.

“Leather will evolve. It will change over time. The same way your animal changes. Your dog is getting older, the leather is a little bit older, it’s a bit worn, but it’s still just as strong. There is a bit of you in its history.”

“The first leather good that I ever made was a simple leather key fob. I saw it somewhere and it was so expensive – I was 15 or 16. So, I took a dog collar that belonged to my Grandma Sadie. I cut the collar into one smaller piece, wrapped it around some hardware, drilled holes in it with a drill ‘cuz I didn’t have any other tools, and I stitched it with some kitchen twine, and that was it – it was done! And people complimented me on it.”

The first leather good a teenage Dan ever made was from a dog collar that belonged to his grandma. Perhaps a visionary key project of what was to come, Cedar joined in on the fun three years ago, about a year into Dan and Alex’s relationship. Young and in college, Alex desperately wanted a dog when she stumbled upon an ad in the newspaper looking to get rid of the runt of the litter. Dan and Alex took Cedar in, not realizing how much this commitment would change their relationship. Cedar’s been along for a wild ride, having celebrated two graduations and the commencement of their business in his short (but adorable) life. Cedar has solidified his place in this Solid family, serving as Solid’s mascot and even filling in Alex’s “warm spot” in the bed when she gets up and Dan is still in need of cuddling. A distinguished dog, Cedar’s namesake is the wood,  due to his beautiful coloring and his humans’ desire to pay homage to their penchant for woodworking.

“Our relationship grew with Cedar. Especially in our first year with him,” credits Alex.

“We put a lot of time – a lot of time – and a lot of effort into every single thing that we do. Everything gets inspected. Everything gets looked at a million times. Everything gets carefully packed into a box and taped. And I will un-tape it and look at it again before it goes out, because it’s that important.”

As this trio takes on bigger and different business challenges, it remains of utmost principle to them that they hold their products to a superior level of quality and that they develop real relationships with people who care about community. As they look to the future, they continue to ask the question that started it all: “what if…”

For more Solid Manufacturing Company products or to follow their work, check out their Etsy page or @solidmfgco on Instagram

Photography by the very talented Wing Ta

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Hello Apparel

SAM & ANITA & LOLA BIRDIE & APPLES & OLIVE

The third in a line-up of all-star collaborations, Hello Apparel is introducing their first-ever dog duds exclusively with Lucy & Co. Screen printed in Arizona on American-Made hoodies, tails will wag at the chance to say a hound “hello.” Lucy & Co. is excited to team up with Hello, a company that donates monthly to a variety of humane and no-kill animal organizations. This year alone, they have donated over $15,000 to local and national rescues and shelters and make that company value a commitment for the future. 

Sam Means, a musician and designer, had been rocking out in bands while selling and creating merchandise for years when he decided to harmonize these talents. He launched Hello Merch in April 2008 as a way for artists and bands to host an online store and fulfill orders without giving up their rights by signing a major label-style merch contract. Mean(s)while, his wife Anita gave birth to their daughter. A new mom fed up with the cost of adorable baby clothes, she wondered if they could utilize their warehouse and screen printing resources to adorn their babe with fun and cleverly cute garb. 

“Everything we do has to fit and be something we would use or wear ourselves. If it doesn't, we won't do it.” 

Hello Apparel started in November 2012 when Sam and Anita put their heads together and greeted their next chapter of apparel merchandising. Today, they have grown to 10 employees based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Having gained recognition of their signature Hello font, the Hello brand has a loyal following of customers, becoming the darling especially among young families looking for the perfect tee for kids and parentals alike.

 

"People like Hello because its cute, comfy and fun. It's affordable and our stuff speaks for itself, specifically and quite literally our statement tees."

Hello's product line spans the size spectrum with customers of all ages donning their threads. With that in mind, softness and fit is of utmost importance to Hello, printing on American Apparel and Alternative Apparel, both made either in the USA or fair trade made in other countries. Recently, Hello also started making its own clothing out of textiles purchased from a Los Angeles company. 

Sam and Anita are not only Made in America, design enthusiasts, but they are also passionate pet people. They have two rat terriers, Apples and Olive. Apples, 11-years-old, was adopted from a family whose dogs had puppies. Olive, 10-years-old, came from a farm, joining the Means family for a new life in the city of Glendale. Anita considers Apples and Olive to be her first- and second-born children whose birth orders rank chronologically before the arrival of her human child.

"Without design, there would be nothing."

Hello Apparel and Lucy & Co. find natural partnership, as both brands value dogs, quality, and community above all. Hello continues to sweep the nation, retail stores, and Internet with a simple “Hello.” As the brand evolves, it hopes to find its way into the hearts and stores of many. Growth ensures they’ll be able to continue their commitment to animal shelters and rescues, making significant donations to the improvement of the lives of dogs in need. 

For Hello human apparel or to follow their adorable feed of happy customers, check out HelloApparelStore.com or @HelloApparel on Instagram.

Photography by Hello Apparel

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Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Faribault Woolen Mill Co. is releasing a set of dog wool blankets true to Faribault's heritage and careful craft. The blankets can be used for protecting car seats, shielding couches from fur balls, and softening any surface for snuggle puppies in need of comfort. Each blanket is made from recycled wool, resulting in a soft, speckled-grey fabric perfect for fido and is available in two sizes and two colors. Loomed in the Land of Lakes, this homegrown collaboration hails from Minnesota Nice. 

Established in 1865 –the year Abraham Lincoln died and the Civil War ended- on the banks of the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota, the Faribault Woolen Mill is a living testament to American craftsmanship, producing fine woolens renowned for their comfort and quality. The mill’s rich 150-year-old archives provide the inspiration for a timeless, yet updated collection of blankets, throws, scarves and accessories carried at the finest stores and online retailers around the world. Loomed in the Land of Lakes, every piece is made to last for generations.

Faribault Woolen Mill is an impressive operation that holds the title of being the last remaining mill in America producing finished woolens from raw wool all under one roof. Its products are created over a twenty-two step process, which takes a raw bale of wool, dyes it, spins it, weaves and finishes it - each step completed with great care and without a shortcut in sight. The Faribault mill is unique in that it is the only mill in the world that can make its product. Faribault has irreplaceable machinery, some dating from 1905. Its “new” mill was made in 1892.

 

Every Faribault Woolen Mill product is made in Faribault, Minnesota, also true to a nearly 150-year-old heritage. Faribault sources most of its wool from wool growers in the Western United States. The exclusive Lucy & Co. dog blanket is made from recycled wool, manifesting itself in equal parts eco and fun. Faribault’s recycled product is the only fabric where acrylic is added: recycled acrylic. This is done to save it from the landfill, while adding a touch of softness. With pampered pups in mind, the Faribault blanket is finished in a paw-proof serge stitch that embellishes with a pop of color. 

Today, the mill employs just under 100 people with a few dogs that make frequent visits to Faribault’s offices. The camaraderie and community within the mill is palpable, some employees have become permanent fixtures, one of whom recently celebrated 60 years with Faribault. Together, the Faribault family produces classic, honest, and beautiful woolen goods with both authentic intention and for practical use. A crafted tradition that stands the test of time, Faribault’s mission is to be around for another 150 years providing warmth and quality for generations to come.

For more Faribault Woolen Mill Co. products or to follow a continuing history, check out FaribaultMill.com or @faribaultmill on Instagram. Photography by Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

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Cardtorial

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Cardtorial has extended its dog collection to include three new wood cards in honor of pups that come in all different shapes, sizes, and ages! Cardtorial’s laser engraved wood cards are a fun alternative that recipients will be sure to hold onto. Cardtorial is the fifth collaborative partner to join the Lucy & Co. shop, introducing the first element of wood to the collection.

Yvonne Leung made her first wooden card in 2012. It was a side-project of hers that her inner-entrepreneur pursued when she wasn’t at her corporate world job. A business-minded-gal from the get-go, it was only natural that she took the project very seriously, opening an online shop shortly after her first card came off the laser engraver. In one year’s time, Cardtorial became Yvonne’s full-time focus and, by 2014,  her catalogue has grown to over 200 products. 

Cardtorial takes paper goods back to their origin form, celebrating the strength and staying power of wood. Hand-crafted and laser-cut onto beautiful,  sustainable wood, each Cardtorial keepsake is meant to be just that - kept and treasured for always. Their raw material of choice, Cardtorial selected wood for its natural, elegant simplicity. Symbolically, it lasts and lasts, like all great memories should. 

“Design matters as a form of expression.  Whether a design is creative, smart, thought-provoking, funny, or inspirational, to me, it’s all valid.”

Working with a number of different illustrators, most Cardtorial products begin with a sketch on good, ol’ paper before it evolves in Illustrator. Once a design is finalized, it is “printed” using a Kickstarter campaign-funded laser engraver on domestically-sourced wood.  From start to finish, every piece of Cardtorial’s process is made in the USA. Cardtorial prints, packages, and ships everything out of its studio in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District. Yvonne’s principle is to stand behind every aspect of her products. She boasts of the relationships with those working on Cardtorial goods, a pride which translates to the products’ tangible form.

“Everything is made in-house simply because crafting these products is something in which we take great pride.”

The uniqueness of Cardtorial’s products and the quality of its craftsmanship has helped to establish the company in two fast-paced years. Cardtorial’s modern, whimsical designs paired with wood’s timeless charm make for a surprising, delightful gift that recipients hold onto. 

“Dogs are are pure. Loyal. Loving. They make the best companions, spread joy, and offer unconditional love!”

When Lucy & Co. discovered Cardtorial, Cardtorial already had a pretty extensive offering of dog designs. Together, we have collaborated on three new designs, lauding a few overlooked underdogs: rescues, mutts, and seniors. Cardtorial was happy to join the tail-wagging inclusion of these underserved categories, creating three cards exclusive to the Lucy & Co. collection.

As Cardtorial looks to the future, Yvonne hopes to continue to consistently make and create unique and thoughtful products - whether they be for humans, for the home or for the pups. Or maybe even her pup, as she has desires to have a dog all her own soon!

For more Cardtorial products or to follow Yvonne's work, check out Cardtorial.com or @Cardtorial on Instagram.

Office photography by the very talented Robert Zaleski. Product shot by Cardtorial.

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Found My Animal

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Found My Animal is releasing a Chinese Red rope collar and leash, exclusive to the Lucy & Co. collection. Found My Animal is the sixth collaboration in the Lucy & Co. line-up and the first existing pet accessories company to partner with Lucy & Co. in an exclusive collaboration. 

Many humans believe that we don’t choose our animal companions, but that they choose us. Imagine if your dog chose your business partner. That’s exactly what happened when Found My Animals founders met on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn while walking their two rescue pups, both of whom were named Walter. While the Walters were sizing each other up, their people started a conversation that quickly revealed a shared concern for animal welfare. The stars aligning in a New York Minute, they decided to become partners after discovering they had more in common than two rescue dogs with the same name. They had both attended great design schools—Cooper Union and Rhode Island School of Design—and were passionate about animals, rescue, and a love of the principles of good design. 

Inspired by a fisherman in the family, Found My Animal made its first three-strand, hand-spliced and whipped rope leash for their rescue pups back in 2006. As many people stopped the Walters in the street to admire their unique nautical leads, their owners quite literally got roped into making and sharing their leashes with others. 

Eight years later, Found My Animal manufactures all its products in a Brooklyn studio located in the old Pfizer building on Flushing Ave in Williamsburg, domestically sourcing rope and fabrics, with the intention that all of its selected materials are made to be used in any environment. The rope and hardware are built to be used by the ocean. It’s not uncommon to bump into people in the city who have been using their leashes for five years and they still look beautiful. Which is due in large part to the care that goes into the selection of materials and the handcraft of Found My Animal employees’ production, a team which has swelled to 17 from the local community who lovingly hand-make everything they sell.

Found My Animal’s quality and attention to details are what makes them stand out as a pet accessories company. Each and every piece takes time to create and it is evident that it is done with both love and commitment. Last year, they were certified as a "B Corp", or benefit corporation. This is a new model of for-profit business where a business can "do good while doing well". Found My Animal promotes animal adoption in a very direct way: let your pet wear your values. By encouraging rescue over purchase, Found My Animal supports animal welfare by asking pets and their owners to help deliver our simple, important message. 

An important message, which is heard loud and clear through Found My Animal’s signature Orange Leash, also manufactured here in the US. Orange is the color of animal protection awareness. The color is perfect for getting people’s attention and, most importantly, inspires conversations about this important topic. Found My Animal’s orange rescue leash highlights (literally) the message. “Hey, I was rescued, join the club!”

The individually-numbered, stamped tags on each FOUND leash serve as a reminder of the uniqueness of your animal and allow us to keep track of the number of animals you have helped so far.

Together, Found My Animal and Lucy & Co. are co-signing on a shared commitment to animal welfare and the power of adoption with the release of the exclusive Chinese Red collar and leash, made in the true Found My Animal crafted process. Found My Animal’s founder, Bethany Obrecht, mother to rescues Henri the Chihuahua and Claude the Mix, appreciates good design and well made products for her family and pup, so partnering with Lucy & Co. was a no-brainer. A united front, these two companies join together to get better products in deserving paws with the encouragement to consider adoption when selecting the next member of your family. 

Dogs are the most wonderful friend you could ever ask for. Somehow they always know when you need some love,” gushes Bethany, Found My Animal's founder. 

For the complete Found My Animal collection or to follow an animaltastic feed, check out FoundMyAnimal.com or @foundmyanimal on Instagram.

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Printerette Press

CATHERINE & MOOSE

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Printerette is excited to unveil an exclusive collection of six greeting cards featuring doggone cute pups. Each design was hand-drawn and hand-lettered by Printerette’s very own Catherine Polacek, dog lover and whimsical papyrophile. As one of two inaugural collaborative lines, Lucy & Printerette created these cards using soy ink on tree-free paper with the help of an antique Heidelberg Windmill press.

My best cards come out very quickly and they’re not very belabored and strangely I don’t draw dogs often, but it came effortlessly.”

Catherine was tricked into letterpress; hypnotized, really. With an academic and corporate background in clothing design, she was passionately going about her job for five years when a family friend randomly called and offered her an antique press. At first, she didn’t “want that hunk of metal - no thanks,” but the more she thought about it the more and more she had to have a press of her own. Having lost her chance to own the press that had been offered to her, she went on a long and methodic search, discovering her first purchased press in Iowa on an “insanely cold day in February.” She hauled it back to her home’s basement and started letterpressing as a hobby.

"Eventually, I took a leap of faith when I realized that there was a desire for letterpress goods. All my passion behind it made it a thing that was going to happen."

Three years later, Catherine is the proprietress behind Printerette Press boutique design and letterpress located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. No longer printing as a basement hobby, but a full-blown paper stacking operation, Printerette specializes in custom and everyday fine printed stationery for any occasion. But Catherine has kept her business “close to home,” with essentially the entire process taking place in-house. Everything Catherine does is hand drawn and hand lettered, giving her work an added layer of Printerettey uniqueness. She, then, turns her illustrations into plates, puts the plates on the press, mixes the ink by hand after consulting a Pantone book, inks the plates on press, and prints away. She notes that the paper is the only thing she doesn’t have a hand in making, admitting that it is actually made in Wisconsin and purchased from a local St. Paul company.

Even so, the selection of the perfect paper was a thoughtful process, with Catherine landing on “tree-free” 100% cotton paper made from linters, a byproduct of the fashion industry. It was important to her that the paper not only be green, but that it “hold the art well.” Drawn to bright colors, Catherine’s style of illustration uses large areas of color, adding lots of contrast to the eye immediately, but she is careful to do so in a minimal way for impact, still leaving lots of white space. She plays up the textural element, creating art that letterpresses well to create a tactile experience for the card’s recipient. Her art tends to be a bit nostalgic, flirting with the softer, saccharine side of Americana.

“Letterpress is awesome because it is the old fashioned way of printing. It pushes the art into the paper, which is not only pleasurable to look at, but also to feel.”

Clients and fans of Catherine’s have come to know her infamous shop dog, Moose. Moose entered into the Printerette narrative about four years ago as a teeny tiny puppy, weighing in at two(ish) pounds. Having had yorkie poos growing up, Catherine convinced her husband to bring one into their family, under the condition that they would give him a “tough guy” name to up his street cred. Moose joined Catherine while she was still working from home and was not allowed to come down into her basement studio. Every single time she’d pass the basement stairs, he’d be waiting for her at the top of the stairs. Today, he joins her in studio as one of Printerette’s only employees.

“I love the way my dog just picks up on my energy and my moods - he’s the ultimate companion. He knows what’s happening. I don’t mind staying late to work if he’s there with me.”

Catherine and Moose are already dreaming up greeting cards featuring shaggier, dreadlocked dogs for the future Lucy & Co. collaborations. They enjoyed the challenge of working on a small project of collaborative nature and invite similar coteries in the future, as Catherine is always looking to build client and retailer relationships that keep her inspired and creating anew.

For more Printerette Press products or to follow Catherine’s work, check out Printerette Press or @Printerette on Instagram.

Photography by the very talented Wing Ta

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Dog Threads

Gina & Scott & Thomas

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Dog Threads is excited to outfit pups in an exclusive holiday flannel button-down this winter season. Dog Threads prides itself in hand sewing classic-but-modern dog clothing made from fabrics you would find in your own closet. Whether it be for humor or as a necessity due to harsh winters, Dog Threads provides quality dog clothing that is fitting of your dog’s personality.

“Look good, feel good. We believe our pups should walk out of the house feeling their best. And because, let's be honest, it's fun.”

When Thomas the Dog was just a young lad, he acquired one of his most memorable pieces of clothing, a Hawaiian print button down shirt, later dubbed as his 'BBQ Shirt.' One of the first times he wore it was to a family 4th of July BBQ where it became an instant crowd pleaser. From that day forward, it became a tradition for Thomas to arrive in his Hawaiian print button down to our annual 4th of July BBQ. And, now, at almost any Summertime party Thomas attends, he is sure to be wearing his BBQ shirt.

As the brisk air set in and leaves began to fall, Gina and Scott hung the BBQ shirt in the back of the closet and hit the mall for Thomas’ next #OOTD. Dog Threads began designing its first prototype in the Fall of 2014 after searching for a new shirt for Thomas and not finding anything that fit his personality. Given his human-like qualities, Gina and Scott decided to design a classic button down shirt, much like one you would find in any young man's closet. After just a few outings in his new shirt, they were approached by a handful of fellow dog lovers clamoring for similar shirts for their dogs. This gave Scott and Gina permission to create more designs and make them available to other pups.

With Gina being a clothing designer and Scott having a constant desire to start his own business, it was a natural progression to launch a dog clothing line rooted in a shared interest in picking out clothing for their dog. Dog Threads is family owned business, consisting of Thomas and his humans, in the name of classic, contemporary, human-like dog clothing. They share in the responsibilities as any small business does, but Thomas seems to gravitate towards the modeling end of the business.

Dog Threads makes a commitment to every stitch in time. Based out of Minneapolis, its materials are sourced locally and its products are made by seamstresses in the area. Having the products made nearby allows Dog Threads to take an active hands-on approach and ensure a high level of quality for each of the designs it sells.

“We believe that our customers share in the belief that our pets are truly family members, and our clothes allow them to dress the part.”

 

Launching Holiday 2014, Dog Threads is focused on getting their first threads in the loving paws of its first customers. As they grow, Gina, Scott, and Thomas would love to add to the collection and continue to work with other like-minded animal lovers.

For more Dog Threads products or to peep into a Thomas-inspired closet, check out ShopDogThreads.com or @ShopDogThreads on Instagram.

Photography by Dog Threads

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DSCHWEN

DAVID & DAISY

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Dschwen artfully redefines the meaning of “dog meets design” in his series, “Ice Cream Cone Dogs.” These six new prints feature toy models of some of the most beloved dog breeds, flipping the “cone of shame” into a happier day filled with sunshine, humor…and ice cream. A Lucy & Co. limited-run exclusive, this conceptually fresh series has manifested itself into the first prints to be offered in the Lucy & Co. Shop, each print is stamped with an embossed seal and signed by the artist.

David Schwen has always been making art. Ever since he was a youngster. He knew that the decision to follow his passion for art made sense, but he still felt he was taking a big chance. While a lot of other friends were heading off to college to become doctors and lawyers, he set forth toward art school to follow his dreams — that of which he didn’t know would actually come true.

Striking out on his own had always been in the back of his mind while working at the agencies. The Creative Director at his first internship planted a seed that stuck. He gave David this advice: “Start up you own shop now, or it will never happen.” Burned into the-artist-soon-to-be-known-as-Dschwen’s mind, his ultimate end goal was always a shop to call his own. After working at a handful of advertising and design agencies around Minneapolis for nearly a decade, he launched Dschwen, LLC on October 6, 2012.

The agency is a small foundation, but can expand depending on the size of the project or client. David leads the creative direction and a trusty studio manager, Jessica Ekstrand helps with the day-to-day needs of the studio. Together, they collaborate with amazing people to create some great work for brands, with many of David’s pet projects garnering attention all their own. 

But it wasn’t always easy dream-chasin’. David’s an artist, after all, and sorted through some worry and angst. For many years, he fought getting stuck in a set style. He worried about being pigeon-holed into a style that would only bring certain projects or clients. So, as a way of trying to avoid finding a style, he experimented with a lot of different mediums and techniques. That is actually what became developed into his style and aesthetic. Creating designs that use everyday objects, using cut-paper, clay molding and many other mediums has become the voice of Dschwen.

David feels that people have become to know him for the interesting way that he brings everyday objects to life. It’s easy to enjoy someone’s creation when people can relate somehow. In all of the work that they create at Dschwen, they try to use icons and a familiar visual language. This gives their audience a great starting point that they can easily enter Dschwen’s concepts with.

Take dogs, for example. Lucy & Co. approached Minneapolis-based Dschwen, LLC in pursuit of fresh collaboration, loving the fact that this brilliant, creative mind also hailed from Lucy & Co.’s home town. Being a dog lover himself, it was an easy ‘yes’ for David. While searching through some of his old sketchbooks, he came across an idea that I thought would be a perfect print series.

And that’s how #IceCreamConeDogs was born. This series is one created from an observation. David has always thought that it is sad when dogs have to wear ‘the-cone-of-shame.’ Instead, he thought that it would be a little bit happier if the cone was an ice cream cone. 

Perhaps this desire was rooted in David’s love for his own dog, as he has a beautiful labradoodle named “Daisy.” She is 9 years young and still acts like the puppy that he picked out years ago. She knows exactly how to comfort David when sad and he sincerely can’t think of life without her, acknowledging that Daisy has been such an important part of his life and a source of inspiration.

“I love how dogs are there for you. They aren’t pretentious. They aren’t needy. They just give you that look when you need it. It always helps that I know exactly which spot to scratch behind their ears.”

For more Dschwenisms or to follow his rambunctiously-evolving body of work, check out dschwen.com or @dschwen on Instagram.

Photography by the very talented David Schwen

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Le Petit Treat

GIGI

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Le Petit Treat debuts a Parisian Picnic Series featuring three exclusive treat flavors, all inspired by essential French delicacies. Each treat is carefully handmade with natural and hypoallergenic ingredients, sure to make francophile fidos say, “ooh la la!” Le Petit Treat’s Picnic Trio is Lucy & Co.’s first treat collaboration, serving healthy treats to good dogs.

 

A trained public health scientist, Gigi Samandari had worked in the humanitarian sector for nearly a decade when she decided she needed to take a break. She attended Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and discovered a love for cooking and making things by hand. When she returned home, her beloved dog, Ralphie, had contracted diabetes and skin sensitivities from bad pet food. With a background in health and newly-honed culinary skills, Ralphie’s sickness fueled Gigi’s passion to lovingly hand make treats by that he could eat, resulting in the Le Petit Treat concept. Officially founded in 2013, Le Petite Treat painstakingly creates dog treats that are healthy, natural and made with love.

At the beginning, Gigi was a one-woman show, baking out of her tiny Washington DC apartment. Sadly, not long after she launched Le Petit Treat, Ralphie passed away due to his health complications. Despite her sadness, what started labor of love continued as the perfect way to honor a treasured friendship. Gigi threw herself wholeheartedly into her pet project with the goal of not only bringing wholesome treats to market, but to also use proceeds to benefit other dogs in need. She quickly outgrew her apartment’s oven and moved into a kitchen incubator in DC, taking her product from “homemade” to “handmade,” made in small batches with utmost care.

“I was able to devise dog treats that were made entirely of whole, healthy ingredients and that both were safe for him and tasty enough for all his little friends too. I became passionate about dog health and creating treats that were simple and good without sacrificing enjoyment for the dog or owner.”

In two years’ time, Le Petit Treat outgrew its initial incubator and now works with a local bakery just outside of the city, creating treats that are chic, fun and wholesome with the goal of giving dogs “a taste of the good life.” Le Petit Treat believes that when it comes to our pets, pet owners have to be especially careful about what they feed them. Because pets depend on humans to care for them, Le Petit Treat takes its responsibility seriously, sourcing ingredients from safe, reliable vendors as a top priority. Establishing trust between a brand and its fans is paramount to Gigi’s team. So, they make sure that we are very careful to honor that trust by only using wholesome, all-natural ingredients and only making the treats themselves in their little bakery. In doing so, Le Petite Treat delivers a French vibe for those bite-sized moments shared with your dog, like snack time or training.

“There is nothing in our cookies that we wouldn’t eat ourselves and we actually taste test all our batches ourselves - we use both human and dog testers!”

With a shared love for dogs and quality products for the furry companions, Le Petit Treat is excited to collaborate with Lucy & Co. in creating products that will give canines joyful and healthy lives. This same commitment is one that Le Petit Treat has made tangible to a number of the DC-based charities, donating monetary contributions and delectable (treat) donations. As they grow, Le Petit Treat hopes to connect with more charities benefiting dogs and continue their commitment to bringing health and happiness to every dog.

“People like it because of the good, honest ingredients we use.”

For more Le Petit Treats or to follow Catherine’s work, check out Le Petit Treat or @LePetitTreat on Instagram. 

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Rover Boutique

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., The Rover Boutique is unveiling two bow tie designs, matching leashes, and a Peter Pan collar just in time for wedding season, formal occasions, and living each day fashionably. Each product is handmade in Toronto with a focus on classic fashion and refined design. Rover Boutique brings a bit of fancy to dapper dogs and pretty pups in two limited-run fabrics and an exclusive rounded-edge collar, completing the eleventh collaboration in the Lucy & Co. collection.

 

The Rover Boutique originated in 2006 as a side project when AnneMarie Minardi struggled to find clothing for her 5-month-old pug Ella that matched her personal style. When all she found were pink, frilly items or sporty, utilitarian garments, she decided to design a classic navy peacoat for Ella. That blue coat fueled the flame that later opened as an Etsy shop in 2010 and became Rover Boutique.

“I wanted to make clothing and accessories that were well designed for more function, durability and fashion, made of high quality materials, and locally manufactured for ethical reasons and quality control.”

Based out of Canada, Rover Boutique offers clothing for pets that can be described as dapper, preppy and classic. Handmade in Toronto, Rover Boutique strives to source its materials locally and believes in supporting local trade workers, as well. With fun prints, fabrics and patterns, Rover Boutique offers nautical-inspired accessories and clothing that people admire and appreciate. 

“The aesthetic for the company grew out of a love for all things nautical and preppy and a focus on classic fashion pieces.”

Products from the Rover Boutique are made out of materials from Canada and America and then handmade in Toronto. This is not your average pet store; featuring pieces of clothing for pets that one might consider a “staple” in his or her own closet, Rover Boutique makes it easy for dogs and cats to look fashionable. Customers admire the aesthetic, variety of prints and Rover’s ability to accommodate custom sizing and color preference.

“When you think of staples you should have in your closet – a classic trench, a button down shirt, a chambray shirt… that’s the Rover aesthetic.”

As dog lovers and long time admirers of Lucy & Co., the team at Rover Boutique was excited to collaborate when approached about the opportunity. With shared beliefs in aesthetic, quality and design, it appeared this would be a perfect match. Rover Boutique is Lucy & Co.’s first Canadian collaborator and it plans to continue making products for pups with an emphasis on local manufacturers and good design.

For more Rover Boutique products, check out Rover Boutique or @RoverBoutique on Instagram.

Photography courtesy of The Rover Boutique

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Paper & Clay

BRIT & JETTA

In collaboration with Lucy & Co., Paper & Clay is delighted to bring refined design to your dog’s dining experience. An extension of Brit’s modern and functional ceramic collection, she has created each dog bowl by hand with careful attention to detail and with dog-friendly usability in mind. Paper & Clay throws Texas-sourced clay in her small (but growing) studio in Downtown Memphis.

Brit first fell in love with ceramics when she was in college, but it took her time to realize the art form’s importance in her life. After graduating and entering the workforce, it took a few years before the epiphany hit: she was meant to have a creative career. From this realization, she continued her soul searching, which found its destination when Brit founded Paper & Clay in June 2013. Paper & Clay launched a Kickstarter campaign, which raised enough capital to purchase a wheel, a kiln, and a few other basic supplies.



Two years later, Brit has been growing Paper & Clay slowly and steadily, recently expanding into a new-and-improved studio with her first employee hire on the horizon. To date, every decision Brit has made for her business has been done with careful consideration and rooted in intention. For Brit, design is important because it’s a way to apply this intention to a specific idea or object. It’s purposeful and intentional and it is the vessel that delivers an idea to our world.


I love the idea that I not only get to create something that has never existed before, and which will survive long after I’m gone, but also the fact that the work that I create goes on to live in another person’s home to become a part of their life. That’s a really powerful idea.”

Paper & Clay’s thoughtfulness even decides the origins of its selected materials, as Paper & Clay values sourcing small-batch, American-made products as often as possible, with quality remaining a huge consideration. The studio’s clay comes from an on-site, single-source facility in Austin, Texas, manifesting in a rich, strong clay - Brit’s personal favorite. Additional materials such as dyes and tools are sourced from a ceramic shop in Philadelphia. The Paper & Clay magic, however, is currently made by Brit’s hands in her studio, located in Downtown Memphis. Paper & Clay is known to have a clean and refined aesthetic, with an exciting but controlled color palette. Brit notes that she’s been influenced by a love for Mid-century and Scandinavian design, but that, above all, she strives to make work that she’d be excited to have in her own home.



My products are made in Memphis because, well, that’s where I am! I’m here because Memphis is an incredible city with culture and history to enrich the lives of all of its residents, while maintaining an affordability that makes is a wonderful location for creative entrepreneurs.”

Paper & Clay has been successful in two short years because it combines sophisticated design with the richness that is unique to something handmade. Brit also credits her success to the companionship of her 11-year-old Jack Russell Terrier with nonstop energy, Jetta, who serves as a studio mate when Brit’s burning the midnight oil. Jetta’s boundless energy is matched only in force by Brit’s commitment to her hometown community. Her “5-year-plan” is one in which she has desires to grow Paper & Clay brand in a way that will allow her to give back to the creative community in Memphis.


I love the special companionship that comes only from having a dog in your life. It’s a constant that you can depend on, and it teaches you the value of loving and caring for another being.”

For more Paper & Clay products or to follow Brit’s work, check out Paper & Clay or @britmcdaniel on Instagram.

Photography courtesy of the very talented Paper & Clay.

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