,Not long ago we’ve added Allku to our list of makers. Allku’s boho dog accessories range includes collars, leads, beds and blankets all feature bright and colourful designs handmade by indigenous artisans from Ecuador. We talk to Gabriela Landazuri and Adrian Varga, co-founders of Allku Pets about how their small business is helping humans and pets alike.
Garbiela and Adrian, your beautiful bohemian collection of dog products is produced by artisan manufactures in Ecuador. How did you get inspired by the Ecuadorian culture and traditions?
Gabriela was born and raised in Ecuador. During our many trips back to visit her family and explore the country, we were always struck by how beautiful and somewhat under appreciated the local designs and textiles traditions were. While traveling through the country you encounter these vivid patterns everywhere. We thought how much fun it would be to provide an avenue for these indigenous artisans to get their work to a wider audience. We are both serious dog-lovers and the pairing of the two was an easy jump. Initially we started by taking existing patterns but as we grew, we began to develop new designs ourselves working closely with our artisans, all inspired by traditional Andean style.
You founded your business in 2015 and are based in New York city. What does your day-to-day look like?
Our day-to-day may be different from most other small business owners as we both hold full-time jobs. Allku uses social media, primarily Instagram, as our main marketing tool. Therefore much time is spent managing and growing our account. We manage the shipping of all of our products ourselves so we are regularly running orders to the post office to or from work. We try to set aside time each month to explore new product ideas or designs or simply to share inspiration with each other.
You commit to helping animals in need and donate a percentage of sales to Chicago based Anti-Cruelty Society. Can you tell us a bit about what they do?
Not only do we contribute to the Anti-Cruelty Society but we also regularly donate to New York City-based Mr. Bones and Co. The Anti-Cruelty Society is a remarkable shelter. It offers numerous services to animals and pet owners in the Chicago-land area. Ranging from comprehensive healthcare and discounted spaying/neutering to adoption and training services. Mr. Bones and Co. is a foster-based rescue organisation. This means they pull dogs from the pound or other rescues and place them in foster homes while advocating for their adoption. We have also contributed to animal welfare and rescue organisations in Ecuador and Austin, Texas
Can you tell us what’s next for Allku?
We are always looking for new inspiration, in design, products, and overall feel. Allku continually strives to make sure that each of our products gives back to the community in which they were made. That’s why we support an organisation that we feel works to provide a better quality of life for animals.
In addition, we are expanding our collection to include a greater number of human oriented products like rugs or ‘shareable’ products like matching alpaca sweaters. We plan to create a collection of products that pets and their owners can independently enjoy. Keep an eye out for new rugs, wall hangings, pillows, and sweaters.
And finally…a dog owner walks up to you asking for your advise on how to make their dog happy. You only have a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
It’s really important to keep your dog mentally stimulated so we highly recommend long daily walks, puzzles, Kongs and games! We like to play a game with Mozzarella. Then we’ll make her sit in another room while hiding treats all around the apartment. We then tell her to ‘find it’ and she has a blast running around sniffing out all of her treats. It’s really stimulating for her so it is great for winter.
Visit our dog shop for select items from Allku.
Nice to have you here