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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Michelle O'Hollaren

The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight Feature is Michelle O'Hollaren of Sophisticated Pup, Fine Pet Products!

Sophisticated Pup, Fine Pet Products

We caught up with Michelle and asked her a few questions about her truly sophisticated (indeed!) line of pet products, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:

Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. 
Launched in January 2006, Sophisticated Pup is a boutique designer of pet apparel, collars, leashes, dog beds and accessories. All of my products are designed and produced in Chicago, IL. The product line was born out of a love for a little pug, Penny, who suffers from Canine Liver Disease. Penny's well-being is at the heart of Sophisticated Pup. Sophisticated Pup also is active in supporting animal rescue groups within the Chicago and midwestern region.

With my product line, I release seasonal collections, much like how a clothing store for people would. I create a line of coats or dresses and release them for that for the particular season. Once that product line has sold out, it is discontinued. I spend a lot of time researching for my new product lines and even more time sourcing my fabrics. I love the fact that I am creating a quality line of products for pets that are all handmade in the USA.

What is your favorite product from your shoppe and why? 
While I create many products for pets, I have a soft spot for my dog dresses. There truly is nothing cuter than a dog in a tutu, and Penny in a tutu is no exception! I really love the damask tutu dress that I created for display for the GBK MTV Movie Awards Celebrity Gifting Suite earlier this year.

When you're not handcrafting designer boutique pet accessories, what are your hobbies? 
When I am not designing products for my shop, I am often quite busy promoting them! I attend many pet industry trade shows as well as art fairs and street festivals promoting my product line. I try to get involved in various events in collaboration with animal rescue groups in the city. Whether it is physically being present at the events, or donating products for silent auctions for the animals in need. I take advantage of any opportunity for pet fashion shows of which we have had several this year. 

Besides focusing on the promotion of my product line, I love spending time with my husband, Ryan and my dog, Penny! We love trying out new restaurants, traveling and enjoying everything that our home city of Chicago has to offer.

What do you like best about The Artisan Group? 
Being part of The Artisan Group has been an amazing opportunity for me. The collaboration with other artists and designers is really wonderful. It is a very inspiring and motivating group that supports and builds off of each other. The opportunities that I have had as a result of my affiliation with The Artisan Group has been phenomenal as well. I was able to have my products on display at the  GBK MTV Movie Awards Celebrity Gifting Suite, and also have been able to gift my products to celebrities Tori Spelling, Bethenny Frankel and Amy Poehler through The Artisan Group.

What was most gratifying was when I received a hand-written note from Bethenny Frankel thanking me for the products that I sent for her pup, Cookie. 

I have grown as a designer and my product line has grown in the time that I have been affiliated with TAG, more than any of the years in business prior to my membership. I have been featured in several major newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune Red Eye and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well had many television appearances on major broadcasting networks including NBC, WGN, WCIU-TV, FOX, KTVK, and Pet Fashion TV, here in Chicago and also in Indianapolis, IN, Phoenix, AZ and Toronto, ON. All of these features were a result of exposure due to my products including in TAG opportunities.

I am very grateful to be part of The Artisan Group and look forward to more amazing opportunities through the group in the future.

Michelle recently participated as a display participant in a luxury celebrity gift lounge on June 1-2, 2012 at L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of the The 2012 MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters.


Dee Crowe said...

Great background and story!

Paradiso said...

Congratulations Michelle!

Catcophony said...

Fabulous feature! Congratulations, Michelle!

jolio design said...

congrats on such a beautiful feature! your products are in a class of there own. love watching you blow up. you deserve it all. xo

Simply Paperie said...

Great feature Michelle! Your work is lovely!

Our Little Messes said...

Congrats on the feature! It's great to hear more about your successful business.

Penny said...

Thanks everyone! I so appreciate it! Love being part of TAG!

Joy Light said...

Fantastic feature Michelle, I love your story!
Has anyone ever told you that you look like Gwyneth Paltrow?

Cheers, Joy

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