Last week I asked Jaime Derringer of Dog-Milk.com if she’d be up for an Interview for Floppycats.com. Might seem strange – as her site is dog-focused. However, a lot of the products she features can also be great for kitties – and I know a lot of the floppy cat lovers who read this blog also have pups!
Thank you Jaime for the interview!
1. What was the inspiration for Dog Milk? I know it’s a sister site for Design Milk – so was it from working on that since 2006?
I launched Dog Milk because, in my own life, I have a passion for dogs. I saw a bit of a gap in blogs that focused on modern design and dogs so I decided to fill that gap with Dog Milk. Since I’m as passionate about dogs as I am about good design, it just feels like another extension of me.
2. How did you come up with the Design Milk name? What is the meaning of it?
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Here’s the short answer: since milk contains vitamin D, drinking milk every day gives you a daily dose of vitamin D, but in this case D stands for “Design.“ Design Milk is your daily dose of Design. Or something like that. I’ve yet to actually sit down and write something clever enough!
3. What is your favorite part of Dog Milk?
Shopping! This is actually also my least favorite part. Since people are always sending me links to shops and websites, it’s hard not to want to buy everything! It’s challenging when you have a product blog refraining from purchasing everything you see.
4. Do you do all the writing for Dog Milk?
At the moment, yes and I also do most of the writing for Design Milk.
5. Do you ever turn down a manufacturer because of their product? How come?
I get a lot of submissions even though Dog Milk is fairly young. I don’t post everything I get because it goes back to my original reason I started Design Milk – to bookmark things that I liked. It grew from there but I still only post about items I would buy, have bought and used, or truly believe in the concept or design.
6. If someone was getting a dog for the first time, what products, if any would you recommend to them?
I think the most important investment they can make is an ID tag. Whether you get your dog micro-chipped or purchase a traditional dog tag, it is so important that your dog be able to be identified.
And next — get that dog on a leash. Seriously. You have no idea how often I see dogs just wandering around my apartment complex or the nearby park. Leashes are not just to keep your dog in check, but they are to protect your dog from other dogs, harmful humans, traffic, and even other animals. Just a few weeks ago my husband and I were out walking our dogs and we were attacked by a protective mother blue jay – we ended up literally running away with the dogs in tow!
Beyond that, dogs need a lot of gear! It can get expensive just outfitting them for each season: from beds, ID tags, collars, leashes, grooming and hygiene products, toys, crates, travel gear – it’s exhausting! That’s one of the main reasons why I think Dog Milk is so needed because we try to sift through to find the most modern products for our design-loving readers.
7. Have you found that there are products that are both dog friendly and cat friendly? In other words, if a pet owner owned a cat and a dog, they might be able to get two uses out of the product? What products come to mind?
There are many cat beds on the market that are suitable for small dogs. Houses like the Dot Den from Modernist Cat or the acrylic beds from Neko Habitat come to mind. Toys, collars and such probably don’t interchange all that often. Dogs need stronger, thicker collars because they are used with a leash for control when walking. Although, both cats and dogs go nuts for laser pointers.
8. How did your interest in Design start?
This is a hard question to answer. I have always been a creative person, attracted to the arts – art, writing, music, and I’ve always been an independent thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit.
I grew up watching home improvement shows with my dad. I worked through college at local furniture stores, where I fell in love with helping people pick out fabrics for their couches. Throughout my life, I think there were tiny seeds planted, which eventually grew into Design Milk.
9. How many pups do you have? What are their names? Ages? Where did you get them from?
My husband and I have two dogs, Lulu and Beans. Lulu is an American Bulldog and she’s about 4. Beans is a Boston Terrier and he is about 3. They are complete opposites: Lulu is a girl, Beans is a boy; Lulu is white with a little black and Beans is black with a little white; Lulu is big, Beans is small; Lulu is lazy, Beans is crazy. We got both of them out in Pennsylvania from breeders and raised them since they were wee pups.
10. Are you involved in dog rescue at all?
I don’t do any volunteer work, but I have attended events to support local shelters, rescues and other organizations. Most recently, we went to HeavenSent Bulldog Rescue’s annual “Bullyfest.”
We also link to a few organizations from our homepage. My husband and I discussed that if we get another dog in the future we plan on getting a rescue.
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