Discerning pet owners will have noticed that the pet accessories arena lacks style. You have a beautiful home, with legendary pets, but the shopping offering for Fido is limited to utilitarian canvas beds and dog-bone themed textiles.
1. YOU & LOU
Newcomer to the industry, You & Lou is the lovechild (or is that furchild?) of Emily Valentine and her bestie Courtney Eley, who were faced with the dearth of artisanal options for their beloved dogs Yuki, a “Boston terrier that forgot to grow”, and Lake, a rescue, who has “the face of a border collie but leg length that doesn’t match”, Emily explains. Influenced by their parents, who work in the design field, the two friends set to work creating “a product that was functional but also beautiful at the same time and could complement one’s home”.
With Eley’s fashion skills (she owns Float Apparel) and Valentine’s in graphic design and photography (not to mention a “little” store her father owns called Amatuli) they’ve created a covetable collection of dog beds unlike any you’ve ever seen, we promise. “You & Lou is a brand based around a family. We all have close relationships with our pets and each other and everything we do is carefully curated to suit both their and our needs,” says Valentine.
Inspired by traditional African motifs, their beds are hand woven in Senegal, using a mix of natural and dyed grass, with washable cushion covers made in Cape Town where the business is based. The bolder ones feature stripes and diamonds in emerald, rust and pink, while the subtler ones, like Tuli, are for fans of a more natural palette. Reminiscent of hand-woven market baskets, we’ve fallen hard for these beautiful beds and are sure they’ll get the nod from your pets too.
2. BENJI & MOON
Benji & Moon has taken a similar approach to pet accessories with locally made goods designed with a curated eye. Buying one of their ceramic pet bowls or leather leads means that 5% of the proceeds goes to Claw (Community Led Animal Welfare) to support shelter dogs.
Another brand you’ll love if you’re on the lookout for stylish leads and collars, is Chommies. Woven with extra durable, washable rope, industrial-grade fittings and solid brass buckles, they’re as serious about quality as they are about upskilling the community. All their leads and collars are hand made by people from disadvantaged communities.