Long Lake-based dog clothing company, Dog Threads, made their debut on ABC’s “Shark Tank” on Sunday, Nov. 10.
When Dog Threads co-founders Scott and Gina Davis first applied to the show over a year ago, they were not looking for anything to come out of it; however, luck and their already successful business was on their side because by the end of their segment Mark Cuban invested $250,000 in their company.
“We’re so excited. It’s really a dream come true. We’ve been longtime fans of ‘Shark Tank.’ We watch it every week together, so for this to come to fruition is really amazing. We’re really thankful for the experience,” Gina Davis said.
Dog Threads began in 2014 when the Davis’ dog, Thomas, needed something to wear to their annual Fourth of July barbecue. When searching for an outfit to match Thomas’ “human-like personality,” nothing fit just quite right. Co-founder Gina Davis, who went to school for fashion design in Los Angeles, decided to use her talent and create a new pattern, which turned into a stylish Hawaiian print button-down for Thomas.
“I was designing women’s clothing at the time and had pop-up shops...I was doing that when we got the idea. I was making clothes for Thomas at the time. We couldn’t find anything to fit his human-like personality,” she said.
Davis began making clothes for Thomas, in order for him to have different shirt options for the different events; however Davis’ clothes and patterns began to get more attention as their presence on Instagram increased as well as when they launched their online store in 2014.
Now, Dog Threads is a growing clothing company that makes matching outfits for dogs and their families. Their outfits are made in the United States and in the Ukraine, where their knit sweaters are produced. According to Davis, making fashion ethically is an important part of their business. Scraps from their production are used to stuff disposable animal beds that are made by local crafters and donated to animal shelters.
“Because there is so much waste in the fashion industry... we wanted to make sure we’re focused on that,” she said.
A portion of every sale is donated to various nonprofit animal rescues across the United States to assist in the cost it takes for animal rescues to prepare animals for adoption (vet visits, vaccines, etc.)
According to Davis, Dog Threads will continue to run their business they way they have over the last five years; however, with the investment, they will continue to grow.
“Our two main focuses are scaling the business thoughtfully but quickly and securing more efficient manufacturing processes to bring down our costs,” she said. “The funding will allow us to manufacture at a higher volume to receive better pricing and create exclusive prints that you will only find at Dog Threads. We’re also looking at a few different licensing deals and trade shows that will allow us to expand our product offerings and reach. Get ready for new matching threads.”