Rover: The Rise of the Preppy Pup

More on PawNation: dog clothing, Etsy, pet clothing, Rover

Ella the pug in Rover clothing. Photo credit: Rover

No, this isn't an outtake from the latest J.Crew catalog photo shoot. Preppy pups are in. It's the newest trend, and leading the pack is the self-proclaimed "J.Crew of the dog world," Rover. This newly launched Etsy shop is chock full of dogs with ties, peacoats and plaids hanging out on what appears to be a Cape Cod beach.

So when did the prepster look become so fashionable, and how did Rover start the trend? Paw Nation talks with co-owner AnneMarie Minardi, who runs Rover with business partner Gillian Ward. The idea first came to her a few years ago when she got her pug, Ella, and had a hard time finding clothing for her -- most pug-size dog fashion was glittery or pink and not quite Minardi's personal taste. At that moment, she decided to start making dog clothes that she herself would actually wear.

Back in 2006, Rover was new to the world, but the idea for Rover as a business was born not too long after. Minardi knew she had something going, but for someone with no background in fashion design or sewing, she had to rely on her craftiness. While Minardi stitched away at the sewing machine, Ward put her background in fashion and communications to work spreading the word. It took a few years, but the pair opened their Etsy shop in August 2010 and fanfare immediately followed.


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