I first "met" Hande, owner and maker behind SillyBuddy (the place to find handmade dog bowtie collars and leashes), on Etsy in September 2010. Naturally, we bonded over the fact that we were (are) both obsessed with our dog children. She named her shop SillyBuddy, after her adorable pup Buddy, the model you see in many of her product photos. I would have named my bag line SirHubert, but Hubert entered my life two months after I started my bag business, so Jenny N. it was.
Not long after I discovered Hande's shop, I began collecting SillyBuddy bowtie collars, because when I imagined myself owning a pug years prior, I imagined he would don a top hat, monocle and bowtie, and that his name would be Hubert.
Interesting story: I may or may not have commissioned a painting made of Hubert with his SillyBuddy bowtie collar (and a top hat!). It may or may not be visible in the top right corner of the image above. This may or may not have been the start of my Hubert shrine.
Hande and I did meet in person while I was vending at a craft fair in Chicago, where she lives/works! This is one of the many perks of operating a small handmade business; having the opportunity to travel and meet other like-minded artists, and then having the possibility to work together on a project!
Thus, while I was making my wish list of collaborators for 2015, SillyBuddy was a no-brainer for me. Hande and I are both sole-operators of our handmade businesses, we love dogs (beyond most people's imaginations), we're married to guys who are in love with their dogs but try to act cool about it to avoid looking like the "crazy couple obsessed with their dog child" types, and we both already have a sizable collection of one another's products. We are essentially the same person.
The collaboration process between Hande and myself was so much fun --we were giddy from the start. Hande sent billions of fabric swatches to me, and we mulled over all of them trying to figure out the best collection for a summer line, yet keep it classic for year-round use. I would get super excited and photograph a possible collection, and Hande would get super excited with me. Then, I would change my mind and photograph another completely different set, and she would be equally excited. Really, it was just a lot of excitement, and most of our emails ended with "Wee!!".
We discussed back and forth for weeks. I don't know if you've noticed, but Hande has a bajillion fabric prints in her shop, so how do you narrow it down to just four prints? So I went with eight. Okay, nine. Dedicating an entire product line to your favorite fur-thing is sort of the best thing in life. So I was really excited to involve Hubert into my business, in a more official way than just having him sleep in the background of most of my behind-the-scenes photographs.
Full Disclosure: Hubert didn't have any say in the fabrics that were chosen for this collaboration, but he did oversee the entire process from start to finish. I assume he approves.
I hope you enjoy the collection we've put together for you!
Shop the collection here!
p.s. You can customize your Traveler with your favorite SillyBuddy print and leather/canvas colors in the Custom Collection.