We love Danes & Divas simple business mission – to bring trending street-style and quality craftsmanship to the collection of no-pull dog harnesses, collars and leads. Today, we chat with Shalla, the founder of Danes & Divas, a dog-obssessed fashion designer. Find Danes & Divas dog accessories at our Etsy Vancouver Market, taking place next weekend!
What inspired you to open your Etsy Shop?
As a creator of my own designs, I felt that Etsy was the perfect venue to showcase my products. I wanted to become a part of this Makers Movement that Etsy was pioneering. Their core values resonated with me as did the opportunity to connect with other artisans from all over the world.
In the early days when your shop was just a hobby, what type of goods did you focus on?
In the beginning, I mainly focused on simple ribbon and nylon collars and leads. After several months, I began offering custom nylon harnesses and detachable collar flowers along with a small collection of vinyl appliqué dog hoodies and fabric-wrapped nylon collars. Soon thereafter, I created a collection of coordinating pet bows that really ‘tied’ everything together. My latest creative project has been designing my own graphics in Illustrator and having them made into woven ribbons and fabrics.
When did you decide to turn this into a full-time pursuit?
In the Spring of 2013, I decided that I was ready for a career change. I was undeniably happier working on my creative business than I was at my day job. I saw potential for growth in doing what I love –designing and producing pet products. I began cutting back my hours at my day job over a few months before ultimately resigning. It was a huge leap of faith, but the unwavering moral support of my closest friends and family gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions in growing my business.
Is it just you or do you have anyone else helping you with your shop?
Since working on Danes & Divas full-time, my husband Miguel has partnered on to help with the order prep and logistics. While too humble to admit it, he plays an integral role in maintaining Danes & Divas operations. We work really well together and have a ton of fun listening to music and joking around while we work.
What is your favourite Etsy related moment so far?
One of the most exciting moments that we have had while selling on Etsy was fulfilling an order for use in CBS’s Elementary! Not long afterward, we received another order for a series of “outfits” for a little Corgi in the movie production of A Dog’s Purpose (screens in January).