Saving Animals through Fashion!

On April 14th, at the National Building Museum, I will be modeling in the Fashion for Paws® (F4P) Annual Spring Runway Show benefiting the Washington Humane Society (WHS) with my rescue dog, Jake. Fashion for Paws® (F4P) began in 2007 with the first spring Runway Show. In just its first 5 years, the annual Fashion for Paws®  spring Runway Show has been a smashing success, selling more than 1700 tickets each year and raising more than $1.5 million dollars for WHS and animals.

This year’s show will feature 60 illustrious personalities as the models, who raise $5000 for the Washington Humane Society to participate, with many escorting fashionably dressed dogs down the runway. Designer doggie couture will be ready-to-wag spring 2012 organized by Wagtime. Women’s and men’s ready-to-wear spring 2012 apparel will be provided exclusively by Tysons Galleria, home to the world’s most luxurious retailers.

When I was asked to participate in the event, I was elated because it is a natural extension of the work I have done as a volunteer for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. Several years ago I began volunteering for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, an all-volunteer, non-profit animal rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals and educating the community on responsible pet ownership. I have dedicated my time working as a foster parent and someone who conducts home visits of prospective adopters. I also participate in “transports” where I pickup 8-9 dogs in Fredericksburg, VA and transport them to the next pickup spot in Fairfax, VA.  These transports are weekend-long rescue missions to get dogs from as far away as South Carolina who have wound up in high kill shelters transported all the way up to as far as Maine in one weekend.  They are often just a few days away from being euthanized when they are rescued.  They are transported either directly to a loving home or to a rescue organization that will work tirelessly to find a forever home for them.

Through my volunteer work with Lucky Dog I met my great loves: Jake (a 15 pound Chug-Chihuahau/Pug mix) and Edward (a 7 pound Chihuahua). They are super sweet, loving, unconditionally loyal and have a special way of saying thank you each and every day as if they know that they were rescued from near death several years ago.

{Here are my sweet boys on a long road trip to my parents’ house over Christmas.  Jake (aka Jakey) is the black Chug on the left and Edward (aka Eddie or Eduardo) is the little Chihuahua on the right. Aren’t they precious?  My life would not be the same without them!}

Jake will be walking in the runway show with me and we still need your help to reach our fundraising goals! We are almost there with 85% of our goal raised thus far, but we are in the home stretch and have to have all our donations in by April 1st.  We have one last fundraising event tomorrow that will hopefully put us over the top!   Please join us at our Spring Accessories Shopping Extravaganza tomorrow and help us help the Washington Humane Society save 30,000 animals this year!  Here’s the scoop on the event:

Spring Accessories for a Cause…Paws!
Saturday, March 24th, 1-4pm
Decor by Denise Studio
340 Mill Street, NE, Suite F
Vienna, VA 22180
Come Shop with Us and Help Save Animals!
We invite you to spend the afternoon with us to raise funds for Fashion for Paws. Come see all the latest spring designs from Stella & Dot and Beijo. Learn some amazing new beauty techniques and enjoy a consultation with a fashion stylist to help you put your best look forward this spring. Amazing door prizes.

In addition to donating 10% of all product sales to Fashion for Paws, we will be raffling off some fabulous prizes:

  • Private Wine Tasting for 12 at Tarara Winery
  • A Wine Tasting Trio
  • Exclusive Verve Fitness Membership
  • A Day on the Bay for Six
  • Toast to the Tunes Concert Package for Six
  • Designer Pillows for your Home from Annie Selke
  • Beautify with Botox
  • Relaxation Massage
  • Charge your iPhone or iPad on the Go

Raffle tickets are $5/each.  Purchase 5 and get the 6th free.  All raffle ticket sales will go to Fashion for Paws.

My Little Rescue, Fit for the Runway!

As many of you know, I have been working hard to raise money for Fashion for Paws to benefit the Washington Humane Society for the past few months.  As of a few weeks ago, Jakey and I are definitely walking the runway. We had to raise $5,000 by April 6th to secure our spot on the runway. We are still working on our stretch goal of $10,000 by April 13th, but we are still $3,315 away from our goal. We may not make the stretch goal, but we are definitely walking in the show together this coming Saturday, April 14th.

I have been very excited about the event for months now, but now that it is just a few days away…I am have to admit… I am getting a little nervous.  Over 1700 people will be attending…yes…1700! And, Jakey and I will have to strut our stuff in front of a packed house.  Last week Jake had his fitting at Wagtime with owner, Lisa Schreiber.  Wagtime is one of the sponsors of the show and is not only dressing all the dogs in their doggie couture finest, but also is providing the behind the scenes doggie sitting during the show.  Here are a few photos of Jake’s fitting.

{Lisa fitting Jake’s first outfit…a red tux and black bow tie.}

{Jake in his tux.  He is cute, but the red doesn’t really stand out well against his black fur.  You can see little Edward in the background doing what he does best…licking the floor!}

{Jake in his second outfit.  The pink stands out against his fur, but I didn’t love it.  Jake didn’t seem to mind as long as treats were nearby.}

{Here is a better shot of the pink outfit.  Look how cute his tail is all curled up. They are both intently paying attention because one of the Wagtime staff are teasing them with treats. They LOVE their treats!}

{Here’s the third outfit–a gold tux with gold blinged-out collar and top hat. Don’t you just love the hat? Jake is such a good sport. He really didn’t mind the clothes at all!}

{Here’s a closeup of the final outfit.}

{One of the Wagtime staffers took this amazing shot of little Jakey. Can you see why I love this little guy?  His sweet little face is one of the main reasons I am so passionate about animal rescue. Jake and Edward were rescued by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in South Carolina just days before they were to be euthanized. They love me unconditionally. I cannot imagine life without them!}

Smashing Success

A few weeks ago I was attending my IFDA (International Furnishings and Design Association) Washington Chapter board meeting, when I spotted the most remarkable necklace on a fellow member, Jeanne Blackburn.  During a bathroom break, I asked Jeanne about her most interesting piece of jewelry.  Her response both shocked and intrigued me. The necklace was made from her parent’s best china for both her sister and her.   She explained that artist and crafter, Juliet Ames, owner of The Broken Plate Pendant Company was the person who allowed her sister and her to create a timeless keepsake made out of one of her parents’ most precious possessions.   The next day I decided to google Juliet Ames (don’t you love that we can just sit down and research most anything now without having to go to the library…. love it!) and here is what I found.

Juliet Ames is based in Baltimore, MD and fashions vintage plates and family heirlooms into jewelry, coasters and other housewares.  Juliet stumbled upon her craft after completing a mosaic that repurposed all of the plates she had collected from thrift shops over the years. When the project was complete, she was left with a pile of broken plate shards that were begging for a new life. Juliet wrapped one in solder and made a pendant out of it.  People loved it and the public demand for more pendants grew. Consequently, The Broken Plate Pendant Company was born.

Juliet’s work has been featured in magazines such as Readymade, Real Simple, Smart Woman, Urbanite, Baltimore Magazine, Style and more. Broken Plate Pendants are currently in wardrobe at the Rachael Ray Show and the Food Network’s 30 Minute Meals.

I find Juliet’s work inspiring and I love the beauty and story behind each of her pieces. If you have a chipped vintage plate from your grandmother that needs a new fate, send it to Juliet and she will provide you with a piece of home décor or jewelry that will be both sentimental and conversational. Here are a few pictures to get you inspired!