Gift Shop Pets Spring 2020
Rebel Dawg By Debbie Eisele

Meet the maker who created a product to meet the special needs of her dog.

Stacie Amador, owner and creative director of Rebel Dawg, created Rebel Dawg because she needed a specific product for her dog, Mika — a Japanese Chin. Mika was prone to seizures and Amador noticed when “the metal tags would jingle” her dog would experience an attack. “After searching for silent tags that were fashionable as well as functional, I quickly realized there was a gap in the market for such a product,” Amador explained. “Nowhere could I find dog tags that could be 100% customizable, fashionable, light-weight, and jingle-free! I started working with different materials and concepts immediately, and before I knew it, Rebel Dawg was born.”

Rebel Dawg Mika-nameplate

Amador now has 10 full-time employees and her creations focus on fashion-forward ID tag collections, but also has expanded to other merchandise to help dogs who may need extra medical attention.

What are your product offerings?

SA: Rebel Dawg offers fashion forward collections of ID Tags and signature Nameplates, we also have Medical Tags — ‘cause everyone’s got issues and fashion should not be one of them! Our Luxe line of Tags feature intricate inlaid designs, ranging from leopard print to unicorns to ice cream cones. Rebebel Dawg (also known as RD) also celebrates every holiday, seasonal change, and of the moment pop-culture trends.

Rebel Dawg's medical tags
A variety of ID tags are available to identify specific medical conditions.

Our ultra-quick turnaround time makes us the perfect spot to pick up all your seasonal essentials! RD will be launching it’s super luxe leather and holographic collar and leash sets, and we will be expanding into other pet related categories like hair, travel accessories, and bedding. Stay tuned!

Did any new products surprise you because they were more successful, or less successful than you thought?

SA: No, not really. Having a background in buying taught me that you need to step away from what you love, and focus on what will sell. When we create a new collection, I have to put my buyer’s hat on and know the amount of time and money that will go into the process.

If a collection or product seems like it will be too costly, even if I’ve fallen in love with the design, I know we need to reassess and make the call whether to move forward or not. Happy to say, we have a 95% track record of creating and selling. That’s why we have multiple collections on the site at any given time.

Where do you find the inspiration for your product and design concepts?

SA: Being a product merchandiser, buyer, editor and designer by trade, I look everywhere! It can come from a commercial, graffiti on the street, Vogue — literally anything that strikes my fancy.

Luxe Tags from Rebel Dawg
A variety of styles, colors and shapes of ID tags are available.

What is your best-selling product?

SA: Our personalized ID Tags & Signature Nameplates are our bread and butter.

Do you, personally, have a favorite product?

SA: Yes, the first Nameplate I created was for Mika, two-and-a-half years ago. It’s made in our exclusive hot pink glitter. It reminds me of all the wonderful things about her. Also, the Tattoo Heart Tag, which was created for my other pup, Charlie — he’s my heart.

GSP: How long does it take from concept to design completion?

SA: About a day — we are quick. We know what the direction is and we run with it. Once the item goes into production for orders it takes roughly 4 days to create.

Do you ever retire products? If so, how do you know it is time to retire a particular item?

SA: Yes, we retire holiday and seasonal collections. Once the season is over, it is taken down from the site. Each year we bring back the winners with a new twist, so nothing is duplicated. Each year it’s always brand spankin’ fresh!

Rebel Dawg nameplates
Stylish nameplates are originally crafted by hand in Brooklyn, and are ideal for any breed or size dog. Customization allows owners to select just the right word or phrase for their needs.

What are your future aspirations for your business?

SA: We just launched Human, which includes: hair accessories, keychains, and jewelry. Soon, we will be expanding our pet line with clothing, collars and leads, which will all be produced in Brooklyn, New York.

Do you have any display tips for retailers?

SA: We create product for each of our retail partners. It’s best to work with us closely as we will tailor the display and product just for your customers!

Do you have any additional information you’d like to share about your business and product offerings?

SA: Yeah! We are an all girls biz run out of Brooklyn. We create everything by hand exclusively for each customer. Our QC is a 2-3 day process, so everything that leaves the office is perfect. Nothing is mass produced. All of our materials are sourced in the U.S., including our exclusive acrylic, which is hand-poured just a few hours away. Everything we do is 100% original. If you see a product that comes with our signature mini-charms, or that are acrylic Nameplates for pets — beware! They are knockoffs and not nearly as RAD!

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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