Alex answers some questions:
How did your Hindquarters journey begin? What inspired you to start it all?
I suppose it began when my partner Jerry and I bought a house in south London. The house was a bit of a wreck and in desperate need of a remodel. We took this opportunity to do it up in a way that would match our similar and yet unique outlooks and tastes.
Once completed we felt there was something missing and the house was too big for just the two of us and we decided it was time to settle down with a dog. Unlike Jerry, I had not grown up with dogs and was even brought up to be a little scared of them (hard to believe now!). Despite this upbringing, I really liked them still and would often feel envious of those people taking their dogs for a run in the local park.
One of my best friends had a Boxer called Louise that I absolutely loved. Combining this with Jerry's love for Labradors we ended up welcoming two new members to the family - Red, a Boxer, and Percy, a Lollie or Lab/Collie cross.
After searching far and wide we couldn't find any dog products that would also fit in with our newly designed house. The problem we found was that the market split into two main areas - over designed products for small dogs or under designed, plain stuff for larger dogs.
In my very distant past I was pretty nifty with a sewing machine and so we decided to create a tailor made dog bed using some old fabric. We looked at the different positions Red and Percy would sleep in and made a dog bed to suit not only their needs but our aesthetic ones too. It didn't take long before people visiting the house would complement the dog bed and would urge us to make more of them.
Since making our first dog bed, we agreed that our main aim is to create products that allow dogs to act like dogs (rolling in grass, getting muddy feet, jumping in ponds, etc.). This is when dogs are happiest. What makes us happy is watching them behave this way. However we do worry about mess and keeping things fresh and clean so we strive to keep things practical too.
There has always been a symbiotic relationship between man and dog however this has begun to break down as more people treat their dogs like humans. This has led to dog products being designed for either the dog (comfortable and safe) or for the human (aesthetically pleasing, safe and practical). At Hindquarters, we design every product with both the dog and the owner in mind. For example, our dog beds are designed to suit all sleeping positions to increase the dogs comfort and come with a detachable cover. Dogs can get as muddy as they want causing very little inconvenience to the owner - you can remove the muddy cover and wash it - happy dog and happy owner!
Can you briefly explain what Hindquarters offers?
We offer a range of dog beds, bowls, collars and leads - all of which are designed with the dog's comfort and owner's ease of use in mind. This means that dogs can act like dogs with little inconvenience to the owner. As mentioned, comfy dog beds of course but removable washable covers are essential too. Collars, leads and harnesses have a function, a job to do, but the materials we use offer comfort, looks and practicality too.
What makes Hindquarters unique?
The philosophy of making sure dogs can act like dogs while recognising the special bond with humans and building on that. We have created Hindquarters around what we have personally observed and experienced when living with dogs. It's about enabling a lifestyle, not just creating a product.
It's a personal thing - the brand is based on our own experience. We love dogs and all that they bring to life: companionship, friendship, love, humour. Personally, I find dogs rewarding on every level which I think stems from the symbiosis of our historical relationship. It's ultimately our experience and our love.
How did you decide upon the name Hindquarters?
We agreed on the name Hindquarters because it aligns with part of our brand philosophy which is to make tails wag! To encapsulate this very demonstrative symbol of ultimate happiness we decided upon the name Hindquarters.
How would you describe the culture of Hindquarters and just how important is it?
Be true to yourself and to your dog. Transforming lives and homes with our products so that tails wag and people are happier with their dogs is the real goal. Seeing photos of happy dogs jumping into a dog bed we've provided is the ultimate - job done!
Is there anything you've found surprising on this journey so far?
People sometimes say - it's just a dog bed/collar. You wouldn't say this about something you're buying for yourself. The safety and comfort of your dog is so important however people don't always demonstrate this with with the products they buy. We are doing dogs a massive disservice with what we feed them and what we buy them. People tend to compromise with products knowing it will either be good for the owners or the dog, but rarely both. This is unnecessary. You can have a beautiful house and a big muddy dog with a great dog bed.
I guess you have dogs?
Yes - Twig a female Boxer, Tank and Timber, two of her sons, and Percy (below). Sadly, Red passed away recently he was the main inspiration for starting Hindquarters and so his spirit is in the DNA of the brand.
If you could be an animal for a day, which would you be, and why?
Boxer dog - because people think I'm one anyway!
Can you sum up Hindquarters in fewer than 10 words?
Making tails wag and people smile.