Monday, June 30, 2008

Caroline's Story... How a Successful Entrepreneur Got Her Start

Since we've shared some history about Bophet, co-owner of Ruff Ruff and Meow, we thought it would be nice to share some background about Caroline, the other co-owner and founder of Ruff Ruff and Meow.

Caroline has been working in fashion and art since she was a child. She was born and raised in Hawaii, and from a very young age, Caroline was always interested in "the creative." Her favorite subject in grade school was art and she loved to paint and draw. As a child, she would enter different contests, like designing stationary for the school or drawing contests. Her first experience leaving country was because of an art contest sponsored by Naha City in Okinawa, Japan for students throughout the state of Hawaii to give their perception of Hawaii. She entered and won. She had the opportunity to meet the mayor from Okinawa and the story made it to international papers. It was an incredible experience and one that led to her fascination and appreciation for different cultures, which would be something that stuck with her for life.

When she was in middle school, Caroline was discovered by a modeling agent, when she was out to dinner with her parents. That is when she first launched her career as in the fashion and entertainment industry. She worked as a model and actress for the next decade and had the opportunity to travel around the world and represent major brands such as Ford, Kenzo, and Coca Cola. Caroline was the face behind over 70 different commercials - both nationally and internationally. Her modeling career gave her the opportunity to learn about different cultures and languages, including German, which she once had to learn phonetically for a commercial shot in Italy.

Caroline attended the University of Hawaii and studied everything from drama, speech and communications to photography and business - staying true to her desire for the arts and humanities. During this time she was still modeling so she would go to school for a semester, work overseas and return to the states after being exposed to so many different people, cultures and experiences. She admits she LOVED school, and would always think about how she would put whatever she was learning to use in the real world.

Caroline fostered her entrepreneurial spirit early on. She decided to study photography in college after being exposed to it for so many years through her modeling and built a successful photography business. She used her background as a makeup artist, and combined the two skills to offer packages for her fellow models whom she met at photo shoots and auditions.

When asked who inspired her you to be an entrepreneur, she remembers while growing up that her father wrestled with the desire to have his own business while at the same time feeling the responsibility to have a stable job to support his wife and children. Caroline believes that between her father's secret entrepreneurial desires weaved into his DNA as well as his strong work ethic and her mother exposing her to fashion, travel and the arts at very young age, that made ALL the difference in making her the successful entrepreneur that she is today!

Her motto in life has been: "Try to experience everything life has to offer." And, with the desire to be "The captain of my own ship" Caroline has done just that, and she is happy when she looks back at all her accomplishments and realizes she has enjoyed having more control of her own life.

What she appreciates and enjoys the most is the fun part of "starting" a business from scratch. Coming up with the concept, nurturing her idea and and growing the business. At times, you are venturing off into the unknown, but that's part of the fun.

Now that her and Bophet have a successful pet retail business, what keeps her inspired? Always thinking of new products and finding fresh and new ways to keep her customers coming back for more fun stuff. In fact, she's busy at work now, developing on a new line of pet products that will be launching at the end of the year... so be sure to stay tuned to the developments of Caroline Leedom.. you haven't heard the end from this successful entrepreneur.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bark for Barack

I just couldn't resist showing you all the cutest pic we just got today from one of our friends, Rebecca, who sent us a pic of her girls Paris Lola and Bella Mia wearing their new Ruff Ruff and Meow shirts.

This pair of adorable chihuahas is wearing two of our most popular new dog clothes from our politically inspired pet fashion line.

It's the Bark for Barack and Barack for President dog t-shirts and tank tops.

And, Rebecca says they love them!

Thanks for sharing!! And, don't forget, please send us your pics, so we can share them with everyone! :-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Love at first sight

Isn't it strange how some people have a chemistry with others? It's hard to explain why certain people - or animals - just "click", while others don't give you that same feeling of warmth and comfort.

I guess you can call it instant chemistry or love at first sight, when Bophet-, co-owner of Ruff Ruff and Meow, met Bentley, Caroline's dog, and Ruff Ruff and Meow's official mascot/security dog.

It was almost 10 years ago, when Bophet first met Bentley. He was visiting Caroline's old room mate's house, and Caroline wasn't home, but when Bentley saw Bophet, they were instant friends. Even though it was Bentley's first time meeting Bophet, he was jumping up and down with excitement, ready to play, rolling around, which was totally out of the ordinary for Bentley , who was known for being a security dog, aka "tough guy."

Monday, June 9, 2008

The life of a fashion designer

Did you ever wonder how someone becomes a fashion designer? So did I, that's why I decided to ask Bophet, co-owner of Ruff Ruff and Meow, about how he started in the biz. His story is pretty interesting, so I had to share it with you all.

After moving to the United States from Laos, Bophet was living in Indiana attending high school. His favorite subject in school was ART. He LOVED it so much, he wanted to continue doing what it, so he found a school to study fashion design. He looked through the catalogs and found the Brooks Fashion Institute in Long Beach, California. It sounded exciting, and he was adventurous, so he decided to move to Cali.

When he graduated, he started working for some great fashion brands, like Jacyln Smith, Kathy Ireland, Disney, QuickSilver, O’Neil.

His lucky streak working in fashion ran out and he was out of a job, so instead of taking some office job, he decided to continue doing what he loved and started painting. For an entire year, Bophet lived off his painting, from painting everything from exotic flowers to black and white ads to portraits.

Here are some of Bophet's signature paintings in the Ruff Ruff and Meow showroom

After painting for about a year, he decided to go back to fashion design and started working for PacSun, designing hip-hop clothes for top brands like Sean Jean, Rockawear, PhatFarm, and Kimora Simmons. This inspired Bophet to start his own surf clothing line, OC7 - which he worked on in his spare time before leaving PacSun.

Around the same time, Bophet met Caroline and they started making doggie fashions. First with the doggie steps for Bentley, and then with their first line of designer dog t-shirts and tank tops, including "I Love Bitches," "Bad to the Bone" and "Security"... and the rest is history!

Pretty interesting story, huh?

Save Big with our 50% Summer Clearance

Save BIG with Ruff Ruff and Meow's Summer Clearance Sale - 50% OFF some of our popular dog clothes, including: Angel, Kharma's a Bitch, Hard Body - and all regional designs - while supplies last!

This super sale can't go on forever, so be sure to order today and mention PROMO CODE - SUMMER.

Your dog will be the coolest, hippest pooch at the summer cookouts, in these Ruff Ruff and Meow dog t-shirts and tank tops.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back from H.H. Backer Spring Trade Show

It's been a few weeks since we returned from the H.H. Backer Pet Industry Trade Show, and we just wanted to take some time to share our experience and reflect what a great show it was. This was the first time the Backer Spring show was held in Baltimore, Maryland, and we really enjoyed the new venue. Baltimore was a fun city, and many of the pet industry vendors we spoke with agreed it was a great location.

Our booth was full of the latest line of custom dog t-shirts, tank tops and dog bandanas. We saw many return customers who were excited to see Ruff Ruff and Meow designer dog clothes and unique pet apparel. They loved all the funny t-shirts, like "Tough Guy" and "Bitches Love Me." Our new, religion-inspired WoofU247 line was a hit, too!

Also, we had a chance to meet with the folks at NextDayPets and - and discussed plans to expand our distribution and make it even easier to shop for Ruff Ruff and Meow dog clothes and pet accessories online.

The best part was that we noticed many of the copycat competitors that were offering dog clothes and pet apparel were not around. I guess they realized they couldn't compete with the "original" - and our fans showed who has the best dog t-shirts, tank tops and designer dog clothes and pet accessories.

If you were at the show, we'd love to have you link to us and share your comments about our new line.