Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 18: Kristin Trudeau of Dog Love Repeat is a woman who started an online dog boutique that carries handmade artisan dog products may of which are made by women. She has formed unique partnerships that have allowed her to collaborate on exclusive prints, designs and treat flavors that you’ll only find in her shop.
Listen to the Episode
The idea for Dog Love Repeat was planted after founder, Kristin Trudeau, adopted her first dog as an adult, Trixie, a chihuahua/minpin. She was the hold out in her family of four as she wasn’t a big fan of dogs and the messes they made. Yes, this sentence is true! Trixie turned all of that around. They became inseparable, and because they lived in Minneapolis – clothing is necessary for pups in the winter for survival! Kristin wasn’t thrilled with the options – they seemed drab, cheaply made and unoriginal – nothing that spoke to her aesthetic and love of color and whimsy. She also realized at that time, the maker movement was booming everywhere, except she didn’t see evidence of it in the dog market. Her concept was hatched…on an online dog boutique offering carefully curated handmade goods for dogs and humans who love them.
Tori: What do you think sets your dog boutique apart from others?
Kristin: I always stick to my brand pillars and brand personality, I try to carry items that speaks to me aesthetically. Things that make me smile and bring me joy, and I hope they speak to others too. Many of my artists have create pieces that are exclusive to Dog Love Repeat. That way we can cross promote each other. On my website I have an artisan section that links to their Etsy so that I can help to support them. That’s what it’s all about!
Tori: What types of artists do you work with and how did you find them?
Kristin: Etsy was one of the first places I looked for quality artisan goods. People put their heart and soul into these items. That’s what I want to surround myself with, and then I want my dog to wear and use those types of things too. Typically, you find one artist and they connect you to another artist. I didn’t intend for so may of my vendors to be local Minnesota artists, but I found so many at local fairs and through word of mouth that pretty soon about 80% of the artists I work with are from the Twin Cities. But I also have people from every corner of the country. I just started working with 2 sisters in Columbia, their brand is called Casa Luna, and they are my first international artisan.
Tori: You’re coming up on a year since you launched. Were there any items in the store that were a surprise hit or your biggest seller?
Kristin: What I learned is that you can’t know what’s going to be a hot seller. As for the top item, our Uptown Pocket T-shirt by Dog Threads… how could you resist? Gina who creates them is actually right up the road from me, and she’s been amazing to work with. I collaborated with her and was able to pick out fabrics for the shirt that are exclusive to Dog Love Repeat. That T-shirt, called The Miller, has been my top overall item. Bandanas are also great since they aren’t a high price point and they’re easy to swap out for holidays or the season. Our bandanas are really special because they feature custom illustrations by Elizabeth Graeber. So nobody else has those! Bela & Blue sews them for us. So it’s maker upon maker. And of course, Henry’s Handcrafted Treats for Dogs! Lauren made special shapes just for me – like triangles, diamonds and octagons. She also did a spinach and broccoli treat just for Trixie!
Tori: Tell us about your dog Trixie.
Kristin: When we adopted her it was like, “Where have you been all my life?” It was magic. I work from home so we were together all day and really bonded. Thanks to her I saw dogs in a completely different way. She made me a dog lover! We also recently added a second dog to our lives. I was at a local market at a brewery, and Ziggy came in in the arms of his foster mom. It was love at first sight! He’s a puppy mill rescue and has been with us for about 3 months. It’s amazing to see how he’s grown to be more comfortable with us.
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