Meet the Maker: Kathy Johns of Hound & Soul
Kathy created Hound & Soul because of her big love and admiration for her own dogs. "My dogs are a part of my soul, and I know there are many other humans who feel the same. I think they deserve the very best in comfort, style, and quality."
All Hound & Soul products are handmade and tested on the most discernible pups, including hers. Dash and Scully wear them in 4 feet of snow running through the forest, through rain and mud, and sometimes while they relax by the fire. All Hound & Soul dog jackets and collars are easy to clean and are built to last.
Let's start at the beginning. When did you discover you wanted to craft clothing for dogs?
My husband, our dog Trout and I were invited to go to the Canine Cotillion to support St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center (we used to live in New Jersey). Of course I was going to wear a fabulous dress, and I was not going to let my sweet Trout attend naked! I’ve always been a sewer and had some chocolate satin and black organza left over from another project. I just sat down and sewed Trout a stunning halter dress with a box pleat in the back.
A few weeks later I was shopping for a winter jacket for Trout. All I could find were frilly, not-so-warm jackets OR rugged outdoorsy jackets that were great quality, but not cute. I wanted to create something warm, durable and similar to my style for my dog. The first jacket I made was the Sundance design, which is super warm, easy on and off, durable, completely washable AND beautiful.
Coloradans adore their pets and making them distinct. What inspires your designs?
I’m always inspired by the relationships between humans and their dogs. Our mission at Hound and Soul is to celebrate the canine / human connection. Every design and piece I create, I’m thinking about how happy it will make the human to see their dog wearing it, and how excited the dog will be to see their human happy.
I’m also inspired by my surroundings. We moved to Colorado a year ago and every day the mountains take my breath away. The people of Colorado have a distinct, organic style that exudes confidence and beauty. You can’t help but be wowed by it.
Last but not least, I’m inspired by my parents. Momma taught me how to paint, sew, craft and make beautiful things. She’s also a State Fair Best in Show winner for her knitting. She’s one of my guest artisans and has knitted fair isle and cable-knit dog sweaters for Hound & Soul. My dad taught me how to work hard, build almost anything, to always take the high road, and laugh as much as possible.
Tell us about your pets? Have you ever worked with local animal shelters?
If you’ve ever known a Vizsla, you’ll understand my slightly unnatural obsession with my dogs. Scully is 8 and Dash is 4, and they are pretty much the center of our universe. They have completely distinct personalities – Scully is so sweet, reserved and will roll her eyes when her sister misbehaves. Dash is what we call iradorable: never met a stranger, so sweet and loving, but thinks EVERYONE wants her on their lap. They both are very active but love a good nap with snuggles. I run with them nearly every day, and it just makes me smile.
I support several different animal shelters and give 5% of my sales to support animals in need. In 2019 I hope to work with specific organization on fundraising events.
There are so many great organizations out there that it is impossible to choose just one. Here are my favorites:
Humane Society of Boulder Valley
Best Friends Animal Society
St. Hubert's Animal Welfare
Goats of Anarchy (their Instagram feed is a slippery slope😊
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
I couldn’t find a work table that was the right height and size to spread out, so I bought a piece of plywood, stained it and put it on top of the girls’ crates. I love it because they like to sit in their crates while I’m working, keeping me grounded and reminding me why I do what I do.
What characteristic do you admire most in other makers?
I’m always blown away by the generosity of other artisans and makers. We all have different styles and products, and others are always excited to share their inspiration and ideas. I see so much innovation, creativity and love in their work, and it makes me happy to be a part of this community.
Meet Kathy and see her beautiful designs at our Holiday Market, THIS WEEKEND, Nov. 17 +18! Her creations make the perfect gift for your fur babies!
Learn more about Hound & Soul here: