Sophie's Grrreat Life!

A Bunny, A Pig & a Bottle of Love

Could the Couture by Sophie fragrance be the new Love Potion #9?  After hearing this story, I’m beginning to wonder…

 

Shawna-Herbert and Rudy

 

Shawna Schuh,  leader of a great organization called Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN, for short), has a farm just outside of Portland, Oregon which she shares with a gaggle of animals. Her horse, dogs, bunny, goats, piglet and more create daily adventures she’s always relaying.

A fan of the Couture by Sophie fragrance, an essential oil formulation that you share with your dog, Shawna decided to experiment with it on some of her other pets.

“This wonderful new fragrance, Couture by Sophie, is so yummy-smelling, it was simply too much to ask not to use it on my little mini pig, Herbert,” Shawna enthused. (ok, just how adorable is a mini pig named Herbert…)

“Pigs have no fur, just short little coarse hairs and very dry skin, so the coconut oil base was really nice for him, too. I rubbed Couture by Sophie all over Herbert the Hogster’s little neck, back, head and behind his ears. He smelled fabulous and he seemed very happy. Plus, he acted even more dapper.”  🙂

But something totally unexpected happened a bit later that day. “I was in the kitchen and looked down and nearly went into shock!  My big, fluffy English Lop House Rabbit, Rudy, was doing something he’s never done. Rudy was loving on Herbert! That rabbit was licking and fawning all over that piggy, and Herbert was in a state of pure joy!”

Shawna was so taken with Rudy’s reaction, she’s been spritzing all her animals with the scent, envisioning a farm-wide love in!  As she describes it,  “A full family of four-legged creatures are all smelling pretty in rural Western Oregon.”

Do I hear chaperone, anyone? This could take the designer pet concept to a whole other level!

See what love you can create with your own Couture by Sophie fragrance. Try it here.

For more info on Women in the Pet Industry Network. 

You Think You’ve Seen Faux Leather Moto Jackets? You Haven’t Met The James & Ellie!

The Ellie Moto Dog Jacket &Faux Leather Moto Jackets for Dogs

 

Speed, danger and rebellion were once associated with the leather jacket, but we’ve come a long way, baby! Just as Marlon Brando in “The Wild Ones” and James Dean in “Rebel Without A Cause” made black leather jackets iconic, it took Debbie Harry, Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Beyonce, among others, to help usher it into the 21st Century. Today, the LBJ (Little Black Jacket) comes in many shapes, sizes and moods. At Couture by Sophie, we’ve done a classic meets couture mash up for our cruelty-free, faux leather moto jackets. Oh, and a bit of chains, too.

 

The James Moto Dog Jacket

 

The James Moto Dog Jacket The James Moto Dog Jacket

 

Meet The James. Could be Dean. Could be Bond. It’s sleek, cool, with a hint of danger, but always dressed to kill. Model Jasper wears it with the requisite attitude (we got lucky). Made from butter soft black faux leather and a vivid blue lilac bridal satin lining, The James gets a bit naughty with a triple strand, drop chain and some silver pyramid studs.

 

The Ellie Moto Dog Jacket The Ellie Moto Jacket for dogs on www.CouturebySophie.com

If The James features a bit of bad boy (or grrl) edge, The Ellie is all girl! She’s bright, sunny and ready for Spring. With a clean-lined silhouette, featuring pottery orange ultra suede and a champagne satin lining, she incorporates the golden studs and chains to make you think she could be dangerous. But, we know she’s just stylish.

 

The Ellie Moto Jacket for dogs on www.CouturebySophie.com

 

The James and The Ellie; perfect additions to a smart Spring wardrobe.

What’s in your closet?

Debut: Couture by Sophie’s New Fragrance You Share with your Dog!

 

We are so excited to announce our first fragrance! We wanted to create something both dog moms and pups could share, that would have a beautiful scent and be healing, too. After much research and testing of various formulations, we’ve chosen something we love, and hope you do, too!

With notes of rose, lavender, geranium and orange, blended perfectly with frankincense and spikenard, the result is delicate, elegant and soothing to the senses. A luxurious coconut oil base is the perfect way to deliver nourishing, moisturing goodness to you and your dog’s skin. Each essential oil has its specific healing properties. Here’s an info graphic we created that divulges all! 🙂

Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Fragrance-Infographic-final-570x1024 copy

 

 

To apply, place a small amount on your fingertips and gently massage into your dog’s ear tips to calm and rejuvenate. For you, place a dab behind your ears, on the wrist or anywhere else you like to wear your fragrances. Perfect for a night on the town or anywhere.

We’ve created two sizes for convenience: our 55 ml blown glass bottle for $48.00, and a 9 ml travel size, at $18.00. Try one and feel pampered!

Limited edition, so order while in stock. www.CouturebySophie.com.

It’s National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015!

Celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015 in the Couture by Sophie Elvis Coat

The Elvis Coat

Pull out the parkas; snatch the sweaters and please, don’t exclude the accessories…it’s National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015! It’s the day to celebrate our babies by turning them out in style (ok, so for some of us, maybe this is a day like any other). LOL

Our pets are our babies and, more and more, we’re introducing things into their lives we would for young human children. That includes dressing them in clothes. As a designer and writer in pet fashion, I’ve seen such creative, amazing work by colleagues in the industry. And, I think we all agree that, as much as our pets look adorable in fashion, we have to be sensible about it and not force anything on those who might not like it.

More and more designers are also focusing on comfort for pets in their creations, making sure they can move naturally and not find the feel of the fabric or the design irritating.

So, in honor of  this special day,  I wanted to share about how the holiday came about and some ways we can celebrate it with our furry loved ones!

Where it all began…

 

Celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015 on www.couturebysophie.com

Colleen Paige

 

Dress Up Your Pet Day was founded by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day. While it’s meant to be a fun day, it’s also an excuse (not that we need one!) to give our pets a little more attention and another way to promote pet adoption, which is at the core of what Colleen does.

“I realize that there are many people who are excited about this day and some others, not so much,” Paige explains. “The one thing that I feel important to note is that as silly as this day may seem to some, all of my holidays have the underlying goal to help save lives and give homeless animals as much exposure as possible.

“I really stress comfort and safety for your pet in terms of fashion. If your pet doesn’t like wearing clothing, there is no use stressing them out by forcing them to wear something for human entertainment. Perhaps if that’s the case and you still want to participate, a nice new collar might be just the ticket.

celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015 on www.couturebysophie.com

Sometimes, a decorative collar is enough

“As someone who cares so much for animals, the one thing I absolutely hate to see is the use of real fur or animal skins. It is the cruelest form of fashion. There are so many great looking ‘humane’ accessories for pets (and humans) on the market that there is just no excuse to buy into cruelty. Animals should never have to suffer for the sake of fashion….even if that includes participating in National Dress Up Your Pet Day!”

We love this woman and couldn’t agree more. Couture by Sophie has taken a cruelty-free pledge in what we offer our clients – no real fur or leather is used in our designs.

And I can tell you, firsthand, there are stunning faux furs and leathers out there today that rival the real thing for lushness, softness and beauty!

So, how can we celebrate this very cool holiday with our pups and kitties (or other pets who like to dress?) Colleen has some great suggestions that marry conscious with creative. Let’s check it out!

Ways to celebrate!

celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015 on www.couturebysophie.com

Pugaliciousness!

 

1. Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds and farm animals need forever homes, too.

2. Dress your pet in a comfortable and safe costume or cute clothing and take photos to share online. You can actually bring happiness to strangers through your beloved pet. Tag #dressupyourpetday and we just might feature you! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Links are at the bottom of the page.

3. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations in honor of your pet.

4. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to play with some dogs or cats available for adoption, clean cages, litter boxes, large animal stalls or anything else they need help with.

5. Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of puppy/kitten mills and gas chambers in your state.

6. Hire a professional photographer to do a photo shoot of your pet(s) in a special outfit or costume.

7. Have a Dress Up Your Pet Day party and invite your friends to bring their dogs. Take lots of photos!

8. Film your pet prancing around in fun attire and post it on social media with the tag #DressUpYourPetDay.

9. Paint your face up as your favorite kind of pet, wear kitty ears, bake animal shaped cookies for your kids or dress in pet related fashion.

10. Get the kids and pets together on Friday, January 16th and throw a Puss in Boots themed party to watch the debut of Puss in Boots on Netflix!

 

Celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015 on www.couturebysophie.com

Cute as a button in style

We love it!  Make it fun for both of you and share your pics with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Do you dress up your pet?

How To’s of Caring for a Dog Coat: Fine Wool

Custom-made apparel for dogs at www.CouturebySophie.com

You’ve got that favorite wool coat. You went for quality and you want it to last. How do you ensure it stays fresh and looking great, season after season? This handy care guide will help!

General Care

* Hang woven wool garments on shaped or padded hangers, when possible.

* Brush and air wool clothing after wear to remove surface soil and allow clothing to relax.

* I recently learned this; it’s a good idea to give a wool garment 24 hours rest before wearing it again. It’s a version of beauty rest. Wool is an amazing, natural material that will actually shed wrinkles and return to its original shape.

* Avoid abrasion with hard surfaces to prevent pilling, those annoying little balls of wool that appear on some thinner cashmeres, especially.

* You don’t have to clean wool garments often. In fact, cleaning too much creates fiber wear. So, spot clean with cool water or a spot cleaning agent for stain removal. Always use only those recommended for wool, and then I’d spot test on a small section not outwardly visible.

* If you store your wool garments in the off-season, also include your dog’s! Prior to long-term storage, clean wool garments thoroughly. Store with fresh cedar or other suitable moth repellents that can keep your clothes smelling pleasant, and they’ll be ready, looking and smelling great, for next year.

* If care instructions state “Dry Clean Only,” follow the instructions to avoid any expensive mistakes. There are special dry cleaners who don’t throw all colors and a lot of clothes into the same big bin to clean. I’d recommend finding a cleaner that is very familiar with cleaning fine goods. In NYC, I use Hallak Cleaners.

*  If the garment gets stained, the best advice is to rinse the spot with cool water immediately, but see my tips for specific, common stains, below.

* Never wring or vigorously rub wool garments, because you will create wear on the fibers; they may pill or look different from the rest of the garment.

* Dry wool garments away from heat sources. Heat and wool = shrinkage.​​

Custom made dog apparel on www.CouturebySophie.com

If you want to press your dog’s wool coat, first read these tips: 

* Set the iron on the wool setting

* Do not press wool totally dry

* Always use steam setting when pressing wool

* Press on the reverse side of the fabric

* When it is necessary to press on the right side of the fashion fabric, use a press cloth to avoid a shine

A guide for removing some common stains: 

Food: Gently rub the spot with carbonated water

Glue: Sponge the spot with alcohol.

Ink: Immerse in cold water. Do not rub as this may spread to other areas.

Chewing Gum: Scrape the spot first. Sometimes freezing the gum will allow you to break it away from the garment. I wouldn’t recommend using a dry cleaning solvent unless it’s non-toxic to your pet.

MudDo not try to rub wet mud out. Let it dry first. This is a critical tip I learned the hard way. Mud can brush off with a good brush once it’s dried, prior to using water. Warm or cold water is great, when used gently, for the residual stain.

Red Wine: Step away from the doggy coat when drinking. If an accident occurs, first immerse the garment in cold water for few minutes before rubbing out. There are also some red wine removal products on the market like Wine Out or other similar products.

Want more tips on fashion care, style trends and more?

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The Holidays in New York City

Holiday shopping for designer dog clothes at www.CouturebySophie.com

Sophie in The Cher Coat, collar/leash set and me with the matching carry bag, in Rockefeller Center

 

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the dazzling star suspended over Fifth Avenue; Bergdorf’s window and so much more. There’s something special about the holidays in New York City, and Sophie has many adventures planned this season.

We have our go to spots. We’ll take our annual pilgrimage to Rock Center to watch the skaters and marvel at the massive, glittering tree. We’ll hit Fifth Avenue, but only on off hours. The crush of holiday shoppers is too intense for a little girl, and Sophie does like to view the sites from her mom or dad’s arms, at times. We’ll visit Saks, where we love to see the decorated designer shops. We’ll swing by the glass-walled Apple store and, as always, lines will be around the block. And, best of all, Sophie will have quality time with her brother, Jasper, and her friends. This pup may lead a charmed life, but for Sophie, nothing compares to family.

Holiday shopping is already in full-swing, and Sophie and I will be finding lots of treasures in our travels, so stay tuned, as we report from the front!

In the meantime, peruse our boutique to find just the right, special present for your pup.

Sophie’s Story

Sophie at Saks event for ASPCA

A little jetsetter from a very tender age, Sophie began life at Plushcourt Kennels, in Oxfordshire,England. As a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, hers is a primitive breed over 2,000 years old, although only recently added to the American Kennel Club breed listings in 2010.

It is believed Podengos came to Portugal with the Phoenicians as ratters on their ships and becamerabbit hunters on land. They are fiercely courageous little dogs and were used to ferret the rabbits out of holes, brush and high places, going where no other dogs would dare go. And doing it with gusto!

Sophie came to us as one of the last two in the litter, with the very British given name of Midge. Her dad (my husband) Stanley Young, drove up from London during a business trip, picked our new little girl up and the journey began, a very long journey, indeed.

With it being illegal to transport a dog in or out of the UK in the cabin of a plane and unwilling to put our new little 3.5 pound pup in cargo, we got creative. Can anyone say car adventure?

Stanley can and did, beginning a night-long drive from Oxfordshire to Folkstone,
onto the chunnel, under the English Channel to Calais, France and down to Paris, one hand on the wheel and the other stroking Sophie in her crate. Some ten hours later, he and a very wilted little dog were parked in the British Airways lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport. She flew on her daddy’s chest across the ocean, and arrived that afternoon at her new home in the fashion capital of New York City.

And it’s been a family adventure ever since. A feisty, fun-loving, social and very sweet little dog,Sophie, like many families with pets can attest, has made our lives infinitely richer.We are Delta Society Pet Partners, visiting an adult day care center and a school for severely disabled children each week. She thrives during those visits, calmly letting people pet her, brush her and kiss her. And yes, throw fun toys and give her lots of treats!

Sophie has trained at agility, a strong sport for Podengos. She goes to physical therapy for her little knees, which tend to come out of their sockets. She has play dates and loves her people and dog friends alike, those very large ears tilting back adoringly and her little tush rocking like crazy when she sees them coming. And like most young girls, she has a Facebook and Twitter account (obviously!).

So when I retired from my PR career and the journey took me to designing collections for dogs, Sophie very quickly became my muse. And she’s a fashion maven herself! She parades around in hercoats like she knows she’s got it going on! Couture by Sophie is in her honor. This happy little dog, who helped me start it all, brings a smile to so many faces, from so many walks of life.What better business partner can a girl have!

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