If you have a furry four-legged-friend, you need to meet Little Barkster. This line of fun pet products includes cool handmade dog toys inspired by NYC’s iconic foods. I present you, the Puppy Pretzel, Donut, Hot Dog, and a Macaron chew duo that looks straight out of a fancy patisserie.
Designer Linda Holm started the company out as a response to a curveball that life threw at her. Because what’s a better weapon to get us through challenging times than to devote ourselves to what really inspires us? Linda tells us about those early days, her design process, and her favorite spots in Park Slope.
What made you take the leap and launch Little Barkster?
I have wanted to design dog products for the last 10 years. I had however very time consuming full-time jobs with childrenswear design for 8 years. Summer of 2013 I found myself in a new situation that had never occurred to me before: unemployed. Most people panic at that thought, I simply digged out a stack of sketch & idea books I had been keeping around with things I wanted to do when I had time. I started making products and launched my Etsy store in October 2013 and things started taking off in January 2014.
Do you sketch out ideas, or work on the computer? How is the process from idea to play?
I’m very much a computer person when it comes to design….. However when it comes to my dog products it’s a different story. I usually write down and do a quick sketch in my sketchbook for an idea that comes to mind. If I do not write it down I will most likely be forgotten a few hours later and I have moved on to something else.
When I do find time, I start making a pattern on my computer for the product I’m planning to make, look for fabrics, make a prototype and try it out on my dog, Gordon. I usually don’t like my first prototypes. Size, look, fabric choices, how Gordon reacts with a product – all comes into play. Then I make adjustments and after some back and forth I finally have a product that I like and it ends up in my Etsy store.
What are your plans for Little Barkster for the next few months?
I have 20 more dog products I want to add. They are all designed, just need to make the product. I have however been very busy making orders and I’m looking into finding a local manufacturer that can make products for me. At some point I want to also go into wholesale and add additional product categories.
Little Barkster has been a little bit in the shadow for the moment though, as I’m in the process of setting up my own babywear company too.
What’s your dog’s favorite toy?
Gordon loves all the toys that I have created for him. He changes from day to day what he likes. Sometimes he just loves Litte Barkster’s Pizza, busy digging it down in our garden to make sure that no one steals it. Other days he just lays on the couch testing how many times he can use the squeaker of a Little Barkster Donut. I have a very playful dog, therefore the reason to constantly design new toys.
What are your favorite neighborhood spots?
My husband and I love Talde, Al Di La and Piccoli Trattoria. We just discovered Pickle Shack too and tried out Calexico. So many good places around Prospect Park! The list of favorite places is very long.
Check out Little Barkster’s Etsy Shop for more cool products for your best bud.