It is no surprise that small businesses tend to be overlooked, which is why it is my pleasure to feature an emerging pet business, The Pet Bowtique, on today’s Small Business Spotlight. With a lot to offer pet parents who love to dress up their fur babies, The Pet Bowtique is an affordable, chic and stylish brand that will make your pet look fabulous for his/her next walk or barkday pawty!
The Pet Bowtique is founded by Sarah Germain, a full-time Senior Producer for a 24-hour news station in Upstate New York. She has a fancy background in marketing and communications. The role of a news producer can be demanding and stressful, and Sarah found that she needed a creative outlet to make her work life more manageable.
The business idea started during her wedding preparation in 2011. She went on Etsy to purchase a lot of items for her wedding. She thought, “Hey, I can do that myself.” So Sarah launched her first Etsy shop in 2012, Sweetheart Signs. It featured handmade wedding signs, specifically ones for the chairs of the bride and groom. After 8 months, and only 3 sales, she found it wasn’t working for her. She just wasn’t inspired enough by it. So she closed the shop, but still wanted to pursue her own side business.
In January of 2014, Sarah and her husband adopted a dog named Teddy. Sarah grew up with cats, so the caring for a pup was totally new. She was instantly surprised at the dog community she had joined and was so moved by the relationship people have with their dogs. At the same time, Sarah couldn’t stop thinking about starting up another Etsy shop. But it had to be the right product, for the right customer. So Sarah thought about what made her happy. And the answer was right in front of her, Teddy. She brainstormed products she could make for pets and voila! The Pet Bowtique was created! After a lot of trial and error, she developed a solid process to hand make cute and stylish pet bow ties and a brand that showcased her talent and passion.
Sarah’s goal at The Pet Bowtique is simple; it is to offer affordable handmade accessories for pets. Whether you have a beloved dog, cat, rabbit, or pig – if your pet can wear a collar, then they can wear one of Sarah’s fashionable bows.
The traditional bow style comes in three sizes: Small (3 inches by 2 inches), Medium (4 inches by 2 inches), and Large (4.5 inches by 2 inches). The Pet Bowtique also makes larger “double stacked” bows that look more girly than the traditional bow tie. Sarah is currently experimenting with fabric blossoms- a fabric flower with a jewel button center. All styles listed in the shop are ready to ship, but custom orders are welcome.
Bows: ~$11. Shipping is always done with First Class Mail with tracking.
Materials & Production
Cotton Fabric (sometimes specialty fabrics are used like Velvet) to make the bows; Double-sided black Velcro Felt to give the bows structure as well as keep them soft and comfortable; and Fabric Glue used on the knot for added strength and durability.
One of Sarah’s favorite part of the whole process is picking out the fabric. She always has to keep in mind what will look good on different breeds, animals, fur color and fur lengths. All fabrics are then cut to size and machine-sewn into a bow. Velcro is then added to the back of each bow to attach to the pet’s collar.
I received 2 bows to review: a pink polka dot “double-stacked” bow and a floral traditional bow tie. My first impression was the lovely packaging; each bow was neatly enclosed in cute paper wrapping and then placed in a clear plastic baggie with a handcrafted business card. Wow, were these business cards unique! Sarah produces them on her own and each card is different. I love her taste and her brand certainly matches her products and vision.
The double-stacked bow was bigger and slightly heavier than the traditional bow tie because essentially, the double-stacked bow is two traditional bows stacked into one – featuring a fuller look that is more feminine for the fashionable females or more noticeable on thicker-coated breeds. I found this style to be perfect for Alaska for both of the reasons mentioned. The bow really stood out and was never hidden under her dense layers of fur around her neck even with movement, which occurred with the floral traditional bow tie as well as with many other pet bow ties we own.
The traditional bow, in my opinion, wasn’t as special only because it didn’t stand out as much on Alaska. Perhaps I should’ve have ordered a size up to accommodate for Alaska’s lengthy fur, but I kind of expected this to happen as I’ve seen from other similar pet bow ties. The traditional bow tie style is suitable for any pet, regardless of gender, but I highly recommend the double-stacked bow for females or for pets with longer/thicker fur.
We tested the quality of the bows on several outings and I am pleased to say that the bows did not travel with movement. I find that many pet bow ties travel around Alaska’s neck/collar when she moves and I constantly have to readjust the placement, but this did not happen with the double-stacked bow. Mind you, Alaska climbed benches and barked squirrels up trees that day. Perhaps it is the heavier weight of the double-stacked bow that keeps it securely in place, or the snug fit that the double-sided velcro provides. Nonetheless, I am very impressed with this design.
What I love about the bow ties are the ease and comfort with which they attach to your pet’s collar. It is a breeze to attach and detach- making mix and matching so convenient. I can also feel the quality and durability of each bow. Poorly made bows not only reflect the quality aesthetically, but you can also feel it. The knots on each bow are firm and secure, and so are the wings. One critique I do have is the variety of prints/fabrics available. At the moment there seems to be a limited variety, and I’d like to see more unique options aside from the oh-so-popular florals and polka dots.
Overall, I recommend The Pet Bowtique to any pet parent who loves to spice up their pet’s wardrobe. Sarah’s talent and passion is reflected in her work and customer service. You will not regret a purchase from The Pet Bowtique!
Where to Buy
Browse all that The Pet Bowtique has to offer on their Etsy Shop.
Connect with The Pet Bowtique on Social Media
Get a behind the scenes look at the shop on Facebook and Instagram @The_Pet_Bowtique. There are lots of pictures of Teddy of course!