You know that thing that happens when you see someone's style game and you immediately become obsessed? That's how I felt when I first came across LA-based Nikki Star and her fur babes Weston and Fira. Her style is next level chic, and her dog accessories line, Saint Rue, is infused with the same sophisticated aesthetic. As soon as I saw the City Leash Fur I new I had to stock her pieces at Sir Dogwood. Recently, I connected with her to learn more about her trend forecasts for the dog mom market, her uber-famous jetsetting pups, and how a visit to the city of lights inspired her to launch her line.
First thing’s first - your insta-famous pups. Tell me everything about your little bundles of joy.
Weston is 9 years old - I got him on Thanksgiving Day 2010! Fira joined the family in 2015 and they are just the best of friends. My husband was worried Weston had “only child syndrome” and needed a lot of convincing. Now he tells me I was right. ;)
I assume they were the impetus for you to launch Saint Rue?
Yes, I was actually in Paris walking Weston + Fira and realized how cumbersome most leashes can be—they’re too long and can get tangled in the busy streets of cities. I’d also keep noticing people wrapping their leashes around their hand several times. Exploring Paris, you can’t help but inspired by the architecture, people and especially the street fashion. I wanted to create functional dog accessories with a particular chic + bold style.
Your fashion game is an inspiration. Other than dog moms coordinating their look with their pup’s, do you see any other dog wear/dog accessory trends on the horizon?
I think the twinning trend is only growing. There are soo many more brands and looks to choose from. I love seeing how dog moms are matching with their pups lately, like matching striped sweaters + super cute bandanas. There are some new matching accessories coming soon from Saint Rue that I haven’t seen on the market. I’m excited to share this Spring!
Much like Sir Dogwood, you’re a woman-owned, pup-obsessed small business. What are some of the challenges and opportunities of running a one-woman operation?
We do it ALL. But like most with their own business, I do prefer it that way. The biggest challenge is letting go and delegating tasks to others. Creating the best team around you is the most important thing you can do! Another big thing is balance. Making sure you make some “me-time” for wellness + your mental health will improve your work in the long run.
At 7 months old Beatrix has only been on two flights as of yet, but Weston and Fira are quite the jetsetters - any best practices you can share for pups on the go?
I always have their “travel bag” stocked and ready to go—but I admit, it’s because I never unpack it! It always has extra poo bags, wipes, portable water bowl, nose butter and a lint roller. We throw their dog food + bones in and we’re ready to go, whether it’s a local staycation, road trip or a flight. For those traveling with their dog, my blog wheresthefrenchie.com has plenty of dog-friendly tips!
What is your guiltiest pleasure right now?
Cauliflower tots!!! We spent January in Miami and our favorite vegan restaurant Planta had cauliflower tots—oh my goodness, the best tots I’ve ever had and you feel like they’re almost healthy. I’ve been meaning to attempt to make these at home myself. I also just discovered frozen cauliflower onion rings that you pop in the oven. Cauliflower pizza, rice,.. the options are endless. :)
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