One of the things I love most about Nashville is that spoiling your pup is pretty easy. We're lucky there are, and have been, some pretty amazing dog boutiques. Lucky Pup in Edgehill Village (now home to Bella Napoli) was a Saturday favorite for Mingus and me. Mingus was a precocious puppy with a tennis ball obsession. Lucky Pup's owner, and now my dear friend Kristin, would oblige Mingus on the regular, throwing tiny tennis balls which he would fetch until he inevitably got them stuck under every piece of furniture in the shop. I tell that story, because I know Kristin didn't only do that for Mingus. I'm sure she did that for every dog who came through those doors. The same holds true for the owners of Baxter Bailey & Company, Wags & Whiskers, Come Sit Stay, The Dog Spot, and the list goes on. Now we can add Winston Dog to that list!
I featured Winston Dog's owner, Renee Bell, on 12th & Broad Broad Style last week. She's an incredible person and the care and attention she has put into Winston Dog shines through. She's literally thought of everything. The shop is fun and relaxed and the perfect spot to pamper your pooch. Renee has taken great steps to carry lines that aren't common to Nashville. And you can't miss the Fluff Out Bar. 30-minute spa services for your pup...I'll be signing the pugs up for a de-shed stat! Renee, who has rescue dogs of her own, is very committed to helping various rescue organizations too.
I wanted to share my interview here so I could include more photos from our morning shoot. Mingus and Lula grinned from ear to ear from the minute they walked into the shop, until the minute they came home. (Then they promptly fell asleep.) Head to Winston Dog asap. Your pooch will thank you. #WinstonSays
Check out those doggies in the window
What made you decide to open Winston Dog?
I was looking for specific items for my new puppy, Bubbles, last summer and realized we did not have a store to buy certain brands/designers. We have amazing dog stores in Nashville, but I had to go online to find what I was looking for. I spent days researching and that is when it hit me to open the boutique. I have always lived in the Green Hills area and felt that Green Hills would be the perfect location, as well as the Hill Center. It is very pet friendly. People are always walking their dogs there. It just made sense.
Tell us about your pup Winston and why you named the shop after him.
Winston was a puppy mill rescue. I adopted him from a friend 11 years ago who was fostering several dogs rescued from a local puppy mill. We immediately connected the moment I met him. We are so deeply attached to each other. He is my little man. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. We have three other fur babies as well, but Winston is the eldest, and it just felt right for the store to be his namesake.
Renee Bell and Winston (Photo courtesy of Renee)
What can shoppers expect when they come to Winston Dog?
I have worked very hard to get designers and brands that for the most part have not been in Nashville before, or at least not recently. I would say 80% of what I carry has not been sold in our area before. As I said, we have amazing dog stores in town, so for me to open one I felt it needed to have a different approach. We are more of a boutique. We have a lot of clothes, accessories, beds, collars, spa products, gourmet treats, etc. for large and small breeds. We do not carry food or supplies for the most part. Another service we are able to provide is "special orders/custom orders." If we do not have what the customer is looking for on the floor, we will make every effort to get what they need and want for their fur baby.
Yvette Ruta Couture
These gorgeous 14k gold bone pendants are actually dog tags.
A pooch can definitely be pampered here. What services does the Fluff Out Bar offer?
The Fluff Out Bar is more of a "30 minute spa treatment.” We do not bathe, but we spritz their coat with amazing coat sprays, de-matt their coats, de-shed their coats, trim their face and their nails. As part of our spa services we can paint their nails, color their hair, give them a massage, etc. We are also working on doing birthday party spa days and Fluff Out parties for our furry little babies.
What is your favorite item in the shop right now? Are there any items you can’t wait to get in for Fall?
I do not have one favorite item, but a few right now are our new hand-made collars with flowers. They are beautiful for small and large girls. Also our bow ties and bandanas for our boys, large and small, are incredible. We also have vintage bandanas that look amazing paired with the flower collar. Our Susan Lanci products have done incredibly well so far. She is an amazing designer for small breeds. Her harnesses and collars are the absolute best and her shag bed has been a huge hit. It’s the most luxurious and comfortable bed for the little babies. Our Spa products are also doing incredibly well. I am really excited about the amazing sweaters we will be carrying for fall for large and small breeds, as well as holiday wear, and of course Halloween costumes :)
Rover Boutique Bow Tie Collars
Mingus for President! Gidget Gear blazer and Rover Boutique Bow Tie collar
Don't tell Lula, but I'll probably be borrowing her vintage scarf.
Lula loves her Susan Lanci collar
Susan Lanci collar paired with a vintage scarf
Supporting rescue dogs and rescue organizations is important to you. What philanthropic plans do you have for Winston Dog?
I am very passionate about doing as much as possible for the local charities. I have had several rescue dogs over the years. They steal your heart, and love so deep. All animals deserve to be loved and deserve a great home. They add so much to our lives. Their unconditional love is like no other. I feel so blessed each day to wake with four of the most amazing fur babies ever. We want to help in any way possible to make sure we do our part to help other fur friends find their forever homes. We will be selling a charity CD soon that will be all songs about dogs. The publishers and writers in Nashville are the most giving people on earth. We have compiled a record from some of Nashville's best writers in town. The songs are heartfelt and fun. 100% of the CD will be given to local charities. We also plan to do several events throughout the year for charity as well.
I love your hashtag #WinstonSays. What would Winston say right now?
Winston says that every day that he gets to meet new friends and help people show love to their fur babies is pawsitively the best day.
Brian Nash artwork makes for the perfect wall decor.
JoJo Owl Winnie Plum Top
Jojo Polka Dot Fish Top
Two very happy pugs. Thanks Winston Dog!