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Design Thinking: Ware of the Dog

(Image courtesy of Ware of the Dog. Image depicts the Purple/Multi Plaid Anorak Raincoat. This raincoat is described as, "Mad for plaid! Keep your pup dry and stylish in our lightweight water repellent anorak raincoat. Perfect for blocking the wind and rain. Features a hood with contrasting color drawstring. Our raincoat has velcro closures to make it adjustable. Available in 6 sizes. Hood with neon yellow drawstring, Velcro closure at collar and bottom, Flap pocket at back with contrasting neon yellow zipper and string, Water repellent, 100% polyester, Made in the USA." Price=$64. You can order this raincoat at )

In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with Ware of the Dog to learn more about their organization.

(Image courtesy of Ware of the Dog. Image depicts the Green/Pink Leather Leash and Collar. This leash and color are described as, "Our neon leather leashes and collars are the epitomy of style. Taking your dog for walks has never been such fun. Available in 5 different color combos. The leashes are all 4 feet long and are available in 3 different widths. The collars come in 4 different sizes. Reference the size chart in the link below for more details on sizing. Leashes and collars are purchased separately.Two tone leather leash and collar, Hand painted edges, Stainless steel hardware, 100% cowhide from France, and Made in the USA. Price=$105. You can order this leash and collar at

1. What makes Ware of the Dog different from other pet brands?

Ware of the Dog represents a high level of design and craft which is uncommon in the pet market. The company was started on the basis of creation and we are constantly trying to make products in a way that is different from what you currently find in the pet accessory market. When designing clothing, it is designed so that a human would want to wear them. In fact, my customers are always asking for us to make clothing for humans like we make for our pets. The pieces in our collection are imbued with a sense of humor and graphic sensibility. We play around with new ideas of construction, often juxtaposing contrasting colors, stitches, or materials into the pieces. Our collection is sold in high end fashion, and lifestyle stores as well as pet stores. We make many of our products in the USA and the products which are not made here are mostly fair trade and made by artisans in Nepal and Turkey.

(Image courtesy of Ware of the Dog's Instagram. Image depicts a the Cotton Crochet Cola. This dog toy is described as, " 100% Organic Cotton, Made with all natural dyes, This is a fair-trade product which provides employment to craftswomen in Nepal, Size: 6 1/2 inches tall, and With Squeaker." Price=$18. You can order this toy at )

2. How does Ware of the Dog incorporates its mission and vision into its products?

We make many of our products in the USA and the products which are not made here are mostly fair trade and made by artisans in Nepal and Turkey. The inspiration for the collection comes from my culmination of years of experience in the fashion business. We often interpret what is happening in the fashion world into our designs. Our website really expresses the spirit of our collection with the fun and bold photos.

(Image courtesy of Ware of the Dog. Image depicts the DOG Charm. The charm is described as, " Sayaka Davis Dog Charms for Ware of the Dog, Made of Stainless Steel, Laser Cut, Made in U.S.A., Size Small : 3/4” x 1/2”, and Size Large: 1.5” x 3/4”. Price=$34. You can order this charm at )

3. What are the quintessential Ware of the Dog products customers should buy?

Our neon leashes and neon colorblock harnesses have been in our collection since almost the beginning and are some of our most popular items. We have also had our heart cardigan for over 5 years and it still continues to be one of our best sellers.

(Image courtesy of Ware of the Dog. Image depicts the Embodied Flower Sweater. This sweater is described as, " Our hand embroidered flowered sweater will make any pup look it’s best. Features multi colored hand embroidered flowers. Our sweaters have just the right amount of stretch and will hold their shape for years to come. Available in 5 sizes, 100% Lambswool, Leash hole on back panel, Dry clean or hand wash cold and lay flat to dry, and Easy fit. Price=$78. You can order this sweater at )

4. What is the future of the company?

To continue to create new and interesting high quality products. We will start working with artisans in other countries to develop different kinds of products. More and more people are getting dogs, and we would like to see them wearing Ware of the Dog!

(Image courtesy of Ware of the Dog. Image depicts the Blue/Green Diagonal Strip Tee-Shirt. This tee shirt is described as, "This fun and colorful tee is a great addition to your pup’s wardrobe. Made from the finest mid-weight Japanese cotton with just the right amount of stretch for an easy fit. Offered in 3 different colorways. Available in 5 different sizes, Made in the USA, Contrasting striped sleeves and chest panel. Japanese cotton, and Super soft for easy movement. Price=$23. You can order this tee shirt at )


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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