The Rad & The Wild feature today is all about Matthew Ivey and his Chicago small business, Haber.Dog.Dasher, preppy (and really handsome!) handcrafted dog collars. I actually met Matthew while selling myself and my sewing services at a store in Chicago. We met up at my favorite Chicago coffee shop one day to speak ideas on design, and then suddenly I was making his dog collars in my Chicago studio. He is now working with a fellow seamstress friend of mine that I’ve known since high school. Warms my hearttttt! I’m very excited to have him here and to share him with you. Haber.Dog.Dasher hosts a really fun dog collar shopping experience and what better, than to support a small business? Especially one that will help Matthew’s cute Boston Terrier, Winston. PS. This collar is awesome. – Alexz
BT// Hey Matthew! How’s it going?
MI// Not too shabby… It’s a sunny day in Chicago, IL. I have a lot to look forward to tomorrow and the next day.
BT// Tell us one to three sentences; it could be about yourself or three thoughts on your week.
MI// Thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of the BT Artist feature. We are so happy, to have the opportunity to reach out and connect with some of your followers. As you know it’s been quite a journey, I feel like just yesterday you and I were meeting at Dollop Coffee talking about dog collar prototypes and marketing ideas.
BT// What projects are you currently working on?
MI// We’re running our first national promotion through a partnership with Dogster this month. This is a milestone for HABER•DOG•DASHER, our sales have been mostly organic and through word of mouth. Additionally we’ve got some great collaboration conversations going on right now. Really excited for 2014.
BT// What can spark inspiration for you?
MI// Inspiration comes from a variety of places, even my mailbox. Truth be told, I have a small archive of Anthropologie catalogs, which I flip through for ideas. It’s sort of funny, because there are absolutely no products that are marketed to me. However the creatives over there do such a great job of communicating through pictures, font and lighting.
BT// If you could work with one person, who would it be?
MI// Probably Spuds MacKenzie, the fictional dog character created for Bud Light circa the late 1980s. The Bull Terrier had his own theme song and has pop cultural reference list which is pretty impressive. Actually, I recently learned that the dog that personified such a strong male persona was actually a female (named Honey Tree Evil Eye). I often dream about recreating the print ads with HABER•DOG•DASHER collars as sort of homage to the advertising of the day.
BT// Who have you worked with that you really, really dig?
MI// Jen Lee of Jen Lee Photography. We’ve developed a pretty good work system over the years, which have always proven pretty good results. I’ll grab a couple photos from magazines or the web; I’ll send them to her. We then scout some locations and shoot for about 10 hours at a time. She has such an amazing talent and technical understanding of lighting. I’ve got a few friends who are creatives for advertising firms, and they still think I was working with a production team. My advice to anyone doing photo shoot is to do as much homework and preparation as you can prior to the shoot.
BT// A playlist your current favorite songs.
MI// Coincidently, I’ve been working on just such a play list while I am enjoying an Old Fashion with friends, I’ll rename it Bird Trouble. Also, I always keep an on-gong playlist called “save the party”, just in case.
Common – They Say
Handsome Boy Modeling School – The Truth
Mr. Oizo – Jo
Pillowfight – Get Down
The Rapture – In The Grace of Your Love
Cut Copy – Take Me Over
The Sounds – Yeah Yeah Yeah
M83 – Claudia Lewis
Balamorhea – Winter
BT// Describe what you are wearing right now.
MI// Let’s start head to toe. I just got some tortoise shell round rimmed glasses that look like they were popular in 1920’s or something. Sporting my glen plaid scarf as I just took out Winston. A red flannel shirt under a wool 4 button sweater, pretty much the uniform for weekends during winter. Next a pair of jeans, wool socks and some L.L. Bean low-cut duck boots. To anyone moving to Chicago my advice is to splurge on the Thinsulate lining and buy a pair of duck boots. Trust me.
BT// What is your favorite vintage item, thrifted, or handy-down that you own?
MI// I have my grandparents grandfather clock… Every Christmas we used to spend the holiday at my grandparents house in Saginaw, MI. I am actually the only one of my cousins to have not grown up in Michigan. So in order to attend our family Christmas party we would just stay with my grandmother. Flash back to being 7 years old and waiting for Santa Clause. I would wake up at some crazy hour in the morning like 3am or 4am, giddy with anticipation. I wasn’t allowed downstairs until a much reasonable time. However being a prisoner in my room, the grandfather clock would chime. Not only on the hour but every 15 minutes, it was the audible equivalent of watching sand in an hourglass. When my grandparents passed, it was something that I really wanted because it reminded me of family and the holidays. My parents have been holding it for me and recently had a clock maker service and tune everything. While doing the work he uncovered a note from my grandmother to my grandfather “December, 25th 1966″, it was a Christmas gift.
BT// What does self-expression mean to you?
MI// Self-expression is how you wear your hair, say your vowels and/or display manors. People talk about living in a materialistic society like it’s a bad thing. We all make choices, everyday, which reflect who we are. There are so many opportunities for self-expression.
Find Haber.Dog.Dasher and connect to Matthew & Winston through the following places: