Happy Monday – one that actually feels like a real spring day here in Atlantic Canada! I think this might be one our cutest Maker Mondays ever! Because along with our featured maker, Heather Snider of PuppyRiot, we get to also meet her muse, a darling bulldog, named Ida Mae!
Like many of our makers, Heather created PuppyRiot because she just couldn’t find what she was looking for, and so set out to create her own. In this case, it was a stylish and well designed collar for Ida Mae. Her shop is filled with fun collars and accessories with vibrant colours and patterns, and decorative elements that are functional, or just plain fashionable. Your dog isn’t boring, so why should they look it?
Keep reading to learn more about Heather, Ida Mae, and PuppyRiot.
Could you please begin by giving us a brief bio about yourself and an intro to your shop.
My background is in the fine arts. I have a BFA from NSCAD and a BED from Mount Saint Vincent University. I have worked as an artist, as well as, a scenic artist for the film industry for 18 years.
Puppy Riot grew out of my search to find the perfect collar for my dog, Ida Mae. I had a hard time finding just the right collar, so I decided to try making one. The artist in me saw possibilities! I found that I could explore the same things in dog collars that inspired my personal art work. I love colour, texture, design and pattern. Also, seeing my creations on all different types of dogs is sooo much fun!
My sweet Ida Mae! She is a 3 year old Valley Bulldog (English Bulldog/ Boxer mix). She is my first dog as an adult. Her enthusiasm and love for life is inspiring! She is extremely curious and friendly. I have yet to introduce her to a person or animal that she doesn’t like. Also, she is so comical! I was not a huge bulldog fan before her and now I am obsessed with them!
How did you decide to turn PuppyRiot into a business?
I think I knew after making several collars that there was some potential, as people would often express interest in Ida’s collars. Additionally, by sourcing out materials, processes, etc, I knew that I had the creative interest to sustain it on that level.
And what important lessons have you learned through the process that you can share with some of our newer makers?
It is definitely a learning process! At first, I wanted to make only one-of-a kind collars, as that suits my past working style as a fine artist. I quickly learned that this was probably not a sustainable business idea, particularly in the pet supplies market. I think it is important to continually research your market and be open to making any necessary changes.
Do you have a hand-made item (yours or passed on to you from someone else) which is especially treasured by you?
As an artist, I have always valued handmade items. I have handmade quilts from my family, artwork from friends and several little displays areas in my apartment that house handmade and vintage items that are special to me.
Also, I collect christmas ornaments and have a very large and eclectic collection. I find my favourites to stumble across each year are the original and handmade ornaments. This last year, my sister and her husband, made me Ida ornaments!!! They are hilarious and I am sure I will treasure them for years!
Are there any other places that we can find PuppyRiot outside of etsy?
Right now, I am mostly focusing on etsy while I build up my inventory and work out the kinks of starting a business. I will soon be looking to sell my collars locally.
So, any chance that there are cat collars available?
Ha! In the future, definitely!
Thank you so much, Heather and Ida Mae. We can’t wait to see your business grow, and we wish you much success!
To view more of Heather’s work, visit PuppyRiot on etsy. Also, you can click any of the photos above to learn more about that specific item.