Dog Shopping made easy!
I know there are a lot of options out there when shopping for your dog & so I thought I’d write a blog post about Handmade by Hayley B; along with why I make the products I do and things I’ve learnt as a dog owner!
Who is Hayley B I hear you ask – well I am a dog loving individual with often funky bright coloured hair! Often accompanied by my colour changing Springer Spaniel Cross Bracken (she has a pigment disorder but many think she just likes to change hair colour like her Mumma!) and supported by my wonderful parents Mum & Dad B! I learnt to sew at the age of 15 & have been making creations over the years, I also taught myself how to knit a few years ago now!
Handmade by Hayley B was created about a year after the arrival of Bracken to our family as a family pet. Bracken as a puppy was black and white in colour and often referred to as a male dog! This made start making pretty collar bandanas for her in girly colours to try and point out that she was in fact a girl! My Auntie had a tribe of 3 springer spaniels, 2 boys & a girl, and her girl was also often mistaken for a boy, so she asked me if I could make her a pretty flower! After a year I was being asked if I sold the accessories I made and so Handmade by Hayley B started!
Right from the start I have always tried to make affordable dog products that are cute, practical & useful products and the range of items I make has been influenced by suggestions from friends and family along with knowledge of dog behaviour & training through our involvement in the dog sport of Flyball.
One of our ranges that has been made from experience of dog ownership is our Dog Walking Accessories range. When I got Bracken I wasn’t aware of the shear amount of clobber you need when you go out for a walk; I knew about being a responsible owner and taking poo bags with you, but I hadn’t factored into the equation that you need to take treats, a ball or 2, as well as your normal keys, phone and maybe some cash! When Bracken was a young dog, my Dad asked if there was anyway I could make a small treat bag that was big enough for him to put his hand in. The first of these bags formed the basis of our Out & About Bag Range. Our Out & About Bags now come with a hidden ripstop lining meaning these are showerproof which is great in with the Great British Weather! These bags are large enough to fit your hand inside, with a drawstring closure. They can attach to a belt loop or even the lead handle with an S carabiner (meaning you don’t undo the bag from the carabiner to move location) and have a quick dispensing poo bag holder on the front! From these smaller Out & About bags I designed our Lightweight Dog Walking bag at the request of my Mum who often didn’t have pockets to put the tennis ball into! Our bumbag has been designed and adapted to carry a ball, keys, phone, treats and features our special poo bag dispensing hole. The newest addition to our collection is our Bag Pal, carrying the poo so you don’t have to! It’s a funky plastic clip that carries the used poo bag until you find a bin. Currently available with the Handmade by Hayley B print however this product can be made with a bespoke design.
Supporting charitable causes has also been something I have worked hard to encompass within Handmade by Hayley B. In 2022 I was very pleased to support Underdogs International with their campaign to help dogs in Ukraine after the outbreak of the war, raising over £200 in a number of weeks with our Ukraine Bandana. Spaniel Aid UK has been a charity I have personally supported since 2017, with a self confessed soft spot for the spaniel breed, I routinely donate items to their auctions for fundraising and I have produced a line of “You can’t buy love but you can rescue it” bandanas where the profits are donated to Spaniel Aid. Our latest total is over £275 raised for this fantastic charity. Finally we have Foster/Rescue dogs from BOR, approached by one of our customers who is associated with this charity I couldn’t say no to helping them with a fundraising bandana range. If you have an association with a charity that you think Handmade by Hayley B could help with please do not hesitate to get in touch with me!
I often get asked why I don’t make snuffle mats, but I do make sniffer balls and the simple answer to this is that Bracken had a snuffle
mat and within 5 minutes she learnt she could flip the mat over and everything would fall out. I believe that enrichment is a really important part of a dog’s life and that we want to make as many enjoyable situations as possible. This is why I make Sniffer Enrichment Balls – these are similar in nature to the mat but allow movement, which makes these much harder to cheat, which gives your dog the experience it is designed to by allowing them to use their nose. Sniffing is a therapeutic activity for dogs and releases endorphins which are the good vibes in the brain, which is why these balls can be used to distract an anxious dog from things like fireworks.
Launching in the coming weeks is a new range of enrichment items called “Sniffer Shapes” these are different shaped items, designed still to move, but require less movement than a ball, making them great for use in a crate or for those on restricted exercise. These have been undergoing testing with a few of our friends dogs over the last few weeks including some who have used it as post operative solution for keeping a busy spaniel calm.
When you decide to buy a product from Handmade by Hayley B you are buying from a small business that does genuinely do a little dance with every sale. Whether you choose one of our funky accessories such as our sailor bows or slogan bandanas or a practical product like our warning bandanas or dog walking accessories or simply a useful product like our bag pals or sniffer enrichment balls, you can be assured that these items have been made by hand with love at Handmade by Hayley B HQ!
One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is to visit local dog events in Sussex with our stall. I love getting to meet other peoples dogs & hear their stories, some of which have provided inspiration for our products. I hadn’t considered that our bandanas whilst not marketed as a cooling product can be dunked into cold water and provide some cooling ability to your dog on a hot summers day! I moved our collar accessories from an elastic attachment to a hook & loop attachment to enable these to be suitable not just for any thickness collar (generally up to around 4 inches is covered on our loops) but also for harnesses too!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the products designed and produced by Hayley B and the reasons why I make what I make! Should you have any suggestions for products you’d like to created by Hayley B please do not hesitate to contact us via email on email@example.com or on our Instagram or facebook pages – @handmadebyhayleyb