Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 27: Maitri Mody of Honey I Dressed the Pug and Ari & M is using her experience in the fashion industry to create a brand for stylish dog moms. Her Instagram motto is Twinning is Winning – and that concept has helped her create a dedicated fan base to support the launch of her own line of dog accessories. Listen for advice on starting your own brand and becoming a social media influencer.
Maitri is the founder of Ari & M, a modern boho dog accessories brand for the stylish human and hound duo. She is also an Instagram influencer and blogger for @honeyIdressedthepug where along with dog friendly travel and lifestyle, she also showcases fun twinning looks with her pug Ari. She is an alumni of The Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years in Mumbai, London and New York.
Tori: How did you come up with the twinning concept for Honey I Dressed the Pug?
Maitri: When I got started on Instagram I saw so many cute dog accounts and the stylish in me thought there was a great opportunity to do styled photos with my dog Ari. I couldn’t start my account for about 2 months until I came up with the perfect name. Our very first photo was a matching Christmas coordinated look. A couple times we randomly matched perfectly and my followers loved it! That concept really excited us and eventually #twinningiswinning became the theme of our account.
Tori: You also have a dog accessories brand called Ari & M. How did you decide to start that?
Maitri: I never thought I’d have a dog accessories brand! Growing up in Mumbai there were a lot of street dogs and I was actually afraid of dogs! When I moved to the US I realized dogs are pets and soon after tha tAri came into our life. I was always working in fashion and working towards starting my own line. With Honey I Dressed The Pug I realized there are so many opportunities in the pet industry. I thought that my Ari & M brand would be a great way to combine my knowledge of the fashion industry and my love of dogs.
Tori: I’ve noticed that you have really fantastic packaging for your products. Why do you think that’s important?
Maitri: The packaging and marketing are what makes a brand a brand. It differentiates a product made in your house from an actual brand. All these details build your brand. I had a friend help with my packaging – everything from the logos to the stamp that goes on the box, little stickers, etc. It took months of planning. It’s very important to plan all that as much as the product. Then you become a brand!
Tori: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to pursue a career as an influencer?
Maitri: The most important thing is to find your own niche. Start with creating good content. When I started I didn’t have any collaborations, I bought all our matching gear and paid for photographers. When you’re ready, just start approaching brands. Don’t be shy about approaching someone who you think would benefit from your audience. I have a niche group of dog moms who follow me – so if a brand wants to reach that audience then I can help them.
Tori: Tell us how you met your dog Ari?
Maitri: Growing up in Mumbai, there was an ad for a phone brand and the mascot was a pug. I was probably 13 or 14 when I saw that ad, and even though I was afraid of dogs growing up, I always kind of wanted a pug! When we moved to the States we found a pug breeder in Long Island and went out there to see the puppies. My husband actually picked Ari! He was kind of the bully of the litter! Ari is quite the character and he has such an awesome personality. He was 1 when we moved to London and he’s about 5 years old now. On of his favorite things to do is zoomies in Central Park!
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