Top Dawg Spotlight: Dog + Bone

October 14, 2016

“Made in the USA”. This phrase simply transcends generations. It implies an innate obsession with quality, a level of craftsmanship that cannot be duplicated, and dedication to the American workforce. For the founders of Dog + Bone, Anne and Ivan, these values were ingrained in their culture from the very beginning.

Both growing up with childhood dogs and leading an active lifestyle in Austin, TX as adults, adopting a four-legged companion to share their experiences was the next logical step in their lives together. After volunteering at Austin Pets Alive for a few months, this led to a serendipitous visit in 2012 and as Ivan recalls, “We saw Flora (Labrador/Pit Bull mix) and took her home the very same day … while Leland (Sloughi mix) was adopted a short time later.”

Dawg Blog - Flora

However, they soon found it difficult to find functional dog accessories to meet the standards dictated by their everyday lives. When you’re spending time camping and hiking, durability becomes of the utmost concern. The reality was leather is unsuitable for dogs who spend any time in the water, while nylon options lacked a clean, stylistic silhouette.

"It had to look great, be super durable, and ideally made in the states."

Starting as a creative childhood outlet, Anne learned various sewing skills from her mother and members of her community, and soon developed passion for the craft. Later, she took classes focusing on apparel and in college, it evolved into a passion for repair and upcycle of camping gear. Combining her vast knowledge of manufacturing and sewing with Ivan’s experience in the marketing and design industry, they decided to create a prototype and figure out what materials could be sourced domestically. This arduous process took over a year and the company was subsequently founded in the fall of 2014.

Dawg Blog - Anne

Dog + Bone is proud to source military grade acetal, heavy-duty nylon webbing, and other raw materials in the USA. Even their solid brass is a nod to high quality, in use for decades on nautical vessels and consistently rejecting salt water corrosion. Inspired by national brands with a dedication to American heritage and authenticity, every order is personally hand-made by Anne to ensure the very best care and attention is paid to their products.

When I asked what drove Ivan to this ideology, he stated “we can better control product quality, inventory, and a nearly non-existent manufacturing waste stream. Looking forward, philosophically we want to support jobs in the states as much as possible and are really excited to begin building a team of great employees.” There’s a powerful intangible connection to living the American Dream and consumers empowering the revival and sustainability of American jobs. 

Dawg Blog - Leland

Their brand offers snap & martingale collars and adjustable leashes, in a plethora of bright color palette options, and tailored to active breeds who spend time running, camping, hiking, and swimming on a regular basis. The martingale collar is highly popular nowadays due to its design providing more control without the choking effect of a slip collar. The attention to detail is evident in every product they sell, right down to the “Made in Austin” trademark. 

The future is very bright for this company and Ivan has offered one piece of advice for those looking to start their own business someday:

“Be patient, be really patient,” Ivan says. “You're going to make mistakes ... the people who are persistent are the ones who make it.”