Most people regard their pets as more than just pets. They are members of the family. With this in mind, and driven by her love for her dogs and entrepreneurial spirit, Karen Burnett launched her online pet boutique store for posh pets, called Kingsley & Gray.
It’s not unusual these days to see dogs visiting coffee shops and restaurants or going on holiday with their families … some even attend and are the ring bearers at their humans’ weddings! It stands to reason then, that these beloved fur-babies should have their own selection of accessories and wardrobes, right? After 25 years in advertising and marketing, Karen decided to follow her bliss and do something completely different.
Tell us about Kingsley and Gray and how and when it was born?
Kingsley & Gray started as a luxury boutique for stylish dogs but, after receiving requests from a number of customers, we added a range for posh kitties too. We design and create beautiful, exclusive pet accessories, all of which are sold online and at various stockists. We launched the ‘online boutique’ in June 2019 and have absolutely loved the journey it has taken us on thus far. It’s the most incredible feeling wrapping up our parcels each day for excited customers – and then we receive gorgeous photographs of their doggies or kitties wearing our products!
Are people spending more time (and money) on their pets these days?
I believe that people have always loved their pets, however we have seen a trend towards pets becoming a bigger focus in people’s lives and becoming more ‘involved’ with the family. I’m not sure whether people are having less children and more pets instead, or more hotels and restaurants becoming pet friendly, but people definitely go out – and on holiday – with the dogs more.
What is the biggest pet accessory trend you’re seeing at the moment?
Our biggest seller is the classic collar with matching bow tie. They can be worn every day at home or when going out. Our customers don’t just buy one collar and then that’s it … they want a different one for different occasions. We have also more dogs attending their humans’ weddings as the ring bearers. We don’t make doggie clothes, but the gorgeous collars with bow tie and matching lead and harness are smart enough to wear to a wedding. Another product that our customers are really loving at the moment, are our K&G Snuggle Pods. These are very luxurious pet beds in a range of fabrics that are truly ‘interior décor’ inspired.
Tell us about your pets?
I am currently the very proud mum of three beautiful fur-babies. I’ve raised five dogs in my lifetime and my favourite breed of dog is the Golden Cocker Spaniel (all five were Spaniels). My five fur-babies were named, in order of age, Honey, Stirling, Jenna Wade, Kingsley and Grayson Heath. I named our brand after the youngest two. Kingsley is almost six years old and our ‘baby’ of the pack is Grayson Heath, who is three. It would be remiss of me not to mention my special girl, Jenna Wade, who will be turning 17 in June and who is our oldest brand ambassador and dog model.
Details: Kingsley & Gray is available online: www.kingsleyandgray.com or at The Oyster Box Hotel Gift Shop or Collar & Comb Grooming Boutique in Ballito, [email protected] or follow them on FB @kingsleyandgray and IG @kingsley_and_gray
Text: Leah Shone