Since I started on the journey of dog&boy to create designer scarves, there have been many ‘firsts’ - working for myself; business and marketing plans; ‘real’ budgets (this in itself is a whole other story!); and of course my first blog.
I am a regular follower and reader of many blogs on various subjects. Some of them are simply gorgeous with their imagery and stories, others a timely reminder to keep things real especially in those moments when everything is just so overwhelming (which I seem to have a lot of lately!) and it’s like you’re feeling your way in the dark.
I hope to bring you a great combination of both of these sorts of blogs - something inspirational, something practical, or something to just make you laugh.
Why do I do what I do?
For my first post though, I thought it important to tell you a little about me and where dog&boy came from, to give you the essence of who we are and why I do what I do.
At the age of 18 when I first started working, I had no planned career path. It’s funny, at the time of leaving school you feel so old and established and mature... ready to take on the world! How naive we can be. Do any of us really know what we’re doing at that age? Anyway, when I left high school, all I knew was that I wanted to work. A tertiary study was not for me (at that time anyway).
I wanted to experience, not just learn. I wanted to be challenged, not just taught.
Whether it was good luck or good management, I was fortunate to gain many opportunities in the corporate world with some amazing peers, mentors and managers who believed in my abilities, both personal and professional, and provided me with an environment that both tested and challenged me.
But in my 20+ years of work, there always seemed to be missing that deep sense of satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, I had many moments of professional fulfilment and achievement, but never that ‘THIS is why I get up in the morning and go to work each day’ feeling that you hear about.
This notion crystallised when my son was born nearly eight years ago, in 2008. I really questioned what it was I wanted to do with my life. Closely followed by – ‘OMG, I just became a cliché! I am having a midlife crisis! But what now??’
Despite the epiphany brought on by motherhood, I continued to ride the corporate treadmill, until one fine spring day down at the local dog park in late 2014, a seed of inspiration was planted. Sometimes it just takes one single moment, one single idea, and the rest, as they say, is history.
From that one idea came the next, and my lifelong obsession with beautiful designer scarves became satiated in the decision to design my own. dog&boy scarves are my passion (or obsession!) come to life - bold original designs, luxuriously oversized in a sublime natural fibre blend. Designs that have a story to tell and celebrate the beauty of the everyday.
Sometimes from sadness, can grow inspiration.
During the journey, I was reminded of the fragility of every day when my beautiful mum was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away very soon after. It was absolutely devastating but did not throw me off the path, instead reigniting my passion to really make dog&boy come to life and for her to always be a part of it.
When sorting through mum’s things - in that dark fog when your loved one’s colourful and engaged life fits into just a few boxes - I came across her sketchbooks. I always remember her sitting in the garden, which she loved, drawing away, but I hadn’t realised just how good an artist she was until now. I wish I’d been able to appreciate it sooner - her beautiful, secret talent.
Mum’s beautiful drawings have inspired some of the designs for dog&boy. They are also a reminder to me, and I hope others, to stop, appreciate, and be grateful for the small things, the beautiful things, every day. Until you lose someone you love so dearly, you really cannot imagine the void that it leaves. I had never experienced such sadness until then. My darling husband, who himself lost his mum very suddenly when we first met about 15 years ago, knew my feelings all too well. He so simply and eloquently said to me, ‘It is not that you actually miss her for any particular reason, it’s the loss of all the future possibilities that should have been with her’. I think I cried for a week after he told me that.
Designing with heart
In a perfect world, I would never want anyone else to feel as I did, as I still do. But sadly that is not the reality, so dog&boy will pay it forward and have the privilege of supporting the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and give a percentage of sales from every dog&boy design sold so that someone else’s mum, grandma, wife, loved one, may continue on their journey.
dog&boy isn’t just about some gorgeous fashion accessory. It’s about a journey, a story; and not just about my story of the beauty of every day, it could be anyones. Everyone has been touched by love, loss, joy and a hint of magic. dog&boy designs tell a thousand stories of the simple beauty that is around us every day, but with our busy hectic lives, we don’t pause often enough to enjoy, to take a breath, to laugh, to look up or to breathe deeply and just smile.
That is the essence of dog&boy - every beautiful day. Any beautiful day.
So, welcome to dog&boy. I look forward to having you on this journey. Enjoy.