For The Love of Dog.

 

The inspiration behind creating Hugo & Otto came from our love of dogs and a meander in the Cotswold hills with clients, their 2 stunning Pointers and Drum our gorgeous Choccie Labrador way back in 2008.

The conversation soon turned from fabric window treatments and accent colours to how difficult it was to source good quality dog beds that would stand the test of time and more than a few machine washes.

All of us who share our lives with dogs understand this, whether your home is an Uber City pad, Country Cottage or next to the beach, returning home in the car and coming through your door is always a challenge to minimise wet steamy dogs. At the Cottage we had cleverly appointed their boot room with a floor level dog shower, sounds over the top but if you have plenty of space they are great for muddy dogs, wellies and to let soggy coats dry off on pegs. I agreed to work with our upholsterers to make a comfortable bed each with removable washable covers, a couple of spare covers and memory foam mattresses, they worked and they had 2 very happy dogs, the seed was sewn.

It took a while (several years) to pull together savings, business plans, branding, stock, finding the right retail space and fitting out and opened the doors to the Hugo & Otto's beautiful high street boutique for dogs in Cheshire in 2014. A little fellow called Finnbar MacBrigadoon had joined our family 8 months before, a beautiful miniature wirehaired dachshund, my Scottish boy became my constant and my muse for all things Hugo & Otto.

Dachshund coats and jumpers are a thing because, they simply they are known as low riders and their coats get stripped of their condition through mud and grit. They are particular to what type of dog beds they will sleep in, they love dark, cosy, layers, faux fur pocket beds are the ultimate favourite favoured by all hounds and a low donut dog bed. I often sat on a chair and would get a squeak to find him behind the cushions. Dachshund beds, coats and jumpers became a must have and a note to self, always check underneath a cushion or sofa throw before sitting down! And so I had to ensure that Dachshund coats were stocked in abundance, the best I have found are simply made by Equafleece easy to wash and quick to dry and pop on when in a hurry to go out in search of the ever illusive furball in a bush. 

We introducing globally renowned multi-award winning dog beds and dog products from Germany including the Red Dot for Best Product design for the Letto Day Bed, hand turned leather collars and leads and bespoke leather dog jackets from New York and California.

All the way through the journey of creating Hugo & Otto from opening the doors to standing in muddy fields in our branded gazebo's or at Excel, Olympia next to me was Finnbar MacBrigadoon. He was so small I could sweep him up in my arms and into dog carriers, he was my wing dog and slept in many an Air BnB's and he was head of meet, greet and sniff in our high street boutique, snoozing in the window waiting for the next customer. 

The inaugural launch of our first collections of British Made luxury dog beds was at Daylesford Organic Farm in the Cotswolds, appropriately right back to where the seed was sewn some 10 years earlier.

I create and design our dog bed products, source the fabrics and, together with Richard's expertise in the studio we make our samples, try and test them with the Studio's 2 labradors Otis and Luca and our happy tribe at home. We bring to you over 38 years of combined specialist British dog bed manufacturing and design.

We joined Joules on their Friends of Joules platform and the wonderful Alexandra from Chelsea Dogs.

We were accredited by and, became members of Made in Britain® in May 2020. Robert Lea, the respected Industrial Editor of The Times travelled to the Studio's to interview us post lockdown. And, we launched a new dog bedding brand Dog Company to offer a varied collection of dog bedding from essentials and waterproof travel beds to wowsy mix and match luxury dog beds.

We are constantly designing new dog beds with the introduction of dog crate sets in 2020. I had never before crated a puppy or adult dog and so big research ensued as we were expecting Ottilie Lettuce to arrive as soon as we were given the all clear to travel by Boris. She was born in lock down and I was advised by her breeder to buy a dog crate as all her puppies had to be crated in pairs as lock down was extended. The breeder had 11 puppies born 3 weeks apart to her 2 dachshund girls and come 7 weeks of age they start to run to every corner and hide in bushes. I got it, talked with as many suppliers as I could and launched our first dog crate collections and then got to work on dressing them in our own designs and styling. 

We are designers first our British Made dog bed products offer quality to last, outstanding comfort & affordability without compromise and for that VaVaWoof styling we style it in oodles of bundles.  

Thank you for reading our little journey,

Caroline 

  

In memorandum of a wee fellow.

I lost Finnbar MacBrigadoon to his rainbow bridge on a freezing cold lockdown January day in 2021, it was a huge shock, every day I know he still plods alongside me. We are now a family of 2 humans Caroline and my son Nathaniel, Hunter, a gorgeous Labrador, (we call him Big Yellow Dog) & our little Ottilie Lettuce and her 5 puppies, their names...

   Hugo Finnbar,  Otto Finnbar,  Harris Finnbar,  Lettuce,  Beatrix Strettonstar   

Caroline Bate is qualified in interior design and decoration

Alumni:  KLC School Of Design  2004/5 Chelsea, London. Certificate in Design & Decoration, Distinction. 

Fellow of the RSA

Accredited Member of Made in Britain®

  

www.hugoandotto.com

Updated 01 August 2022 Copyright & All rights reserved 

"The faux fur was one of the deciding factors with my purchase. The previous donut bed we had was made from a fleece material so I knew they favoured the softness of that material for snoozing. The fur is really a huge step up in luxury for them. I honestly can’t get over how much they’ve taken to it. I’d estimate that Archie’s spent around 80% of his time in the new bed since it arrived. I’m already thinking of which of the old beds to replace next 🤣"

Gareth L, Caerphilly

"Ada loves her dog crate & set she will not use her old day bed at all. Great write up in the Times by the way, love the commitment to make quality products in the UK and use local skills. Keep up the good work!"

Darren J, Bath