Mothers Day 2021: The gifting guide that gives back

Our 2021 Mother’s Day gifting guide is a one-stop shop for gifts that give back. That’s because all the items featured below donate some or all of their profits to Wild at Heart Foundation, allowing us to continue our international projects and reach more dogs in need, at a time when charities in particular are struggling.

So, without further ado let’s take a look at the brands whose commitment to giving back and belief in dog, sits at the heart of all they do.

1. Wild for Dogs pet-friendly candle – £18.50

£1 from every sale donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

Did you know that many scented candles use paraffin wax and phthalate-based fragrances that can be harmful to our dogs’ sensitive noses? Cue Wild for Dogs’ ‘Sniff Sniff’ candle – vegan and cruelty-free, hand-poured in England and in eco-friendly packaging, this candle is perfect for fans of Musk, Rose and Fir and perfect for both the mum and the dog in your life.

Shop now

2. Wild at Heart Foundation mug – £14 (or £50 for a set of 4)

100% of profits donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

Available in four styles, each designed by our incredible artist friends Simeon Farrar, these porcelain mugs fit snugly in your hand and are aptly sized for a proper cup of tea – the one that only your mum makes perfectly.

Shop now

3. Wild at Heart Foundation bouquet – from £75

25% donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

A stunning display of seasonal blooms, this bouquet is more than just a treat for the eyes – donating 25% of each sale back to Wild at Heart Foundation ensures it’s loveliness continues long after its final blooms have faded.

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4. Bird & Wolf ‘Wild at Heart’ jacket – £195

10% donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

The statement piece of the year packs heart as well as fashion, with 10% from their ‘Wild at Heart’ studded camo jacket going to support our dog rescue efforts. Stylish and compassionate – now that’s what we call a gift with heart!

Shop now

5. Wunderdog magazine subscription – £22 for the year

20% donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

Our friends at Wunderdog have been incredible supporters of the Foundation since day one – so much so that our very own Nikki Tibbles (and the GORGEOUS Peggy from Romania!) featured on their first ever front cover. Not only is this magazine a gorgeous, must-have staple for any coffee table, it also highlights the work of a whole host of individuals and organisations around the world who are working towards giving dogs (especially rescue dogs!) a better life.

Treat your mum (or yourself!) to an annual subscription of this beautiful creation and we guarantee you won’t be able to put it down!


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6. Wild at Heart Foundation collection – from £10

100% of profits donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

No dog-lovers gifting guide would be complete without our very own collection thrown in! From tote bags to our iconic sweaters and tees, these are a must-have for that June 21st countdown!

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7. Loquet London flower charms – from £175 

15% from each sale donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

A brand created by dog lovers, Loquet have supported the Foundation since it’s very beginning. Their most recent collection of charms – the Tulip, Rose and Iris – represent the core values of dog rescue; love, gratitude and hope. They also make for a truly special gift.

Shop now

8. BARC x WAHF collection

60% donated to Wild at Heart Foundation

Ok, so this one is slightly more for the dogs than the dog mamas out there. But having a stylish (and safe!) pup brings us joy too so it’s definitely a win-win.

The BARC x WAHF collection features harnesses, collars and leads all in our gorgeous colours – perfect for spring – either with or without our iconic ‘I believe in dog’ slogan. But they’re selling fast, so don’t delay!

Shop now

 

We hope we’ve inspired you to shop a little more compassionately and keep in mind the brands who champion kindness and generosity – brands to make Mum proud! From all of us at Wild at Heart Foundation, we’re wishing a huge Happy Mothers Day to all the dog mums out there.

If you’d like to collaborate with us in 2021 by donating a portion of your sales to our international dog rescue projects, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us an email to tell us a little more about who you are and what you do, and we’ll be in touch soon.

South Korea’s dog meat trade: Truths from the frontline

We were surprised to learn that 1 in every 4 South Korean households lives with a pet, many of whom are dogs. In fact, the country has undergone considerable change in recent decades, not just economically but culturally too: they’re becoming a nation of pet-lovers. Much like the UK, South Korea’s pet industry is booming with tailored food, high-priced photo shoots and fancy dress all on offer for those who want to pamper their pet.

While this wildly contradicts the horrors of the dog meat trade that we know exist, there is a reason that both sides of the spectrum are occurring simultaneously…

“Pet dogs” versus “Meat dogs”

Simply put, it’s a case of “pet dogs” versus “farmed dogs” and the distinction between the two is heartbreaking. While pets are considered part of the family, it’s widely thought that “meat dogs” or “farm dogs” lack feelings. Some even believe that these dogs don’t have souls.

In South Korea, the most common dog on meat farms is the Jindo. In fact, 3 of our 5 meat farm survivors who recently arrived in the UK were Jindos, known for their intelligence, loyalty and sleek white coats. You might also find Mastiffs, Tosas and Spaniels who, amongst others, are categorised as “meat dogs” unworthy of affection or love. In some parts of the country, vets even refuse to treat them.

In contrast, seeing a Maltese on a meat farm would almost certainly cause public outcry.

Here in the UK, as a nation of dog lovers, it seems unfathomable to pit one breed against. Sadly, this isn’t the only contributing factor to South Korea’s relentless demand for dog meat.

South Korea dog meat trade

Other contributing factors

Contributing factors range from inadequate (and rarely enforced) animal rights laws as well as persevering cultural beliefs surrounding supposed health benefits. The result of this long-integrated “right” to eat dogs means that it’s mostly older, male citizens who consume the meat in the form of “boshintang” – a soup believed to invigorate the blood and reduce lethargy – or “gaesoju”, a tonic sold in traditional medicine shops.

Is there any truth to these claims?

The most widely believed myths surrounding the consumption of dog meat include:

  • That it cures disease and aids recovery
  • It is healthier than other meats because it contains no antibiotics
  • Dog meat helps maintains body temperature
  • It’s especially good for pregnant women and new mothers
  • Dog meat makes you more manly

But there’s actually no scientific evidence to support any of these claims. In fact, dog meat actually poses huge health risks, such as Rabies.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised the very real threat of rabies passing to humans through the process of sourcing, slaughter and sale of dog meat. There is also the risk of numerous parasitic infections like E.Coli and Salmonella, as well as bacterial infections like hepatitis, anthrax and leptospirosis.

Despite these very real concerns, the belief that it is one’s “right” to consume dog meat is one that dates right back to South Korea’s beginnings.

dog meat trade

The origins

The consumption of dog meat is centuries-old and can be traced back to the country’s earliest beginnings thanks to historical evidence such as wall murals and literature. Throughout history (during war, for example) dogs have been a familiar food source and were even more plentiful than cattle, which were highly valued for labour, pulling carts or ploughing fields. As such, consuming dog meat was more about survival than choice.

The industry today

Today, such survival instincts are unnecessary. So, as South Korea has undergone significant growth and development, so too has its cultural attitudes, making way for younger generations who are abandoning the tradition.

According to HSI’s 2020 opinion poll, around 80% of those who responded say they don’t or won’t eat dog meat. Almost 60% support a legislative ban on the trade.

This is a positive step in the right direction and we’re proud to be supporting that change, but until every cage is empty, there’s still lot’s to be done.

The challenges

The ultimate goal is to end the dog meat trade once and for all. Thanks to the incredible work of charities like Humane Society International, Soi Dog Foundation and We ACT, that goal gets a little closer each year.

Here at Wild at Heart Foundation, we’d love to take a proactive approach to tackling South Korea’s long-integrated cultural beliefs. We’re firm believers in educating the next generation as a means of interrupting that cycle of misinformation and promote a kinder, more compassionate future for all. Sadly, it isn’t that straightforward…

Dog meat might be illegal in South Korea, but its consumption is not. Another grey area is that dogs are legislatively regarded as ‘livestock’ but not covered by the same welfare laws. Furthermore, its practices are widely absent from classrooms, which makes launching any kind of education programme virtually impossible.

Similarly, while sterilisation has helped alleviate stray dog populations all around the world, from South Africa and Thailand, to Puerto Rico and Bulgaria, the majority of dogs on these farms have been bred for purpose. As such, sterilisation would do little to stop the brutality.

Despite this, we’re determined to help – and so can you.

Donate to our South Korea Fund now

Or text SOUTHKOREA to 70085 to give £5

South Korea dog meat trade

WAHF x We ACT

We ACT is a non-profit organisation working out of Korea, where their small but mighty team are closing down dog meat farms. Run solely by volunteers, We ACT liberate dogs from such conditions. They then rehabilitate them through foster care and find them forever homes around the world.

To date, they’ve saved over 600 dogs from a far more gruesome fate.

We’re incredibly proud to be supporting We ACT and have already adopted 5 beautiful dogs right here in the UK. But that’s just the beginning. This week, we’re hosting a South Korea “takeover” where we’ll be speaking to the team on the frontline; raising awareness and funds; and sharing some happy endings too!

Head to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to join us.

Adopting a dog during Covid-19: What to expect

Whether you’re thinking of adopting or have already kickstarted the process, we’re delighted that you’ve chosen to adopt and we’re here to help you through the journey. However, there’s no escaping the fact that the global pandemic has complicated things for international rescue organisations all around the world.  

In this post, you’ll find helpful information on our updated adoption process and the suitability of our prospective adopters, as well as some handy advice and FAQs.  

BARC x WAHF: The new collection

BARC have been instrumental in helping us continue our global reach, supporting us at events and getting involved in competitions. They even donate a generous £1 from every single sale to our overseas projects, shelters and rescue missions.

But the best has always been yet to come! That’s because, back in 2020, we started talking about collaborating on our very own WAHF collection; one that would seamlessly blend our mission with BARC’s stunning designs and quality products. Thanks to some Covid-related delays, this project has been a year in the making so this moment really can’t come soon enough!

Introducing the BARC x WAHF collection…

dog in lead collar

The collection includes collars, leads and harnesses – everything you need for a safe and stylish walkies! – and features our joyful colour palette, iconic ‘I believe in dog’ slogan and BARC’s impeccable attention to detail.

With soft nylon webbing that is gentle on fur and quick-release buckles, as well as a fully adjustable fit, the collection has been designed with both safety and inclusivity in mind – after all, our dogs come in all shapes and sizes!

dog collars

Best of all, this collection generously donates 60% of profits to dogs in need around the world – so not only does it look good, but it does good too.

The BARC x WAHF collection launches at 6pm on Sunday 31st January. Head to BARC to shop!

We couldn’t be more grateful to the whole BARC team for choosing Wild at Heart Foundation as their official charity partner, and for sharing our belief in dog.  This collection is also just beginning– so watch this space for more exciting projects in the pipeline!

Don’t You Want Me Project: Who rescued who?

Here at Wild at Heart Foundation, we’re firm believers in the power of rescue dogs and the joy, hope and comfort they can bring to our everyday lives. Time and time again, we’ve borne happy witness to the utterly transformative role a rescue dog has played in the life of their adopter: dogs make a house a home; they teach us to love on a deeper level, and demonstrate true forgiveness and compassion; they save our lives in so many ways. Indeed, we so often find ourselves asking: “who rescued who?”

That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting the Don’t You Want Me Project. DYWM is a global photography project showcasing the beauty and resilience of LGBTQ people with their rescue dogs. Just like us, they believe that everyone – including the overlooked, underserved and marginalised – has a right to love and respect.

We’re especially excited about DYWM’s latest news, the introduction of the Don’t You Want Me Rescue Grant. The grant will provide one deserving recipient from the LGBTQ community with the opportunity to adopt a dog when they need it the most, providing ongoing support to allow them both to thrive. In an incredible demonstration of reciprocal love, the grant will allow a stray dog to find a safe and loving home here in the UK, whilst also giving a member of the LGBTQ community a source of strength and friendship.

After all, those in the LGBTQ community are more likely to suffer from poorer mental health; are at greater risk of hate crime; and have lower ratings of quality of life metrics. In fact, a staggering 46% of trans people and 31% of LGB people have considered suicide.

The grant also seeks to remove some of the traditional blockers LGBTQ people can face when considering adoption. Thanks to the support of a network of amazing sponsors – including WAHF friends Butternut Box and Waggel – this unique grant will provide vital support for one deserving recipient, and will transform the life of one equally deserving rescue dog.

While the Foundation champions compassion above all else, we also believe it’s more than just a buzz word; we want to play our part as a charity to support the marginalised and can’t wait to share more information about this powerful initiative over the coming months. In the meantime, you can donate to the Grant today.

Donate to the DYWM Rescue Grant

 

With thanks to Deb Klein and Jack Johnson for photos.

Meet Marvel: The Remarkable Rescue who needs your help

Back in September, we introduced you to two Remarkable Rescue pups who’d been found, just months old, with life-changing injuries. Marvel was one of those puppies; found by the side of a road in Greece, suffering from a shattered pelvis, it’s likely he’d been hit by a car and left to suffer.

It was the WAHF Fund for Remarkable Rescues that funded his initial surgery but now, not yet a year old, Marvel is asking for your help again.

Donate to Marvel’s surgery now

Marvel was found by passers by who took him to a nearby vet; sadly, this vet vastly underestimated the extent of Marvel’s injuries and claimed Marvel would walk again within 2 weeks.

As such, the passers by took the young pup to our partner shelter, Desperate Greekies, who knew immediately that Marvel – who by this point, had collapsed in pain – urgently needed a second opinion.

This time, Marvel’s injuries were properly diagnosed; a fractured pelvis that would need urgent, specialist attention. Thankfully, our Remarkable Rescue Fund was able to cover the £2,000 treatment at a specialist orthopaedic surgery in Athens.

Having recovered well from this initial surgery, he travelled to the UK in October, where our Adoptions team had found him the most wonderful forever home. Finally, Marvel’s happy ending looked set in stone.

But in a cruel twist of fate, Marvel’s old injuries have resurfaced leaving him in tremendous pain once again. Heartbreakingly, Marvel’s pain prevents him from living the life of so many puppies his age; he wants to play, he wants to say hello to everyone, but such excitement is just too risky.

Having suffered such severe injuries at such a young age, it’s likely this will impact Marvel for the rest of his life – unless he can undergo a total hip replacement which would, once healed, give him the best possible chance of a happy, healthy future.

But such surgery isn’t cheap; total hip replacements cost in the region of £10,000 and with Marvel unable to get through the day without strong pain relief, there’s no time to waste.

Donate to Marvel’s surgery now

Or you can donate by text, by choosing one of the following options:

Text MARVELFIVE to 70085 to give £5

Text MARVELTEN to 70085 to give £10

Text MARVELTWENTY to 70085 to give £20

Texts cost the amount chosen, plus your standard message rate. UK networks only.

The very fact that Marvel was abandoned when in such dire need of help, reminds us that attitudes towards dogs around the world differ so greatly to our own.

But while Marvel’s injuries might’ve been born from an attitude of indifference and callousness, we know our incredible community won’t let his story end that way – thank you.

 

You can keep track of Marvel’s progress by following us on Instagram, Facebook or by subscribing to our newsletter. We’re hopeful that good news won’t be far away for this gorgeous boy.

Christmas 2020: Tips for a happy, healthy festive season with your dog

After the year it’s been, we’re thoroughly looking forward to some festive cheer in the form of decorations, catching up with family and friends (both near and over Zoom!) and some delicious treats. But while it’s a wonderful time of the year for many, Christmas may cause sensory overload for your dog.

From unexpected visitors to over-zealous family members who aren’t familiar with your dog or their personality, and endless temptation in the form of food and decorations (shining, sparkling toys to many dogs!) there’s a lot for dogs to cope with – especially new arrivals for whom this might be their first Christmas.

We’ve put together some tips to help your dog cope with the festivities, whilst still being included in all the fun.

Food

We all like to indulge over the festive season but sadly there’s more than a few festive treats that can be dangerous to our canine companions…

  • Chocolate – An obvious one perhaps but at this time of year, chocolate takes many forms and so can be easily hidden or misplaced. Avoid putting chocolate on or under your tree, as the temptation might just get too much for your dog.
  • Mince pies and Christmas pudding – Currants, sultanas and raisins are all toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.
  • Vegetables – Ok, not ALL vegetables but those belonging to the Allium family (we’re talking onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives) can all cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Don’t despair though, there’s plenty of veggies your dog can enjoy below.
  • Alcohol – Another obvious one perhaps, but it’s always best to keep drinks out of reach – not just for our dog’s safety but to avoid those nasty spillages amongst all the excitement.

So, which leftovers can your dog enjoy? Providing your dog is healthy and not allergic to any of the following, there’s still plenty of goodies for them to enjoy…

  • Turkey (no skin or bones)
  • Lamb (no bones)
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Potatoes

If you prefer to avoid leftovers altogether, don’t forget that many dog food brands like Butternut Box and Tails create recipes especially for Christmas! Full of healthy, safe and delicious ingredients, these offer peace of mind and a Christmas dinner that is all your dog’s own.

Don’t forget to adjust your dog’s meal times accordingly, and that any treats should be given as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

christmas dogs

Preparation

The run-up to Christmas can bring lot’s of new experiences for your dog, particularly if this is their first Christmas in their new home. Some things to be aware of include…

  • Decorations – Baubles, string lights and other ornaments might not be toxic, but they can cause nasty internal obstructions if ingested or chewed. Keep a close eye on overly inquisitive or young dogs. 
  • Plants – Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly all carry risks, so it’s best to place them up high and keep a close eye on your furry friend.
  • Wrapping presents – Your dog might make a wonderful Santa’s Little Helper, but don’t let them run off with the string, cellotape or ribbon!
  • Choosing a tree – There’s nothing quite like a real tree but bear in mind that it can be confusing for a dog who is used to urinating against the trees outside!
  • Loud noises – Christmas might be a time to celebrate, but be mindful of loud bangs, such as popping bottles of Prosecco, party poppers and Christmas crackers. 

dogs at Christmas

Presents

Including our dogs in Christmas gifting has become big business in recent years, with 47% of us buying our pets presents. Some of us go as far as filling stockings for our beloved dogs (of course, the WAHF team wouldn’t know anything about that…) Here’s some things to consider, and some to avoid…

  • Choose your toys wisely! If your dog has a knack for tearing plushies apart to reach the squeaker, consider getting them something tougher that will last longer and pose less risk. Similarly, choose large toys for large dogs to avoid any risk of choking or swallowing.
  • Many pet stores capitalize on rawhide at this time of the year, especially when dyed a festive red or green. While they may look fun and festive, it poses many risks: choking, contamination, digestive irritation and blockages in the esophagus to name just a few.
  • Puzzle toys are a great way to provide mental stimulation, with countless designs to choose from, but be sure to choose one that suits your dog – too difficult and they’ll either ignore or destroy it!
  • Our Ethical Gifting Guide has a whole section dedicated to pressies for your dog. From subscription boxes to dog jackets, these gifts have been tested for safety, fun and deliciousness!
  • Supervision is key, no matter what gifts you’re bestowing upon your canine companions

christmas dog

Visitors

With Covid-19 restrictions in place, many of our Christmases might feel quieter than we’re used to – but it can still feel overwhelming for our dogs. Here’s just a few tips that will help your dog cope with the extra attention…

  • Routine – Having a routine is a comfort to many dogs so try to stick to the feeding and mealtimes that your dog has come to expect.
  • Distractions – Having a good supply of long-lasting treats (like a chew or a stuffed Kong) will keep your pup well occupied while you get on with the hosting
  • Plan ahead – Especially if you have children visiting who aren’t used to being around dogs (or vice versa). Make sure they understand how to behave, for example, not startling a dog who is sleeping or eating.
  • Offer a safe space – This could be a crate or their bed, perhaps in a room away from all the excitement so they have access to peace and quiet should they need. They’ll no doubt return once they’ve caught up on some zzz’s!
  • Slow and steady – Always let your dog meet your visitors on their own terms at a pace that feels comfortable to them.
  • Travel – If you’re spending Christmas away from home, take some things that smell familiar (their bed, for example) and some of their favourite treats.

 

We hope our tips have been helpful – if you have any specific questions or would like to share some tips of your own, get in touch at [email protected] or by sending us a message via Instagram or Facebook.

From all of us here at Wild at Heart Foundation, we wish you and your dogs a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Give the gift of hope this Christmas with our 2020 Ethical Gifting Guide

Our 2020 ethical gifting guide is a one-stop shop for gifts with a heart of gold. That’s because all of the items featured in our guide donate some or all of their profits to Wild at Heart Foundation, allowing us to continue our international project work and reach more dogs in need this winter.

Whether it’s an extra-special present for under the tree or a stocking filler that you’re after, please consider supporting a brand whose commitment to giving back, and belief in all things dog, sits at the heart of what they do.

Autumn Survival Tips: Embrace the new season with your dog

Autumn is one of our favourite seasons here at WAHF; the colours, the crackling fire and any excuse to cuddle our dogs under a cosy blanket! But this time of year also brings a whole host of challenges – not only do walkies get a whole lot muddier, but holidays Guy Fawkes and Halloween can prove pretty scary for your dog, especially new arrivals! So we’ve put together some survival tips for the season ahead…

Halloween

What is a fun evening full of costumes and candy for us, can be unsettling for our dogs. Not only are there unfamiliar costumes but there’s strange people knocking at the door, so try these tips for a less spooky All Hallow’s Eve.

  • Walk your dog before it gets dark and the trick-or-treaters descend
  • Keep human treats and candy well out of reach
  • Provide a safe, quiet space for your dog to escape to, especially if they’re fearful of strangers knocking at the door
  • As cute as it might be, never force your dog to wear a costume or receive unwanted attention from someone in a costume
  • With more people out and about than usual, never leave your dog in the garden unattended. Not only could the unusual goings on be distressing, but it makes them an easy target for dog theft.

Flea treatment

It’s likely that treating fleas is already a part of your dog’s healthcare routine. But did you know that Autumn is primetime for dormant eggs to ‘wake up’ in the warmth of our central heating? Yes, it’s gross but it also makes now the perfect time to treat your home and soft furnishings – as well as your pets!

Fireworks

November 5th can be one of the trickiest nights of the year for dog-lovers around the world, especially if you have firework-loving neighbours nearby. With their loud bangs and high-pitched squeals, fireworks aren’t something your dog can easily be familiarised with, which explains why 45% of dogs show some kind of fear or distress come fireworks night

Where possible, do try to introduce your dog to loud noises and high-pitched sounds early on. We don’t suggest regularly hosting firework displays throughout the year but a specifically-designed desensitisation CD can be played either when your dog is still young, or in the weeks leading up to fireworks season. Just be sure to take it slow, and stop at any point your dog shows signs of distress.

On the night itself, try the following tips to keep your companion calm and settled.

  • Walk your dog well before dark to avoid getting caught outside when the firework displays start
  • Mask the noise by playing music or keeping the TV turned up
  • Keep windows, doors, dog and cat-flaps closed. You can mask the flashes of light by closing your curtains too.
  • Create a safe space for your dog. Include a chew to distract them and line their space with blankets and cushions to mask the noise.
  • Follow your dog’s lead – they might seek comfort from you but they also might hide themselves away. Both are completely natural ways of coping.
  • Never take your dog to a fireworks display
  • Avoid leaving your dog at home alone; even a dog who seems confident with noise can become fearful when left alone

Hidden hazards

Antifreeze, unlit bonfires and Halloween candy are all hazards that come with the changing of seasons, but some hazards are hidden. For example, did you know that conkers and acorns are toxic to dogs? So too is the blue-green algae that forms on the surface of lakes and ponds, particularly dangerous for the avid-swimmers amongst us.

 

We hope our tips give you the confidence to embrace Autumn with your furry companions by your side. Please do get in touch if you have any suggestions of your own – after all, sharing is what this community is all about!

Charlotte Jade x WAHF: Bring a little heart into your home

One look at luxury interiors brand, Charlotte Jade, and you’ll feel instantly more connected to nature. That’s because their designs celebrate all that is so wonderful about the natural world, from interesting shapes and colours to favourite plants and animals, all with an edgy, vibrant approach to interior design.

And now the team have created Wild at Heart Foundation our very own print, ‘Cutsie Canines’, inspired by the love and positivity that go hand in hand with canine companionship. We wanted to know more about the Charlotte Jade design process, and who else to ask than Charlotte herself!

Tell us more about how Charlotte Jade began.

Drawing has always been my ‘thing’, even as a child I would visit the zoo then run home to draw all the exoitic animals I had just seen. I loved drawing the natural world around me and remained passionate about drawing all through school, going on to study BA Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. My final project was based on making hand drawn digital patterns for interiors – I included patterns based on feathers and butterflies, which also now feature in the Charlotte Jade collection, so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

After graduating, I worked as a freelance illustrator designing for such clients as Topshop, Boots and Universal Records. I took all this experience and launched Charlotte Jade in 2017. Since then, I’ve worked with the likes of Kelly Hoppen, Rockwell Group, Slug & Lettuce, London Zoo and Royal Horticultural Society.

Have you always been a dog lover? What sparked your love for dogs?

Yes I’ve always loved dogs! We had THE biggest Newfoundland called Barney when I was growing up, who inspired many of my drawings. My favourite thing was to draw cartoon Newfoundlands with scarves and hats on – I liked to add some personality and style even then!

 

Do you have dogs yourself?

I now have two giant Leonburgers (clearly my family love big dogs) who are absolutely gorgeous, Lara and Elsa. They are the cutest pair with such charming personalities – I had to get Elsa in the WAHF design as her little face is so mischievous, and brings so much charm to the design.

Your designs celebrate the beauty of the nature world – what is it about animals and wildlife that inspires you?

For me, bringing the beauty of nature into our homes is the perfect way to keep us connected to the natural world, the animals and wildlife. Biophilic design is proven to reconnect us by bringing elements of nature back into our lives, which reduces streets, aids mental wellbeing and improves productivity. I love to observe the natural world around me, capturing the fine details, drawing animals, flowers and foliage, focusing on the natural textures of my subjects. I am now lucky enough to be able to produce these nature-inspired designs into wallpaper, textiles, cushions, ceramic tiles and many other interiors.

 

What was it about the WAHF dogs that you feature in your design that sparked your imagination?

I loved Saffron and his little bow tie! I mentioned earlier that when I was younger, I would add a scarf or hat for some personality, but with Saffron this was real – he looked very dapper in his colourful bow tie, so I knew he’d be a brilliant addition to the design. With Joker, well just look at his face! He’s so cute but to be honest, your success stories are all so incredible it was difficult to choose!

WAHF is such a fantastic charity and what you have achieved for the welfare of dogs around the world is inspirational. It really is an honour to be working with you on this bespoke design!

 

Can you give us an insight into the creative process that leads ultimately to such striking and exciting designs?

My design style is detailed, realistic and textured, and it starts with a pencil drawing. Every design is handcrafted in pencil initially, to capture the intricate details and beauty of the subject. These drawings are then brought to life with modern, digital colouring and printing techniques, which adds the vibrancy. 

The best bit is taking these initial detailed drawings to the computer and begin experimenting with composition, applying colour and building the final design. The possibilities are endless with digital design and it’s amazing to see it all come together after weeks of research and design work. Seeing my pencil drawings come to life on screen never gets old and it’s this combination of traditional and modern technology that creates the intricate, vibrant signature style of Charlotte Jade.

What would your advice be for any young artists looking to build a business around their talent?

I listened to an amazing podcast by Karen Brady a while ago, where she interviewed Jo Malone and Jo shared a piece of advice that really resonated with me: “Never quite on a bad day”. There are times when you feel like giving up but pushing through those times and staying positive is the key to success. To new designers, I would say always believe in yourself and to never give up on your dreams, that’s what my parents have told me ever since I started working for myself. Believe in your work and believe in your brand and you will succeed.

 

And, most importantly, where can people find the WAHF x Charlotte Jade design?

You can purchase this exclusive design on wallpaper, cushions or art prints, either from Wild at Heart Foundation’s very own shop or directly from Charlotte Jade – 15% of every sale will be donated to Wild at Heart Foundation!

A huge thank you to Charlotte for sharing more about her and her work, and for creating this truly magnificent design! We’re so honoured that, even in times of difficulty, such incredible brands are choosing to give back to dogs less fortunate.

To keep up to date with the latest Foundation news and more collaborations like these, sign up to our newsletter.

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