FLEAKIN' OUT WITH MUTTS & MITTENS
Mutts & Mittens was born from a real, immediate need—a very short leash that proved to be hard to find for pet owner Shannon Reiswig. In answer to her problem, she made one herself, launching a line of practical pupwear in a range of unique, hand-printed fabrics.
What does MUTTS & MITTENS mean to you?
Mutts & Mittens is a much needed creative outlet for me, as my day job is very analytical and involves sitting behind a computer all day. I also really love the social aspect of meeting people and their dogs at the local markets.
QUICK FACT #1
Practical pup gear, inspired by Sasha and Lance.
QUICK FACT #2
Designed by hand for style and durability.
QUICK FACT #3
Products that do good, sales that benefit animals in need.
How did your crafting evolve into pet accessories?
The evolution from being an avid crafter to the owner, operator of Mutts & Mittens came as a result of a real life need. The behavioral issues of one of our canine companions required a very short leash called a traffic leash—like most of us, I wanted the leash that day; however, I contacted multiple pet stores and came up empty handed. Frustrated about the few options available, I went through our ‘dog drawer’ and found a leash that we never really use. I decided that I would cut up the leash and sew the hardware back together in the length that I needed. I whipped out the sewing machine and quickly created exactly what I needed. During the creation of what solved my immediate need, I thought about how cute it would be to sew cool fabrics around this strong but boring nylon webbing. It was at this time that Mutts & Mittens was born. Mutts & Mittens is the culmination of a love for dogs and an ambitiously crafty spirit.
Are your products inspired by your own mutts?
Our dogs definitely serve as inspiration for the styles of fabric which are utilized for Mutts & Mittens’ designs. We have two dogs and they both have incredibly unique personalities: our boxer/shepherd mix, Sasha, is a total diva and our husky mix, Sir Lancelot ‘Lance’, is nothing short of a canine comedian. Mutts & Mittens has a style for all canine personalities!
What was the first thing you made for your line?
I love peacocks and had some really cool peacock fabric that I had bought and never made anything with (story of my life), so I made a peacock collar. Looking back on that collar, I have definitely refined my hardware and processes. I would be embarrassed to show anyone that first collar now. The collar was worn by our dog, Sasha, and was the prototype for Mutts & Mittens collars and leashes. Since then, the product line has evolved to include items that are consistently high quality, durable, and fashionable.
Do you print your own fabrics?
I do! Sometimes ideas just come to me and I think wow, that would be really cute or funny on a dog collar, but there is no way I would ever find that fabric anywhere, so I found a company where I can design and print my own fabrics. One of my goals is to take an adobe illustrator and pattern making class so I can get even more creative. This would enable me to create more unique designs and to be a bit more efficient.