Dog Clothing and Pet Products
Creature Companion got an opportunity to touch base with Tanvi Thakur – the creative mind behind ‘Kitty & The Woof Gang’. Her love for dogs ignited her passion to dress them up in the best, which soon became her dream and has now become a reality! She discussed about the wonderful experience of her entrepreneurial journey. Following are a few snippets from their conversation…
Tell us about ‘Kitty and the Woof Gang’. How it all started?
Fashion is something that always fascinated me and I love Dogs a lot; I kept creating and finding ways to dress up my then 4 dogs (now I have 6 dogs and 1 cat). It was year 2016 and a regular night with my family on the dining table when I spoke about wanting to design and make clothes for dogs and how much fun it would be. Surprisingly, that very second they both agreed and loved the idea!
Within a few weeks we bought a machine, a few fabrics, and materials. Finding a female tailor was a big task as no one had any clue how to make dog clothes. Finally, I found one and spent months with her, figuring out how to stitch high quality clothing in different sizes with hidden stitching. From there, there was no looking back!
I started my work in my own dining room with one machine, one tailor; we cut clothes on my dining table, everything in that one room. From sourcing of materials to cutting, packing, sales, marketing, social media – I did everything alone in the beginning with my family helping me out when needed.
One thing I always wanted was my core team to be a full female team and that’s what we have! Kitty & The Woof Gang handcrafts every product using the finest quality of materials and fabrics.
What inspired you to start with a pet clothing and accessories line?
My inspiration were my 4 sisters – my dogs! Our logo has all four of them in it. If you see, there are two boxers in it, one Pug, and one Peckengese. I always loved dressing them up but hardly found any clothing and accessories, especially, for big dogs; that made me realize there must be many people like me who would love to dress their pets up but don’t have any options. So I thought of coming up with something that gives pet parents like me options and a huge variety not only in readymade designs, but also anything they could think of or want, we would make it for them and customize it to their preference. The way humans have designers for them, we would be designers for pets!
To pursue your passion is never easy! What would you say about the challenges you faced in setting up your brand?
Oh! there were many challenges. I lost count to how many times I was made fun of! Finding tailors who could cut and sew pet clothing was a huge challenge. I myself had to learn everything from scratch so that I could teach each member of my team as it was new for a lot of them. Being a female and going to shops was very difficult too; thankfully, my mother was with me in this. Making people understand the need and scope of these products was hard. When we started, there were just a very few companies that had anything to do with pet clothing in our industry. So to reach where we are was an uphill task with many sleepless days and nights working endlessly, but we have enjoyed each and every moment of it and are very grateful.
I can’t thank my parents, grandparents, and brother enough for the amount of help and support they have given throughout!
What do you think makes you set apart from your competitors?
Quality, Fitting and our Stitching!
We feel very proud saying that our quality and stitching are very superior. We have worked very hard in finding the correct size and fitting for pet clothing. For us, comfort of a pet is of utmost importance. They should look stylish yet feel comfortable!
We have one of the largest varieties in clothing and accessories such as jackets, sherwani, tuxedo, dress, swimsuits like bikini, body harness, heat pants, and the list goes on. Anything our customer wants, we would be happy to make it for them. We have made clothes not only for Dogs & Cats but even for Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Goats etc. Most of our clothes are adjustable so that’s a plus point for pet parents as they can adjust them to their pets comfort.
From a business perspective, how worthwhile has it been to set up a pet clothing and accessories brand, considering the fact that pet fashion is still in its nascent stage in India?
From the day we started till today, we feel so proud and happy with the journey as it has been for us. It’s like a baby that grew up in front of us! It’s been a journey of ups and downs but has been worth it. Over this period, a lot has changed, especially, when it comes to pet couture. Now more people are aware of it and want it for their pets not only for special occasions but for their daily use.
You’d be surprised to see where all we get our orders from! We feel so happy and excited that now even in small towns people know about pet fashion and gradually they are opening up to know more.
What kind of product range and variety ‘Kitty and the Woof Gang’ has, to offer to its customers?
Everything you order from us is handmade in India. We design and manufacture Dresses, T-Shirts, Shirts, Jackets, Tuxedos, Sherwanis, Swimsuits, Wedding & Festive Wear, Regional Wear, Raincoats, Body Suits, Heat Pants, Body Harnesses, Leashes, Collars, Blankets, Plush Toys, all kind of accessories like Bandana, Bow, Tie etc.
We specialize in making Wedding and Festive Outfits, Backless Clothing, Two Piece Clothing and Customized Products!
What has been the proudest moment so far?
I can’t describe the feeling I get when I see a pet in my creation; it’s such a beautiful feeling! It’s the biggest compliment! And all those people who made fun of me, when I started with my venture, have had a change of heart – now they proudly tell others that they know us, recommend our products to others… That’s really a nice feeling! There are very few people, including my family, who actually believed in me and always had faith that this could turn into something big. So to see them so happy and proud is wonderful!
What lessons have you learnt along your entrepreneurial journey?
If you work hard and you have a supportive family anything is possible. You will face a lot of ups and down, but you must keep trying. Learn from your mistakes, make mistakes, and come out of it stronger.
What are your thoughts on Indian Pet Industry?
It has come a long way! There is a place and market for all of us. We are a small industry so we should work together and grow together.