Kristin Moses is the founder and creative director of DesignGood, a platform that connects and inspires creatives to do more work with purpose while allowing them to share stories and promote social change. Recently, Kristin founded Boots & Arrow, a line of one-of-a-kind leather collars and accessories made from reclaimed cowboy boots. Kristin is an avid animal lover and active in the rescue and adoption scene in Texas. Today, we’re getting to know the three beautiful rescue dogs who share their lives with this talented creative: Arrow, Gracie, and Della.
Names? I have three girls, all rescues – Arrow, Gracie and Della.
Nicknames? Arrow: Ro Ro, A-Ro. Gracie: Gracie Bear. Della: Della Rue.
Ages? Arrow: 2-ish. Gracie: 5-ish. Della: 14-ish.
Breeds? Gracie is a black Brindle Neapolitan Mastiff, adopted from Big Dogs Huge Paws; Della is a Rottweiler Pit Bull mix, who I handpicked from a litter of abandoned puppies available for adoption at my vet; Arrow is a mutt with a crooked face who I adopted from Adore Houston. She’s also the namesake and inspiration behind our line of leather goods and dog accessories – more on that below!
What’s “The Scoop”? Arrow: I’ve been rescuing, fostering and adopting dogs my whole life. Perhaps needless to say, I love animals and have a soft spot for big dogs and for underdogs. That’s part of what brought me to Arrow, who I’ve had for a little over a year. My dear friend, Angela, who’s also a client of our design studio, both founded and now runs a rescue group in Houston, Texas called Adore Houston. When Arrow came to a shelter with a serious head injury, Adore took her in and began sharing the story of her surgery and recovery on the Adore Facebook page. I began to follow Arrow’s story and I knew I had to adopt her. The rest is really history.
Not long after I adopted Arrow, I began to feel inspired to start a line of leather goods and accessories that would benefit rescue pups in need. As the founder of a socially-focused design and branding agency (DesignGood Studio) and online community (DesignGood), I knew I wanted to add a product line that incorporated my love of creativity, social good and rescue dogs, and Arrow quickly became the inspiration behind this new sister brand, which we named Boots & Arrow. We officially launched in November, and sell one-of-a-kind dog collars and leather goods made from the leather of reclaimed cowboy boots. We’re proud of the fact that $5 from every collar and leash purchase helps other injured rescue dogs like Arrow get the surgery or treatment they need to get well and get adopted.
Gracie: I’ve fostered and adopted mastiffs for years. They are definitely one of my favorite breeds. Sometimes, I even let the foster pups go to new homes! That wasn’t the case for Gracie, who is my beautiful, sweet angel who filled a huge hole in my heart when I lost my mastiff, Duchess, almost a year ago. She was the love of my life. Gracie is a black brindle Neo Mastiff I recently foster failed from Big Dogs Huge Paws. That’s another reason why we created a size in our line of collars specifically for large breed pups. I’ve found throughout the years that there aren’t a lot of options for large and giant breed dogs in the collar world.
Della: Della has been with me for almost 15 years in everything I’ve been through – new homes, new cities, new companies, and new dogs! She is my doggie rock. I had a rescue Rottweiler named Nelson and a Brindle Pit Bull mix named Seven. We were at the vet and it just so happened that on that particular day they had a mother Rottweiler dumped on their doorstop who’d just had a litter of puppies that were half Rottweiler, and half Brindle Pit Bull. Of course I have a soft spot for these breeds so again, I came home with Della and the rest is history.
Favorite Toys? When you have three dogs and an occasional foster all between 50-150 pounds, toys aren’t at the top of the shopping list. Instead, my dogs mostly entertain themselves by terrorizing each other! Still, in order to feel like a good dog mom, I recently subscribed to the extra large, extra durable BarkBox – another brand we love. It usually lasts all of a day and a half before the three of them eat and destroy everything – but it’s definitely their favorite day and a half of the month!
Favorite Food? All three of my girls are bottomless pits so we have to be careful about the food and treats we give them, especially since they’re large breeds. BarkBox is the most exciting thing that comes each month. I’ve been a vegetarian or pescatarian for 20 years, so needless to say my dogs don’t eat a lot of ‘real’ meat. On the occasions that I have a guest over or cook meat for someone else, they look forward to getting a taste of the real deal. Of course, they love it!
Favorite place to sleep? My dogs like to sleep wherever I am, so I typically have a full herd of animals following me from room to room. The DesignGood and Boots & Arrow studio is actually built onto my home, so there is an excessive amount of dog beds scattered throughout our home and my studio. The girls have places to plop everywhere, though I do find them on the couch occasionally. They sleep in my room at night and are a total posse of momma’s girls. We are literally together constantly, which means that I have a built-in set of dog models and product testers for Boots & Arrow. They love our collars!
Pet Peeves? Being told they can’t get on the couch! Although I find doggy footprints on the couch all the time when I get back from running errands, so they find their way.
Best Trick? I wish! No tricks here, unfortunately, although we do think it’s pretty cute when Arrow’s lip gets stuck on her teeth that were left crooked by her injury. I feel like Arrow could give Tuna a real run for her money! She’s one of our favorite Instagram stars. Arrow is hoping for a meeting one day.
Gear? Well Boots & Arrow, of course – the line was inspired by a lifelong passion for rescue animals, and is a natural compliment to our socially-focused branding agency, where we work with brands who are using their creativity to contribute to the world in a positive way and better their businesses overall. As a native Texan who lives in Austin, cowboy boots have been a part of my life almost since I was born – they’re loved and collected all over the state, not to mention the country. The idea for the brand was actually solidified when I was walking through the streets of Barcelona and stumbled on a store where they had cowboy boot inspired moccasins called Texano. I realized at that point that cowboy boots were a “thing” – and I saw an immediate opportunity to combine my Texan roots with my love of rescue dogs. As soon as I got back to Austin, I started buying cowboy boots form local collectors and designing our dog collars.
Aside from the collars, we’re also launching a slew of new products in 2016 – leashes and doggy bags, as well as money clips, key chains and more for animal lovers. We’re looking forward to using the proceeds from these purchases to help rescue dogs in need.
If your dogs were another animal, what animal would that be? Arrow is really her own breed. I think she may be her own animal as it is! If nothing else, she borders on being human as it is. She’ll get close to your face and stare directly in your eyes without a blink for as long as you let her! She also gives full on hugs. If I had to choose another animal, I’d say a meerkat. Arrow manages to always be climbing one something – me, furniture, a guest, etc. At almost all times, only her back paws are on the ground.
Gracie would be a gorilla – big and beautiful. My gentle giant.
Della would be a walrus, or platypus. She lays down in the most adorable way with her little back feet kicked out of her pudgy body.
What would your dogs “perfect day” look like? I have it easy – my girls are just happy chilling with me in the office, so really every day is the perfect day. A few years back I went from having a full branding agency in Houston with a separate office to moving all my businesses to my home, and working from two built on studios added to the house – one for the design business and one for Boots & Arrow. It was the best decision I ever made Now, I get to be with my dogs all day and everyone can come here to work or work remotely. That’s not to say that we may never move DesignGood Studio + Boots & Arrow back to a brick and mortar, but there is definitely more creativity and happiness with a dog in your lap all day.
Thanks Kristin, Arrow, Gracie, and Della!