How to Build A Lifestyle Brand

pet blogger

When I created my instagram @WTFrenchie 6 years ago, I had no idea this was what my life would turn into (everyone says that, lol). But at the time, I was working as a makeup artist and the hairstylist I was working with had an instagram for her cat. She was always on that thing, so I was like, wait Weston should have one too!

Because there is such an amazing French Bulldog community, I got really really into it. Not only did I learn some new things about frenchies (like food allergy tests, dog food recipes, training tips) (and hashtags) but I started meeting other Frenchie parents in person. I remember my first Frenchie spotting was @ollieishandsome. Picture me: “Is that OLLIE??? I follow you!!”

Looking back, I’m surprised I even met up with strangers because of my social anxiety. This from someone who would wait in their car an extra 30 seconds to make sure her neighbor was gone to avoid saying hi, but then willingly met up with unknown humans because of dogs. Wow. Everyone with social anxiety: get a dog. They help with literally everything.

French bulldog group

Back to Instagram…

Not gonna lie—pet companies reaching out to send us free dog treats or a pet vacuum was a NICE PERK. I remember being so giddy seeing a package that was shipped to Weston (I obvi still get giddy). 

I really got the majority of our followers when Fira came into the picture because of a funny video of them booping went viral. That’s sort of when I started thinking, ok I have all these followers… what do I do?

The one thing I got SO many DMs + comments about were how I traveled with Weston + Fira. Best dog-friendly hotel? Which airline pet carrier? What do I bring? So, that’s how I started this blog.

I never really had a super clear life plan. I was always a self-starter and a creative but the future seemed a bit fuzzy without a direct path. I never planned to be a blogger or “influencer” or partner with brands etc. But somehow, it makes sense now. It combines everything I love: dogs, design, art-directing, entrepreneurship, working from home.

But back to YOU…

The pet instagram landscape has changed SO much and pet brands have noticed. So even though you started a page for fun, it would be silly not to at least get some free dog food, help animal rescues AND/OR create your own empire… 🙂 

My biggest thing is, this only works if you’re having fun with it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be that serious. Genuinely build relationships, connect with others and share the joys of your life with your pup. 

For me, that’s basically what a lifestyle brand is. It’s sharing a bit of you, your lifestyle, your interests, expertise and a certain je ne sais quoi. And yes, everyone has that, even if you think you don’t. You are YOU and there is nobody else like you. It’s like putting a stamp on everything you put out there!

traveling French bulldogs

Do you guys want more of this content?

This blog really began as a travel blog with dog-friendly hotels, city guides + more but I gradually added my dog food recipes, grooming tips and a sprinkle of home + shopping. As this world is growing (there are more dog pages now than ever!), I can definitely share more about that topic, behind the scenes (like how to get the best photos for brand partnerships) and e-commerce (ie: my WTFrenchie merch shop and dog accessories line SAINT RUE).

To start, I just filmed a video for The Pet Summit Oct 24-25th about How to Build a Lifestyle Brand and I share my top 4 things you should know. There are some really amazing dog moms involved with over 100 classes, workshops, live panels + more—all for the pet influencer/blogger or even if you’re just thinking about it.

For 25% off your ticket, use code: WTF25

By the way, a few years ago I neverrr wanted to be live on camera. Photos, fine. But video—omg. I remember when IG live was brand new and just casually filming the pups and responding to the comments by actually typing in the comment chat and people were like, “why aren’t you talking?” Lol awkward. 

This past year, I’ve been trying to get over this fear and just go for it. After all, video is the future. Things are ever-evolving and changing… let me know in the comments what you would like to know more about! 

Review: Public Goods

Hey hey, hope you guys have been doing ok–the year is coming to an end. 😮

Where have you guys been ordering your essentials? I’ve been using Public Goods a lot. Fun fact: at the start of the pandemic, they were the only ones who actually had toilet paper in stock. It was limited to 1 pack per customer of course but it saved our asses, literally. 

I’ve been a member since early this year but when they recently reached out to me to check out their new dog products, I was so excited! This company is all about being made in the USA, sustainable, paraben-free and I love all their eco-friendly, minimal packaging. Everything is priced really affordably too. 

I’m about to place another order so I thought I’d share my fave products incase you guys need some help choosing! This isn’t a paid post BUT I will get a small commission from any purchase. 🙂

FIRST, let’s talk about the new dog products.

The one thing we (as in, all dog parents) are ALWAYS repurchasing is poo bags. I used to buy a huge box of rolls from Amazon for super cheap but realized how wasteful it was with all the plastic. I’ve been buying only compostable, eco-friendly bags, so I’m reeeeally happy that Public Goods has their own! 

compostable poo bags

The Cheese Chews are cute (they’re like yak chews) but I haven’t given them to the pups yet. Weston is allergic to dairy so I’ll skip those for him. The Dog Shampoo is vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free and has a clean, soapy scent. We haven’t taken the pups to the groomers since March! We’ve just been bathing them at home ourselves and taking them to the vet for nails or any anal gland expression (I will never do that at home, eek). I’m finally going through their shampoo collection!

What’s in my cart?

So I always stock up on their olive oil (it’s a good, basic one for cooking), dish soap refills and mostly cleaning products. I just loooove their refill products. The dish soap and hand soap come in these large pouches (versus a bottle, which requires more plastic) which easily pour into your existing containers. 

Aren’t these refills the cutest? You literally just fill your bottle up with water and squeeze this concentrated version into it and tada–no need to buy a new bottle.

I’ve never used wool dryer balls but I honestly just got these because they looked so adorable, lol. Do you guys use them? Is there a noticeable difference? I’m hoping they help with sweaters pilling less in the dryer. 

 

They also have pantry essentials like almonds, couscous, canned goods and I’ve gotten most of my spices here. Also, this is the most random thing ever but they have the BEST OATMEAL COOKIES. They are the perfect crunchy tiny pop-in-your-mouth cookie. Get themmm–you won’t regret it.

If you’re purchasing for the first time, make sure to use our code WTFRENCHIEPGA for 15% off! Your membership is free for 14 days and $59/year after that. I think it is well worth it. 

K, I’m about to add 5 boxes of the oatmeal cookies to my cart… 🙂

Recipe: Mini Peanut Butter Mousse Cakes

I found this recipe on Chewy Pet Central page and I couldn’t resist making these. I had all the ingredients at home and it sounded much yummier than just giving the pups a plain treat. They deserve a whole bunch of mini PB cakes! 

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bag peanut butter dog treats
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup natural peanut butter
  • olive oil or coconut oil

 

 

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin tin with some olive oil or coconut oil. I used one of these silicone pans. You don’t have to oil it up but I spritzed it with some olive oil spray anyway. I just hateee when you bake and it sticks! The silicone molds make baking little bites like this so much easier–after baking, you just pop them out.

Add oats + 1/2 cup of treats to food processor or blender and pulse away. 

In medium bowl, mix the ground oats + treats with 1 egg and 1 tbsp of water to create a dough. 

Spoon 1/2 tbsp of dough into each cup.

Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

For the icing, mix peanut butter + yogurt together. I used a hand mixer so it would be extra smooth + fluffy. Spoon filling into a ziplock bag, cut corner and squeeze onto mini cakes. I cut mine a little too big but if you cut your corner small, you can get it to look like piping.

Crush 3-4 treats in a ziplock bag and spriiinkle on top! These smell SO SO delicious. It probably took me about 15-20 minutes–including the baking time–to make these. 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

[ Where's The Frenchie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and incorporates affiliate links. ]

DIY: Homemade Nose + Paw Butter

 
Hi guys! How’s your summer going so far? It’s been a never-ending year of weird, so my moods change from good, bad, bored, busy in one day. But more importantly, how’s your pup’s nose and paws? Lol, A+ transition right? 
 
Weston + Fira’s noses get pretty dry and cracked often. I think it must be common in most dogs, especially frenchies? It just looks so uncomfortable when there are cracks! 
 
There are so many different brands out there, but if your pup is super sensitive, I’ve found homemade nose butter to be best and it is actually really easy to make. It’s fragrance-free, preservative-free and extra clean! You can even apply it on their paws too. 
 
Ready? Here’s what you’ll need:
 
 
Ingredients:
Supplies:

First, place your large glass jar in a medium pot. Start filling the pot with water. Once the water is halfway up the jar, take jar away. This way helps you see how much water you need–if you put too much, the jar could float and tip over. Bring to boil. 
 

While that’s heating up, add in all your ingredients to your jar (the Mason jar, in my case). 
 
You can easily find all these items at your local beauty supply, health food store or arts & crafts store. I always like to support my local small businesses but if you prefer ordering (hashtag stay home), I’ve linked Amazon links to most of the products.
 
Side note: if you only find a block of beeswax at the store, it will work! Just grate it into small pieces so it’s easier to melt.
 
Once the water is boiling, you can set heat to simmer. Carefully place your mason jar in. This is called the “double boiler method” and it is perfect for slowly melting ingredients. The controlled heat prevents the contents from burning (don’t use the microwave—it could cause an explosion).
 

The shea butter and coconut oil melted right away but the beeswax pellets took around 8-10 minutes.  I stirred the mixture vigorously with a spoon and it helped melt much faster.

 
 
Next, pour into your 2 oz jar/tin and allow to cool. I’m using a wide flat tin that used to be a lotion bar. It worked perfectly for this nose butter! You can easily empty a lip balm jar, moisturizer etc and use that. 
 
You might be tempted to add some essential oils but I skipped that since dogs can react negatively to too much. If you’re sure your dog is okay with certain essential oils, feel free to add a few drops (less is more!).
 
 
 
Ta-da! Isn’t it gorgeous? It is sooo soft and creamy, yet stays a solid balm. You just need a teensy scoop and apply to your pup’s nose and paws. It’ll keep them super moisturized and best part is it’s completely natural, preservative-free and works
 
 
If you’re looking for another DIY balm, check out this article I wrote for Chewy. We made a DIY Foot Treatment for Pawdicures. It uses all the ingredients that are in this nose butter!
 
Let me know in the comments if you try out either of the recipes!
 
 
[ If you purchase from any links on this page, I will receive a small Amazon affiliate commission. ]

Recipe: Apple Tart for Dogs

Just a normal Saturday afternoon here and I noticed we had a bunch of apples lying around. I got a random craving for apple crumble so we’re gonna make an apple treat for the dogs! Why not? Could this be the new banana bread? lol

Can dogs eat apples?

Yes! They’re a good source of fiber, vitamin A + C. In fact, I regularly add apples into their homemade dog food. They’re cheap, a healthy filler and yummy.

Just make sure to take out the core and any seeds. Slice them thin and they’re a nice, healthy treat for pups. You can chop them too but I would just keep an eye out that they don’t choke on them. Weston + Fira don’t like apples as treats, weirdly enough. They just spit them right out—but they do love blueberries.

Ready to bake an apple tart?

I just kind of made up my own recipe and baked them a dog-friendly apple tart! I also tried to make a matching apple crumble for me but it didn’t really turn out so well… sooo, we’ll just skip that. 

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 apple
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and a grease a small ramekin with coconut oil. You can use a muffin tin if you don’t have ramekins

Next, slice apple thinly! 

Place sliced apples in a medium bowl of water. Microwave for 45 seconds (or more). The slices should be soft enough to bend. We’re going to make a cute rose shape!

Add peanut butter to random slices. You can add to every slice if you want but I just added wherever. 

 

So cute, right? Sprinkle some cinnamon! Cinnamon is totally fine for your pup to have and actually helps improve brain function. (Nutmeg is not ok for dogs!)

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Weston gobbled these up—yes!! Finally, they like apples! Now that they’ve tried apples baked, I would say this is the best way for dogs. Baking makes them softer and easier to chew. Just add peanut butter + cinnamon, stick in the oven and you have a perfect treat for your dog. 🙂

Recipe: Turkey Veggie Meatloaf for Dogs

Raise your hand if you love meatloaf. Why is this such a love or hate food? Lol. I guess it’s the texture? I personally love it—it always tastes homey and comforting, although funnily, my mom has never ever made meatloaf!

We like turkey meatloaf with tiny diced veggies inside, which is a grrreat way to hide your veg. Sooo, here’a dog-friendly version of meatloaf that is super easy, healthy and a cinch to serve. I love that you can pre-cut slices or cubes so you don’t need to measure it out for the pups later.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, cooked
  • 1/3 cup diced tomatoes (from the can, no sodium, keep some liquid)
  • 1/2 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 3-5 tablespoon dog supplement (I use Canine Complete)
  • 4-6 capsules joint supplement (I use Just Food For Dogs Joint Care)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. 
  3. Spread mixture into a loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Make sure you get a can of NO SODIUM diced tomatoes and don’t drain the liquid! That will add some moisture to the loaf and help meld the ingredients together.

I added green beans and carrot, but you can definitely add whatever your dog likes! Zucchini, broccoli, pumpkin, spinach…

Green bean benefits for dogs?

Vitamins B6, A, C + K, full of fiber and low in calories which helps your dog feel full! It’s also a good, healthy alternative as a treat (for those diets!). 

Carrots also help with your pup’s digestion and are loaded with beta-carotene. Whenever I make homemade dog food for Weston + Fira, I always add carrots. 

Now for the supplements…

My go-to is always Canine Complete–it is fullll of nutrients like kelp, flaxseed, fish protein powders, calcium, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. It’s a green powdery substance and totally smells like kelp! 

I like to add Joint Care too but totally optional. You can add a small amount of coconut oil, prebiotics or other supplements your dog may regularly have. 

By the way, I just found out Canine Complete even makes one with a joint supplement combined! So that is going to be my next purchase when I run out. 

I lined my pan with parchment paper but you can grease it with some coconut oil too. After 45 minutes, you get such a satisfying loaf that’s easy to slice and chop!

Two pieces is about enough for one meal.

I never throw away what’s left in the tomato can, any extra green beans etc, so I can add pre-measured ingredients in a ziplock bag and add in the raw ingredients (egg + meat) when I’m ready to cook. Next time you have ground meat, you can easily pop your bag of ingredients out of your freezer or fridge and bake a loaf in no time!

Hope you enjoy making this and your pup loves! Let me know what you think. 🙂

 

The Dog Mom Army Camo Outfit!

Do you like camouflage? 

I don’t really wear camo (but I do love the army green color!) but when I got these matching hoodies for Weston + Fira, I knew I had to get something camo print to twin with them. Blame it on the quarantine…

I think camouflage works best when it’s just one part of your outfit, so it’s not too overwhelming. You don’t want to wear it on the top and bottom—that’s overkill. But a small camo bandana scarf or a crop hoodie? Add to cart.

So, I got these super cool Adidas pantsss—and such a good price! They’re really lightweight and make a swishy sound when you walk. They run big so I would recommend getting one size smaller than your usual. 

The pups’ hoodies are THE. BOMB. Look how perfect they fit?! Weston wears a sz L and Fira wears sz M. They’re even lined with a really soft, fleece-like material. Fancy. I threw on matching Saint Rue leash + laces and ta-da, ready to blend in and stay away from people. Lol. Hope you guys are all doing ok during this weird time. At least our dogs are happy 🙂

 

Copyright © 2020 · Theme by 17th Avenue