Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. – A boy and a girl making pottery and drinking maple lattes in the woods of Vermont

You know those super couples?  They’re made up of two dynamos in their own right, but when they come together, they have super powers.  Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw are one of those super couples.

They met in 2013 and six months later were married.  They spent the beginning of their lives together living in a vintage Airstream trailer they renovated together in Seattle.  That’s when we started following them on Instagram (then known as Tin Can Homestead).  We instantly became obsessed with their simple, pared down lifestyle, Scandinavian design aesthetic and gorgeous ceramics.

A year and a half ago, Natasha and Brett sold their Airstream and landed in Burlington, VT to establish a homestead in a grove of maples trees – a cottage and a ceramics studio – to begin a new life and new venture.

Natasha reflected back on their first winter, “Our daily winter chores were chopping and stacking wood, shoveling snow, and hauling water from our well. We even tapped our maple trees this spring and made maple syrup.”

Sugarhouse Ceramics Co. was born from a love of illustration & design that Natasha brings from her former life as a designer at Anthropologie and her current side-hustle as a studio artist. Brett brings to the table his love of business and well-made goods, as well as a splash of perfectionism and good craftsmanship.

Their products are both slab built and thrown on a wheel.  Their diverse line includes mugs, whisky tumblers, garden markers, cheese boards, spouted bowls, match strikers, jewelry and paint palettes.

    

Natasha and Brett’s homestead has been featured in Dwell and Design Sponge.  You MUST check these articles out!  Such inspiration to live so simply and beautifully.

Shop our Geo Dog Bowls by Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. now!

xoxo

Kristin + Trixie + Ziggy

 

Rachel Vitko: A Ceramist’s Story

Minneapolis ceramist and illustrator, Rachel Vitko, was one of the first artists I met as I was formulating what DLR would eventually become.  We had an instant rapport based on candid, personal conversations; such as our own struggles with mental health and having parents who are artists.  We both hate small talk!

Rachel was a self-taught illustrator until she attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design for graphic design. She realized she preferred making with her hands, so she dropped out and found her way to a pottery class to learn how to draw on clay.

        

Our collaboration started with our personalized Hootenanny Dog Bowls.  Last fall we decided to meet up and talk about a new bowl offering.  While chatting, Rachel shared that both her mental and physical health were fragile due to the physical and psychological demands and stresses of being a full-time artist.  In her view “our culture as a whole doesn’t really support artists.  It seems burnout is inevitable.  If you don’t create, you don’t have paid sick days or medical insurance.  There are times when creativity is blocked and it can cause panic.”  In addition, she admitted it’s a constant struggle to figure out how to price her work.

These are common themes I’ve heard from other artisans I’ve worked with, and it’s heartbreaking and frustrating to hear.  In a society where art education is the first to get cut in public school programs, and where many artists are pricing their goods so low because the market doesn’t support buying at a price that reflects the actual hours spent on a piece.  PLEASE keep this in mind before you criticize the high cost of a handmade item.

The product of our newest collaboration is called the Carousel Bowl.  It’s hand thrown with carefully (!) hand painted black stripes on the outside with the interior glazed in four different colors.  We love the bowl’s versatility – it could fit in with any decor type – while it includes that pop of color DLR is known for!

We encourage you to check out Rachel’s other amazing work at Rachel Vitko Pottery!

What are some of your favorite ceramic artists?  Tell us all about it at hello@dogloverepeat.com

xoxo

Kristin, Trixie + Ziggy

Half + Half Design: the left + right brain behind our brand

Don’t cha just love being friends with really, really talented people who happen to be so nice and fun to work with?

I met Sarah Johnson-Markve, the woman behind Half + Half Design, two lifetimes ago, it feels like.  We became acquaintances working at a Minneapolis travel incentive company.  After I had my son, left the company, got divorced and moved into my new home, we discovered we lived across the alley from each other in south Minneapolis!  I swear if you mapped our brains, you’d find they function exactly the same.  We both love to think creatively, but in an orderly fashion.

Sarah’s idea of fun is creating just the right logo for a company or searching for the perfect font to use on a menu. She also loves the satisfaction of designing a detailed, yet beautiful form.

She admits that she needs things all nice and tidy, and she blames her left-brain for that. This results in a  glorious twist cone of swirling analytical, intuitive, concrete and abstract flavors!

So when I had a name and vision for Dog Love Repeat, she was the first person I contacted.  I’ve worked several years for a masterbranded Fortune 500 corporation and have worked really closely with that brand.  It’s where I’m comfortable.  When the daunting question of “Where to start?” came upon me, I defaulted to this aspect of my business.

I think one of the many reasons Sarah is so good at her job is she is a superb listener.  She pokes and prods…trying to get at the heart of the very essence of your vision.  She also challenges you – thinking of aspects that could affect the execution, the perception, the daily living with the brand.  And of course there were times where I just didn’t know exactly what I wanted…the old adage that you sometimes don’t know what you want until you see what you don’t want.  So she played, pushed the envelope, gave me options.

I think for me, the biggest challenge was aiming for a fun, colorful and whimsical vibe without it feeling juvenile.  I wanted a touch of sophistication and understatement.  Sarah nailed it and then some, in my opinion.  I hope you all feel the same way when you receive your package wrapped up with Half + Half Design’s fingerprints all over it!

Let us know what you think of our brand by commenting below or drop us a line at hello@dogloverepeat.com

xoxo

Kristin + Trixie

Candy colored packaging and stationery

The quote design element is an integral part of our brand

Custom-designed wall paper in The Dog House, our studio

Elizabeth Graeber: the artist behind our custom illustrated fabrics

Our custom illustrated Dylan Bandanas featuring bananas, clementines and squirrels, among other whimsical prints, is the work of one our most treasured collaborators, Elizabeth Graeber.

We are so lucky to have stumbled upon this incredibly talented and prolific artist from Washington DC!  Her clients include Alice + Olivia, Warby Parker, Whole Foods, Papyrus, Washington Post, Wildsam Field Guides, Workman Books and many more!

Spring 2017 collection for Alice + Olivia


NY Times Best Seller!

Our collaboration first started when we were developing our website with the intention that it would be a fun, joyful experience.  We felt bringing in some simple little animations might give a little sparkle and an unexpected twist.  Elizabeth created our favorite animation of Trixie, our brand ambassador, and it just snowballed from there!  You can find her animations sprinkled throughout our website.


Not only is she an artist, but she’s dog-obsessed (just like we are!) and mom to Chickpea and Willow.

Chickpea and Willow relaxing on a towel featuring one of Elizabeth’s original illustrations!

We’d love to know which fabric prints and animations are your favorite!  Drop us a line and tell us all about it at hello@dogloverepeat.com

xoxo

Kristin + Trixie

Thomas: The adorable face of Dog Threads

We feel so fortunate to have hooked up with Dog Threads – a family-owned business in Minneapolis, MN founded by Scott & Gina Davis. Known for specializing in human-like apparel for our furry loved ones, they share our passion for giving back as well!  A portion of their proceeds goes to Secondhand Hounds, and fabric scraps from production goes to stuff animal beds that are donated to animal shelters.

Matching Hawaiian Print Shirts for Dogs and Humans  

Thomas, their now 10 year-old pup, was the inspiration for Dog Threads.  This lucky pooch had shirts created just for him by Gina & Scott – shirts that fit his human-like qualities.  From there, Dog Threads was born in 2014.

We understand Thomas’ journey is quite an interesting one. Trixie sat down with Thomas and had a few questions for him…

Trixie: Hi Thomas.  I feel like we’re kindred spirits and we both lead a pretty nice life.  Were you born in Minnesota?

Thomas: Look, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns from the beginning. I was born in Los Angeles (what a coincidence, I was born in “the city of angels”) back in 2007. That makes me ten years old. Back then, there were puppy boutiques all over California, catching the eye of my mom… she was one of those humans that couldn’t help herself from petting every puppy possible. She went to this particular puppy boutique every weekend just to get her furry fix… never with the intention to buy a designer dog for thousands of dollars. Let’s be honest, she was just a broke design student looking for a free puppy cuddle.

Anyway, I was loungin’ in this fancy infant-like crib one day when she came in for the hundredth time. This was the magical moment that changed both of our lives forever. The dude filling my water bowl told her I was on sale because someone returned me — who knows if that was true (likely story) or maybe he could just see our connection. Either way, we both knew she was taking me home. I guess I won her heart with this wild mane of mine. Nowa days she believes in rescuing dogs from shelters over breeding, but thankfully she wasn’t aware of how important this was back then, because I needed a home too.

Trixie: That is such a cool story!  When did your dad come into the picture?

Thomas: It was 2010 when my mom met my dad. We weren’t fast friends – I had to make sure he was a good boy, but there we are countless belly rubs later and now we’re inseparable. He taught me fetch, cuts my hair and never gets upset when I make mistakes. Oh yeah, and he also gave me my start in the fashion biz.

Trixie: Wow, he sounds like an awesome dad – you’re so lucky.  How did the fashion biz thing start?

Thomas:  Look, I like to dress nice. Some people think I act too human-like but I say, just because I’m a dog doesn’t mean I want rhinestones or studs on my shirt, okay? My dad got that, so he finally asked my mom (who designs clothes and stuff) to make me my own shirts. Other pups started asking where I got my threads, so I figured I better make more. I kept designing plaid shirts, cardigans and my favorite Hawaiian prints shirts for BBQ parties. We started selling them in lots of stores to help fashionistas like me across the world.

Trixie: And now I have a shirt named after me because my mom partnered with your mom & dad!  You can’t make this stuff up!

Thomas: Right on!  Now I’m living in Minnesota managing my fashion label and directing the humans that work for me. We have a lot of fun at Dog Threads and I get plenty of nap breaks, which is great. Oh, and my dream closet just keeps growing. On top of all that, I’ve met countless friends that continue to brighten my days through their rad outfit pics on Instagram. You guys keep us inspired.

 

This partnership is a treat!

Henry’s Handcrafted Treats for Dogs is the kind of business you can’t help support and love, especially after you know who and what is behind the name.

Lauren Philippsen is the founder and has always loved to bake.  Her dog, a German Wire-haired Pointer named Henry, inspired her to start the business.  The reason was simple.  She cared about his nutrition and she wanted him to enjoy eating, like she does.

Henry’s handcrafts their treats in small batches and carefully formulates their recipes to include only quality, wholesome ingredients.  The winning combinations are those no dog could turn down:  banana and peanut butter, cheddar and apple, blueberry and bacon.  They even formulated a recipe exclusively for DLR and it’s named after our inspiration and brand ambassador, Trixie.  Trixie’s Bites are chock full of spinach and broccoli goodness – a terrific way for pups to get their veggie intake.

We especially adore our partnership with Henry’s because of the creative magic that comes out of working together and their willingness to always try something new.  We’ve collaborated on Chomps (larger sized treats) in many custom shapes from balloon dogs to sunglasses and ice cream cones, as well as those in the shape of Wisconsin and golden retrievers!

We’ve got some new ideas and offerings up our rolled sleeves too…stay tuned for fall and winter themed Chomps and a VERY special collaboration with a VERY special dog.  A collab that will not only be adorable and tasty, but will do lots of good.

What kind of treats and flavors do your dogs go bananas for? Drop us a line and tell us all about it at hello@dogloverepeat.com

xoxo

Kristin + Trixie