BOLLI was founded for dog lovers by dog lovers. We are passionate about these smart, loyal and beautiful animals. We also have a background in fashion design. So why not combine it?
Sidriti and I came up with the idea for Bolli while we were getting our first dog together. Being 28 and 38 respectively from Munich, Germany, we were old enough to handle the responsibility of pet ownership, right? Well…. Sort of.
While we might not have expected what would come next, we decided one day, after browsing the shelters online for hours on end, that we wanted a chocolate lab or a some kind of lab mix. Basically, we wanted a dog that is happy, and big enough to exercise with.
Then, on a sunny late summer day, a friend posted something from his vacations in Sicily. And there they were: a handful of the cutest puppies you can imagine right at the beach at the Kite camp. There were so many cute puppies, it was hard to pick, but we eventually spotted one.
It took two looonnnggg months of waiting to get him vaccinated and strong enough to separate him from his mother, but we finally had the chance to bring him home to Munich.
In our opinion, Munich is among the best dog cities in Europe. Everywhere you’ll find nice people with dogs, great green parks, and water close by. Even in the famous Bier gardens, dogs are basically allowed to by leash-less wherever they please.
Since Munich is such a fashionable city as well, dog owners are either dressed very posh and spend their entire walks trying not to get dirty, or they don’t care about their outfit at all and will gladly get all of the hair, drool, and dog dirt on them without a problem!
Personally, I prefer the second one. I’m all about having some fun quality time with my pooch. Sidriti, as a born fashion designer, is definitely more the first one, but of course still having a lot of fun while playing with our dog Bolli. We’re the perfect match for business partners: Fashion and Functionality. This led to the turning point and a new chapter for us and the reason that you’re reading this story in the first place.
Many dog owners and dog walkers we spoke with face the same problem/challenge: Being perfectly equipped for a nice walk, but still looking sharp in a fashionable city like Munich. We couldn’t believe how few clothes on the market offered such obvious pockets, holders, etc. We screened the global pet supply markets and found nothing that was both fashionable and functional for the modern dog owner.
So Sidriti grabbed a pencil and started drawing some ideas. What do you really need when you’re outside with the dog? All kind of things came into our minds: leash, treats, dog whistle, pouch bags, toys, ball launcher, and more. We couldn’t forget about our human stuff like a cell phone, keys, drinks, energy bars, sunglasses, wallet etc. Everything fell into place, and we created the first prototype. We had the jacket tested by other dog owners and even professional dog walkers to see what they thought. Some loved it, but we demanded critics and their fully open opinions so we got some negative comments. We (mostly Sidriti) went back to the drawing board and used their comments to make the jacket even better.
One huge advantage, besides her diploma as a fashion designer, is the fact that Sidriti was born into a textile production plant. Her father owns one of the greatest manufacturing companies in Albania/Europe, so it was relatively easy to have the first jackets manufactured.
Nevertheless, we wanted to do as much on our own as possible. I love doing new things and this was a new, exciting challenge and adventure. We also needed to partner with experts in this field to deliver a premium quality product that would last. When we delivered our first jackets, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Most people didn’t know that a product this fashionable could be this functional. That’s because we put fashion first, using Sidrit’s expertise in design and my experience carrying all of the dog treats and accessories, knowing where they should fit in her design. We especially focus on making everything environmentally friendly. Our jacket is PFC-free, which is unfortunately still very rare in today’s outdoor clothes market.
Now, we’re selling our jackets to people just like you that wish there was an easier, more fashionable way to walk their dog. Bolli is always running around of course, and he’s our source for endless inspiration.
Within one year, we went from having absolutely nothing to do with dogs to the market’s most innovative producer of dog owner clothes, globally. We’re lucky enough to proudly say that we already have customers from Alaska to New Zealand! Our customers are across the board, from ecologically concerned mothers and fathers, to everyday users like dog walkers, fully-equipped dog training schools, nature loving hikers, and many more. At the end of December, we received an email saying that a very sad woman just lost her dog but still wears the jacket. I wasn’t sure how to answer that but it makes us very happy.
We can only thank our little furry companion from Sicily that changed our destiny. We love what we do, each and every day. Business can be very demanding, but we have to put food in the dog bowl somehow! We’re always listening to our customers to see what we can improve and do better and strive to offer the best customer service.
Thank you for shopping with us and we hope to hear from you soon!
Bolli, Sidriti & Sebastian