It should come as no surprise to anyone that the team at Safe & Hound love dogs. In the words of Laura, one of our two managing partners, "looking deep into their eyes soothes my soul and teaches me what unconditional love is made of." Lucky for her, she sees that love every day in the eyes of her own two dogs.
Growing up in Mexico, Laura worried about what could be done to help the millions of stray dogs. When she finally found herself free to create her own career path for the first time in many years, she wanted to work toward creating a job that she could do with her whole heart. It wasn't about the money; it was about finding something with an "ultimate purpose--one that could not be about taking from the world, but about giving back."
Laura's belief in finding that "ultimate purpose" combined with her love of dogs immediately bonded her with Melina. They met in the summer of 2017 at an event supporting another amazing local business in Edmonton, Canada, and while they did not get to spend a great deal of time together that evening, they kept in touch on social media when Laura returned to Leon, Mexico, and especially sharing in their love for their own dogs.
Melina, a conscientious consumer and admitted dog bed enthusiast, has always actively sought ways to exercise the widest influence for good. She has spent many years being a strong advocate for local businesses in Edmonton, Alberta, and regularly lives a borrowed mantra that "for every 8 hour day you work, you should give at least 1 hour back to the community." In her own travels through southeast Asia, Melina's heart ached for the hundreds of dogs she saw emaciated, wandering aimlessly as they looked for their loved ones who had discarded them when cost or convenience clearly became too high of a burden. Years ago, she secured the branded name "Safe & Hound" with the hopes of one day using it to create something where she could potentially help those dogs find homes too. But first, it was important to start helping at home.
As the matriarch in a four dog household, Melina has gone through her share of collars, leashes and dog beds, and actively struggled to find options that were both accessibly priced and didn't exploit other humans to make them. When Laura reached out to Melina to discuss their shared values and the potential opportunity to design and make their own collars together, the answer quickly became a 'yes.' It wasn't a 'yes' because the concepts were bulletproof, or because the timing was exactly perfect (as it hardly ever is), but because sometimes the universe gives you the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of others, and while there are a million excuses that you can come up with to say 'no,' it is incredibly important to make an active choice to give back and say 'yes' to starting something special.
Starting Safe & Hound
Safe & Hound is starting by making quality pet accessories that encourage conscientious consumerism and reduce the negative impact on the environment. We're starting by ensuring that real people are paid a real wage, but that we aren't pricing our products in a range that aren't accessible to 99% of the population (and thereby forcing them back toward supporting throwaway culture and exploitative labour standards). We're starting by donating 10% of all profits we make to local animal rescues that help pets here in Canada find homes. One day, we hope to circle back around and find ways to also help those dogs we saw in Mexico and Asia find homes too. But first, we had to start at home.
On behalf of the Safe & Hound team, thank you for saying 'yes' and choosing to help them with us.