Last year one of my favourite posts was one where I featured some of my favourite designer-makers who shared not only beautiful photos of their work on their instagram feed, but also lots of lovely photos of their pet sidekicks. Working on the Pet Page in Girl Planet each month has only grown my love for pets further, and I thought it would be fun to expand on this post and feature not only some of the instagrammers I mentioned in the original post, but lots of other designer-makers and their pet pals too. I think our pets are especially important to those of us that work from home. It makes such a huge difference to me having our dog George to keep me company in the studio and take me out for walks and I'm definitely in the camp that thinks you can never share too many pet photos on instagram!
For the first in this series I knew I wanted to interview Pet Tipi Queen and owner of the super cute Indy, Hannah Frew of Pup Tart. Hannah's diverse products range from glitter bumbags to fruity enamel pins to hand-painted rainbow clutch bags to a range of fun pet products including tie-dyed tipis and glittery bow ties! Read on for a little insight into how Indy inspired Hannah to set up Pup Tart and find out which Spice Girl is a fan of her pup!
How long have you been running Pup Tart and what was your first product?
Pup Tart has been going for just over 2 whole years now. I started selling other pet brands and then I made some doggie bow ties that turned out to be our bestseller. That's when I started making all my own products.
When and where did you get Indy?
We got Indy from a lovely lady in Suffolk. We really wanted a Norfolk terrier but the litters are really small which makes them quite expensive. At that time our jobs meant we couldn't really get a rescue dog, but luckily Indy's mum had got pregnant by accident. They originally said she'd bred with a Yorkie but as it turned out we think Indy is part jack Russell. She's a happy accident.
How does Indy inspire you and your business?
She gave me the idea to start selling doggie accessories. I really wanted to buy her a tipi as she always hides under chairs and the bed. At that time nobody shipped to the UK so I decided to make some and that's how the tipi was born.
Where is your favourite place to take Indy for a walk?
In London it has to be Hampstead Heath. It has everything: big fields, woods, ponds for Indy to swim in and little coffee huts for me. Indy's very naughty but really funny. One time she got a cuddle from Ginger Spice and another time she thought she was jumping onto some grass which turned out to be a pond full of green algae and she jumped straight in.
When did Indy first meet her instafamous mate Bruno The Mini Dachshund?
Indy loves Bruno so much. We met Bruno and his owners Lindsay and Sarah at my first ever market in Crouch End. They've been amazing Pup Tart supporters. It's so nice to have doggie buddies who live close by and Bruno is very understanding of Indy's crazy ways. Indy is also Bruno's bodyguard.
What are you most looking forward to right now?
You sell quite a variety of products, which showcase lots of techniques. Have you found that to be a benefit to your business or has it held you back in any way?
It's only really held me back in terms of how long it can take me to make things. As we've got busier I've had to start to cut back on the products that take a long time and extend the offers of our bestsellers. I am looking at dividing the business in two on our website though so it's less confusing: Pup Tart Pets / Pup Tart Humans.
How have your degree in textile design and your former role as a fashion buyer influenced your business?
Textiles has helped me experiment more with making my own fabrics and when creating products such as our watermelon bags. Buying has been a huge help; it gave me a knowledge of costing my products, how to approach wholesale and what sort of commitments to make when buying supplies for busy periods like Christmas.
Who are some of your favourite independent pet brands?
Eek there are so many cute ones! I love Hiro and Wolf, they were the first pet brand I bought when I started. I love their leads and can't wait to get Indy one of their new harnesses. Beast and Babe are lovely too, her collars and leads are so cool. Rachel Oates Pet Photography is another fave. Rachel and her dog Winston @winnythecorgi have been really supportive of Pup Tart and took some cute pics of our tipis and bow ties.
Thanks to Hannah and Indy! You can follow their exploits over on instagram and check out their products on Etsy while their website is under maintenance. I hope you enjoyed the first instalment in this new series. Next month I've got another lovely designer-maker lined up to chat all about her cats! Let me know if there's anyone in particular you'd like to see in this series by tagging me in on instagram @zabbyallen, I'd love to see some more accounts full of my two favourite things: animals and design!