Introducing Growlmama (aka Caroline Denyer) whose online persona and passions are a world away from her corporate background. Nearly 10 years ago Caroline made the move from Sydney to the UK. After working as a lobbyist in London, Caroline broke free of the corporate world and started Growlmama which is described as a space for design-loving dog parents to find & share the things they love doggy-style (while her plans to launch a range of stylish and functional accessories for design-loving dogs and their parents take their time) .
Not only does Growlmama speak French but she also speaks dog and in November 2016, Growlees (witty collar charms) was launched. We hope they make you laugh out loud – just like we did when we first discovered them! Conceived as a way of helping mutts to speak their mind the Growlees range has the perfect collar charm for every mood.
So we thought the best place to start was with Growlees muse, Frida who entered your life 3 years ago. Can you tell us a bit about her?
Frida is a happy accident between her French Bulldog mum and Brussels Griffon dad. Monobrowed, creative and a little bit mad she’s named for Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. She’s the love of my life and Growlees’ muse. Every statement Growlees collar charm has been inspired by her personality and the idiosyncrasies of her doggy pals.
One of the amazing things of living in London is the proximity to Europe and ability to go away for mini breaks. Do you have any tips for travelling with pooches?
I’d planned to trip around Europe when I first got Frida. Unlike the rest of us she even has an EU pet passport. Unfortunately however start-up life has put a cap on our travels and the farthest she’s been is Dorset by train! For train trips I’d say avoid peak hour, take water, treats/bribes and someone else to carry your bags. Hefting your pup up those escalators with a mountain of bags can be tricky!
Growlees are made in England and come delightfully packaged with illustrations by French artist Walter Glassof. How important is it that Growlees are made in Great Britain and how did your collaboration with Walter come about?
I wanted to make Growlees somewhere closeby and somewhere were I could guarantee a high quality product. Most importantly I wanted a factory who really wanted to work with and support a new small business. My experience working on my premium brand Growlmama has shown me how hard it is to find factories who’ll work with new players. Luckily I hit the jackpot and found an amazing group of people not faraway in South London.
Regarding our packaging, that was another windfall. I spend my days scouring instagram for amazing doggy art, design and products for my instagram @Growlmama (and to sate my own obsession for the three). I came across Walter by accident and fell in love with his illustrations. I had no idea who he was so I sent him a cheeky email asking if he’d work with us and the rest is history.
I later discovered Walter spent years in the advertising industry and has now decided to pursue his first love – drawing, so I was so lucky to get him at the right time! I mean, he has worked on brands as big as Isabel Marant (and at the time I didn’t even have a product to show him) so for him to draw for us was a complete windfall. Thank you Walter!
Can you please tell us a bit about your latest venture with Walter?
We are so excited to say that we have a fab new collab with Walter launching soon. A fun range of t-shirts for humans inspired by Growlees’ collar charms and Walter’s dogs. Watch this space for GrowleesXWalterGlassof!
So after 6 months of mutts and their owners adoring collars with Growlees can you share the most popular tags so far?
It’s hard to say as we’re launching new statements all the time and, as we intended, they truly depend on your pup’s personality. That said “Lover Not a Biter”, “Cute but psycho. But cute.”, “Prozac with Fur” and “Sorry Not Sorry” have been hands down favourites.
Only a few weeks ago we launched a Custom Growlee service so we are loving seeing our customer’s bespoke designs and these might even become some future favourites.
Who are the humans behind Growlmama and Growlees?
That’s my pup Frida and moi!
How do you find quality content to share with your audience?
I am design, fashion and dog-obsessed so I subscribe to so many newsletters and blogs around these themes. I also spend far too much time on Instagram, Pinterest and Google! I have no idea if my content is quality but it is guaranteed to be only the stuff I love - I’m asked a lot to promote products but I can’t bring myself to promote something I don’t like. Note to self: be more commercial.