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How Swanky Paws Was Started

Gucci the French Bulldog wearing a dog bow tie
Gucci the French Bulldog

Making dogs look good is a huge priority for us at Swanky Paws. However, the meaning of fashion for us is not what you would think. The story of how Swanky Paws was actually born is a desperate situation turned good because of the love for dogs. But, it almost broke us… It’s sad but don’t worry, it has a great ending!

One night a few years ago, I heard a strange sound while having a shower. When getting out to investigate, I realised it was a horrible screeching sound. That terrible sound was actually coming from our little French Bulldog (Gucci).

Gucci completely lost control of her back legs and was laying on her belly with a terrible look of pain on her face. I quickly got changed and rushed her to the vet.. Turns out, she has IVDD which is a serious spinal condition. In a matter of minutes, our dog became handicap, she couldn’t walk or move around on her own.

French bulldog "Gucci" was not able to walk with IVDD
Gucci could not walk and was paralyzed from the waist down

She was used to being left at home alone during the day which wasn’t an option anymore, someone needed to care for her. Gucci required full time care or we would need to say goodbye… It dawned on us. At least one person would need to work from home to care for her and enable a decent quality of life.

Fawn french bulldog "Gucci" at the vet diagnosed with IVDD

An entire weekend was dedicated to figuring out our options. Can we work from home, how to work from home, how to care for Gucci whilst also providing an income to pay the bills. Many ideas bounced around. During this weekend of head scratching, there was a single idea that stood out from the rest. A true lightbulb moment!

Unbelievably, of all things, it was an Instagram message. social media came to our rescue to reveal to best plan! The message was from a fur-friend that followed our dogs account on Instagram and asked. “Where did you buy the blingy dog bows from?” 

Fawn french bulldog wearing a swarovski crystal bow and collar from Swanky Paws
Gucci wearing the original Swarovski dog collar & sailor bow

The blingy bows they were asking about, was our signature Swarovski bling accessories. Basically bows and leather collars but completely covered in world class crystals, all hand placed.

We had been experimenting with the “doggy bling” for 2 years at this point, with no intentions of selling them. Only making them for our personal pups and a few fur-friends who shared a love for everything “extra” on dogs.

After giving the idea of selling the bling dog accessories some thought, the penny dropped! This might work!

It was our best shot to take care of little Gucci working from home and I decided to quit my job and begin full time work, selling Swarovski dog accessories.

Much to our surprise, the more we got the doggy bling out there, the bigger we grew. Thankfully we were selling enough bling to sustain working from home whilst also providing 24/7 care for Gucci during her rehabilitation period on lots of drugs.

After 3months of vet trips, drugs, crate rest and rehab, Gucci learned to walk again. She regained control of her back legs and even reclaimed her title of “cheeky monster” in the house. It would be impossible to describe the joy we experienced when the vet finally gave us the all clear to let her resume a semi normal life again.

After all that pain and uncertainty, we had made it through. For us, dog fashion is our only way to ensure little Gucci lives a long, healthy and happy life.

Hopefully now you can see why dog fashion is more than just a quest to make people smile and too see pups looking great for us.

It’s more like a way of life. We get to live and breathe the happiness everyone experiences seeing their hairy fur-riends look their best, while also knowing their support is going to allow us to continue our mission for our Gucci.

The vet did say a relapse is eventually going to happen… But thanks to dog fashion lovers like you, if/when it happens next, we will be ready and by her side the whole way through!


Paws Up For Your Sup-Pawt 

Swanky Paws Team

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