Hats Enough Creations Makes Ethical Dog-Wear Trendy
Pets can lend a helping paw to animals in need this winter and look fashionable while doing it.
Crocheter Genny Blanchard made her first dog hat five years ago. She decided to use her design to raise money for Mimi, a dog seeking adoption at Ottawa’s Under My Wing Pug Rescue. Mimi needed to have an expensive eye surgery before finding a home.
“People responded like crazy,” Blanchard explains. “I was making hats for weeks and weeks.”
Enough money was raised through the sale of Blanchard’s original dog hats to provide Mimi with proper medical care. She was adopted after recovering from surgery.
Out of this charity work, Hats Enough Creations developed into a seasonal winter dog hat business.
“It’s funny in itself because most dogs don’t need a hat or don’t want a hat,” Blanchard says. “But some do.”
Blanchard continues to stay true to her business’ charitable roots by giving between 20-40 per cent of her profits back to a rescue. This year she has decided to help abroad and donate to Dogs and Cats of the Dominican Republic. It is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization working to improve the lives of animals on the country’s north coast.
“I like to give back. I am never going to be rich with Hats Enough Creations, that’s for sure,” Blanchard admits.
Hats Enough Creations keeps the Gatineau-crafter busy from October until April. She figures to have made about 150 hats in total spending between 3-6 hours on each. Her customers are mainly from Canada and the United States, however she has shipped products to countries as far away as Australia.
“They were created with pugs in mind and other dogs with a squishy face,” Blanchard says. “But I have all kinds of dog customers and even a few cat customers.”
Blanchard explains her most special customer was Bandit, a Boston Terrier suffering from cancer. The disease caused tumours to grow on his head which according to his owner, made him self-conscious.
“His mom asked me if I could create a hat to hide the tumours and make him feel good about himself,” Blanchard says. “So I created a sock monkey hat for Bandit and he wore it very proudly.”
The hats are similar in design to a balaclava. They slip over the dog’s head and neck leaving a small hole for its face. Blanchard has about 30 different designs for the base including a piglet, the Cookie Monster and Yoda.
“I always like when people ask me for something a little different,” Blanchard explains. “Last year this lady had a dog named Waldo and so I created him a Where’s Waldo hat.”
Blanchard wants to continue her business for its charitable contributions as well as the joy it brings to pet owners.
“The hats seem to make people happy. Dogs not so much every time, but they make people smile and that’s what I like,” she says.
Blanchard typically crochets the hats in her living room while in the company of her own dogs. She has three, two of which are rescues.
“They are like my kids,” she describes. “They fill my life in a very positive way.”
Hats Enough Creations products are all made by Blanchard out of her home in Gatineau. They can be purchased online through her Hats Enough Creations Facebook page.
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