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Lady Maggie Launches Her First Retail Outlet!

We have some very exciting news here at Lady Maggie!  We have just launched our first retail location.  We are pleased to announce that we have begun selling inside the historic Cotton Company building in downtown Wake Forest, NC. 

 

We are located in the Artists Gallery portion of the venue. Wake Forest is located about 15 miles north of the NC capital, Raleigh.

The Cotton Company is a beautiful historic building which used to be the old Cotton Exchange at the turn of the century.  The building has been refurbished to create a stunning space to showcase some amazing artists.  The exposed brickwork and original hardwood floors add to the charm and help keep the warm, cozy feel.  

We had discovered this shop on our first trip to Wake Forest when we began house hunting in Raleigh several years ago.  Who would’ve guessed we would end up setting up our very first shop in that same building all these years later?!

We are offering a large selection of our items at this location – our custom embroidered pillows and our handmade bowties are already on display.  We will be offering more items in store over the coming months. 

Meanwhile, our online Etsy store remains open and offers our full range of designs.   Both outlets are available for any custom orders or special requests. 

So if you are near Wake Forest, come on by and say hello!

P.S. – As an added bonus, Cotton Company is pet friendly!

Custom Made - To Order!

Several people have been asking about the sizing of the Lady Maggie coats, so I thought I would take a moment to show everyone just how custom they really are. 

Firstly, all the coats are designed by myself.  I create the pattern by hand.  I start by looking for inspiration on (human) fashion blogs and shops.  Once I have an idea of what I'd like to create, I make a quick sketch and then move on to a template pattern.  Once I think it's ready, I cut out some fabric to do a prototype.  I usually do these in either fleece or a lightweight cotton instead of the intended fabric.  Here, Charlie helps me work out some issues with my new fox-hunt inspired coat:

 

From there, I'll make adjustments and perhaps even redraw the pattern completely.  Then, I move onto a version in the intended fabric.  Here I've made up a range of coats that aren't quite ready for production:

 

As you can see, they are all different sizes.  Sometimes as I resize patterns I will find that there are tweaks to be made to the pattern when making it smaller or larger.  When all of this is complete and I am happy with the finished product, I will begin production for the Etsy store.

As all of my coats are handmade by my own pattern, I can make them in any size or any fabric.  That means, if someone sees a coat on my Etsy store that is Pug-sized, I can make it for their Yorkie or their Boxer.  If the coat I'm offering is in pink but they want it in black that is no problem at all.  And if they like the coat but want a satin lining instead of fleece, I can easily do that as well.

Etsy is a marketplace for people who make things.  As such, it is a very flexible place for people to place custom orders for items.  If any of my customers want a jacket I offer but want it in a different size or fabric, all they need to do is click the "ask a question" button next to the item on Etsy.  It opens a message box where they can request whatever they want.  I email them back and let them know the details.  Upon their approval, I make the custom order. Then I put a listing on my site specifically for that person.  They then click the "buy" button and we complete the transaction.  This is all usually done within a couple of days. 

So please remember when you are browsing our items, anything you see can be made as a custom order for you and your furbaby.  Just let us know what you need!

Cheers!

Rebecca

http://www.ladymaggie.com
http://ladymaggies.etsy.com
https://www.facebook.com/LadyMaggies

 

 

Lady Maggie's Rescue Story

Back in England, we supported rescue through donations and attending rescue events such as the Pug Dog Welfare Summer Garden Party.  However, there is not a great need for pug rescue fosters in the UK.  In fact, there is a waiting list for both becoming a foster and adopting a rescue. 

Conversely, we were aware of the great need for rescue organizations in the US.  We planned to adopt a rescue pug once we were settled in the US.  However, we were completely unprepared for the stark reality of just how important rescue organizations are in the US.  Adopting was one thing we could do, but there seemed to be so much more need. 

When Cindy (founder of PugHearts of Houston) contacted us to let us know she was starting a pug rescue, we jumped at the chance to help any way we could.  Over the next few months our lives changed forever.  Being involved in rescue opened our eyes in so many ways.  We knew that any further additions to our household would strictly be rescue. 

In April 2007, Cindy called us to say she had a scared little lady who had come to PugHearts from a bad situation.  She asked us to foster her.  We met Cindy in a parking lot and when she opened the back of the car to reveal the crate, the little girl inside literally took my breath away.  My heart immediately ached for her and I wanted to hold her.  Sadly, she was shaking with fear and was not happy to be held.  The rope burns on her neck hinted at the reason why.  We took her home determined to help her learn that humans could be good and kind.  Richard & I discussed names and decided Maggie, after Margaret Thatcher, was a good fit.  She was a little Iron Lady who had survived a horrible life.  We promised her that her life would be better. 

Eventually, we officially failed as fosters and welcomed Maggie as a permanent part of our family.  And I'm also happy to report that this little Iron Lady does indeed rule over our household with an iron paw.  She is loved beyond measure. And thankfully she has decided that we will suffice as pug parents.

We have had many fosters come through our home.  Some have stayed a short time, some for a long while.  Some were not healthy enough to find forever homes and lived their final days in our care.  All have touched our hearts. 

With all the changes in our lives, we do not foster any longer.  We still actively support rescue though and will do for the remainder of our lives.  One way we felt we could help was to donate a portion of our proceeds to rescue.  As such, any purchase through our Etsy store made with the code "PHH" in the notes field at checkout will support PugHearts of Houston via a 10% donation of the purchase price. 

So, help a great rescue and support an Iron Lady in her golden years by shopping with Lady Maggie.

Thank you,

Rebecca

http://www.ladymaggie.com
http://ladymaggies.etsy.com
https://www.facebook.com/LadyMaggies

Behind The Scenes In Our Studio

Every item at Lady Maggie has been handmade by me in our North Carolina studio.  I wanted to take this opportunity to allow everyone to take a peek inside. 

Of course the first step in creating a Lady Maggie masterpiece is selecting the perfect fabric. 

Once the fabric has been selected, then it's on to the cutting table.  There the fabric is hand cut to the pattern I have created.  Certain fabrics such as our wool and boucle fabrics are destined to become jackets.  Some of our fabrics do double duty as they will be used for collars, beds and cushions!  Here I am cutting out a pattern on the gorgeous Michael Miller fabric, Sunny Russian Floral.  This particular fabric has been discontinued, so when our stock is depleted there will be no more items available in this stunning fabric.

Once the fabric has been cut to the desired pattern, it's on to the sewing machine.  Several of our items, such as the Chanel-inspired coats, require loads of intricate stitching.  The fine details such as the satin ribbon edging add to the complexity of the design.  But I think we can all agree that the end product is well worth the extra time and attention. 

Meanwhile, sometimes I have some close supervision whilst completing my tasks.  In this case, Denny is watching over me to ensure quality control.

Some of our items, such as our donut beds, require serging.  This extra step ensures the seams are extremely durable and will withstand years of wear and tear.

We even have an industrial embroidery machine for personalizing items or adding a decorative touch.  We brought this machine with us when we emigrated from England.  In addition to the thousands of stock images and fonts, this machine gives us the capability to create our own designs.  We are excited about some potential projects; perhaps we will share some teaser images in the future.  Meanwhile, can you make out that beautiful Union Jack? Just gorgeous!

Well that concludes our tour.  I hope you have enjoyed the behind-the-scenes peak at our studio.  We are extremely proud of our space.  And we are extremely proud of our brand.  We feel the time and attention to detail in our pet accessories helps to set us apart from automated, mass-produced products. 

Meanwhile, here's a teaser of a gorgeous houndstooth wool fabric that I have in mind for a new coat. It is yet another fabric we have imported from England.  Which means that not only is it impeccable quality but also it will be a limited-run fabric for Lady Maggie.

Please check back with us and see what we have created with this lovely British fabric. 

Cheers!

Rebecca

http://ladymaggies.etsy.com

Welcome to Lady Maggie's Musings

Welcome to the Lady Maggie blog!  We are so excited to be launching our new website and Etsy shop with our new Lady Maggie brand. 

For years we have been making bespoke coats, collars and dog beds.  We began back in 2005 but have undergone several changes since then.  As a matter of fact, we started on a completely different continent!  Back in England we created our own design coat specifically for our pugs.  We wanted a coat which was easy to fit and remove.  We also wanted something that would showcase the gorgeous British fabrics that our family was using to create bespoke tailored suits.

After a transatlantic move to Texas, we started making items for a local pug rescue.  We opened an Etsy store under the name deRebecca and sold coats and beds.  We also sold home décor items. 

Recently, we relocated from Texas to North Carolina.  We set up our home studio and began to make preparations to re-open our store.  However, we felt that given both our change in location and our shift of product focus it was the perfect time to launch a new brand.  Lady Maggie was born!  We have been given permission by our eldest pug Maggie to utilize her name and image.  In fact, you will probably see and hear quite a bit from Lady Maggie herself on these pages.

We will now offer more dog-related accessories.  We are expanding our range of collars.  We have also began offering new styles of dog beds.  And we have some gorgeous new fabrics with which we will be offering custom dog coats.  But remaining true to our original intention, we will also be offering some home décor items such as accent cushions.  We love the idea of having a gorgeous throw cushion and a dog bed in the same fabric.  Why shouldn't your dog's bed compliment your home décor? 

We hope you will check back often, as we have some very exciting items we will be unveiling in the coming weeks.  And please contact us if you have any special requests.  All of our items are custom made, allowing us to fulfill any special needs or desires you might have.

Please take a moment to look around the site, browse our Etsy store and let us know what you think.

Regards,

Rebecca