It’s a Dog’s World – An Evolution of Our Dog Silhouette Pillows

We have found that our dog silhouette pillows have been popular at our weekly street fair in down town Palm Springs, on our Etsy website and during our travels to out of town arts & crafts fairs.  During an interview with a local handcrafted blogger (and fellow crafter) I was asked what inspired our designs.  As you might know by now, we are very passionate about our pets.  My black lab is named Hunter and he is six and my parent’s black lab’s name is Jack and he is four.  They are our original muses.  One of our first pillows was of a black felt lab silhouette appliqued over a black and ivory gingham.  This style has other added details that our other pillows do not have.  For instance, at the top there is black gros grain ribbon bows (or knots) with off white stitching.  The below pillow measures 16″ x 16″ and costs $50.00

About nine months later we were selling at our local street fair and decided to design a similar pillow for an affordable price.  We came up with a black lab felt silhouette over natural burlap.  It was a charming pillow that was sure to perk up any space.

Our work space is the office of my dad’s automotive shop (what a pair).  It is nice to be able to go somewhere to work on our designs.  One day we were outside photographing our new small black lab throw pillow for our Etsy site and as we were walking back into the shop my dad was talking with his customer from Los Angeles.  His girlfriend began asking what it is that we do and during this conversation she asked if we were willing to fabricate any other breeds.  She had a Springer Spaniel and her daughter had a Goldendoodle.  I said sure, why not…  This is when it hit me like a ton of bricks.  People love their dogs and these pillows make fabulous gifts!!  Below is one of the first prototypes of our “dog silhouette” series.  The front is in burlap with a black button and elastic looped around.  The back is black and beige ticking stripe.  The pillows were sewn shut and filled with poly fil.

Below is a photo of a custom order we did for a customer through our Etsy shop.  The customer wanted to purchase two black labs and a golden retriever.

We then came up with a slightly different design to incorporate most dog breeds.  We fabricated the pillows out of a taupe cotton, appliqued the felt dog silhouette and printed the breed’s name in black fabric ink.  These pillows were sewn shut at the bottom and filled with poly fil.  We have always welcomed custom orders and incorporated the dog’s name if requested.

We then evolved into fabricating pillow covers.  We included a exposed zipper (black, red or ecru) at the back for easy removal of the insert.  We have found that pillow covers are desirable for our customers and cost-effective when shipping.  We always offer the pillow inserts but found that while in the fairs it is easier for tourists to travel back with a pillow cover rather than the pillow cover including the insert.

We invested in a screen printer about a year ago.  We began incorporating a few breeds as a screen print style.  We currently have Boston, Pug and Springer Spaniel in addition to other screen print designs that are not dog related.  We try to add a whimsical element to our screen print such as a crown.  Below is our Boston in black.  We have made this particular style in brown for a customer who had a brown and white Boston.

We began playing with our silhouette pillows over a black and ivory ticking stripe.  We currently have a denim blue & ivory, beige and ivory, red and ivory and black and ivory ticking stripe.  We now either have the ticking at the front or the back.

We have most breeds fabricated and have the capability to fabricate any breed.  One of our signs states “Don’t See Your Pet Don’t Fret”.  The customizations are endless.  I get inquiries about fabricating the perfect pillow for our customer’s home decor.  I always want to dabble outside of our comfort zone because I feel that this is where greatness arises and a new style emerges as a result.

It is funny because we have been selling at the street fair for about a year and a half and during that time we have become acquainted with several of the vendors nearby.  What is funny is that we really don’t refer to each other by first name or even by the business name but by what the popular product is.  I think this is an unspoken nick name or categorization.  For instance, there is the Lotion Lady, Fudge Man, Jewelry Guys and I think we are the Dog Pillow Girls.  I must say, that I am proud of this nickname!~

You can find our products online at http://www.ecarlateboutique.etsy.com or you can e-mail direct with any inquires for a custom project at ecarlateboutique@yahoo.com.  Our standard dog silhouette pillows measure 14″ x 14″ but any size is available at a slight upcharge.  They cost $27.00 for the cover alone or $29.00 with the insert plus shipping.

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