Dogs, I’m sure you will agree, are the greatest creatures in the world. They thoughtlessly offer love, amusement and protection. Even smaller dogs, whose ability to protect may be limited to enthusiastic scream-yapping, offer a copious amount of protection all the same.
What does a dog expect in return for all that they give? Precious little – a walk around the park every so often, a bowl of kibble, and something soft to rest their snoozy noodle on at the end of the day.
Yet dogs deserve so much more than such bare necessities. They also deserve to look fashionable, to be adorned in fineries so that all may admire their woofulous grandeur. Dog Threads, a canine clothier based in Minneapolis, provides precisely that.
“Dog Threads began with a pup named Thomas,” said Gina Davis, who founded her company alongside her husband Scott. “Thomas was a Pomeranian-poodle mix with the sweetest little face and long, crazy hair like a lion. He was 12 pounds of pure personality and he loved getting dressed up. As soon as he saw me holding a Thomas-sized shirt he started doing somersaults. He knew that meant he was going to a place where he would be the center of attention.
“On the Fourth of July in 2013 we dressed up Thomas for a family barbecue. Everyone insisted that he come back dressed up next year, but by then his low quality outfit was falling apart at the seams. I have a background in women’s fashion, so I made him a brand new Hawaiian shirt myself.
“Soon I made Thomas a few other flannel and plaid shirts, and wherever he wore them people would ask me where they could buy them for their own dogs. That made me realize I was onto something, so Dog Threads officially came to be. At first it was only a passion project, but when Nordstrom and Chewy.com started ordering from us we knew we had better focus on Dog Threads full-time.
“People all share similar dimensions, so turning a pattern for a large into one for a small only takes a simple math equation. Designing clothes for dogs is much more complicated. A Great Dane and a dachshund might as well be different species, which is why we had to take things very slowly in the beginning.
“We really began to explode in popularity once we started offering matching outfits for dogs and their owners. Whenever a picture of something like a great-grandfather and his Teacup Yorkie wearing matching Hawaiian shirts goes viral on Instagram, we know we’re going to have to work overtime to keep up with all the incoming orders. Matching outfits now make up about 75 percent of our business, and our bandana and face mask combo has become a best seller as of late.
“We also got national attention when we appeared on Shark Tank in 2019. That was pretty intimidating, and the sharks were slow to wrap their heads around an idea they thought was so silly at first, but we did wind up striking a deal with Mark Cuban by the end of it!
“I love designing clothes more than anything else. My second greatest passion is helping dogs. That’s why when we first started out we committed to donating two percent of our net sales to Secondhand Hounds in Minnetonka. We soon realized that our customers are coming from all over the country, so now every three months we post to Instagram asking them to tell us their fur babies’ adoption stories. We then randomly select a nonprofit mentioned in one of the responses to donate to. It makes me want to keep growing this business even more!”
Gina encourages you to consider your dog’s personality before ordering a fine garment for them. If your dog is the sort of laid-back type who goes with the program, or enjoys being the object of adulation wherever they go, then a cardigan or flannel may suit them very nicely. If your dog is a roguish brute who would rather torment squirrels and mailmen uninhibited by a Hawaiian shirt, you would do well to respect their sensibilities.
In any event, you must go to shopdogthreads.com to have a chuckle at all the photos of beasts and their masters wearing complementary clothes.
By David Scheller