Meet The Makers

Meet The Makers: 2Hounds Design April 02 2015

Alisha Navarro, owner of 2 Hounds Design and maker of the amazing Freedom No-Pull Harness, has an educational background you don’t often see in a collar/harness manufacture: a BS and MS in physics and a BA in mathematics.
The research skills she honed in school came in handy in 2003 when she wanted to design a special martingale collar for her two retired racing Greyhounds. Her next move was to purchase the patent for the Freedom No-Pull Harness, with its ergonomic design and soft velvet lining, in 2009. (We can personally attest to its effectiveness in stopping even the most forward-moving dogs from pulling.) Built on rock-solid principles and incorporating the highest quality materials, all of the products are made in Monroe, N.C., where Navarro currently employs 25 people. As she observes, “I am lucky to live in what used to be a textile mecca, where a large part of the world’s furniture was once made. Many of those jobs have gone overseas, so it really means a lot to me to be able to help employ some of the people who have lost their jobs.”

Meet The Makers: Gold Paw Series February 25 2015

Mother and daughter biz mates Mary Gibbs and Rebecca (Becky) Gadds are the designers and busy fingers behind the Gold Paw Series, a line of streamlined, all-season outerwear for dogs.

Mary got her start by sewing for two-year-old Becky, and Lucy, their adopted Border Collie, who had been used as a vet school blood-donor pup and had the shaved-down legs to prove it. Mary crafted a little bathing suit for her toddler, then made Lucy a matching pullover to cover her legs.

As Becky grew, she developed a hankering for horses and their togs. When her father discovered a horse-blanket business up for sale, they purchased it, and the young family set up shop crafting custom-made equine blankets. Before long, customers were asking for similar gear for dogs.

As Mary explains, “We soon realized that what the world wants is better dog wear. After accumulating hundreds of custom measurements, we made an accurate dog measurement chart with sizes ranging from 2 to 33.” By then, the grown-up Becky had a degree in apparel design and, to no one’s surprise, had gravitated to the family business. They named the company Gold Paw Series, commemorating the embroidered paw that appeared on their original custom coats.

As Becky says, she and her mother “always have an eye to reducing our environmental impact, whether that’s including recycled materials in our textiles or using biodegradable packaging.”

This family-run business, now more than 20 years old, is located outside of Portland, Ore., and the coats are now being sewn in Los Angeles.