Notes From the Janery Studio
I was recently featured over at the fabulous design blog Cuckoo4Design in the "Living Pretty With Your Pets" series. I was honored that Julia included me - she has an incredible eye for interior design, and has a huge heart for adopting cats.
I shared a story I've never shared before, the story of how I came to adopt 5 very important pets in my life: Charlie, Merlin, Aretha, Doctor, and Amber.
For a peek at the pets behind Janery, click the photo below to check it out!
The Janery Catnip Mat cat bed has been updated for the new year: it's now longer and refillable!
It's long been one of my most popular items, but over the years customers have asked for a refillable version. My cat, Aretha, thanks you for your feedback. She gives the new Catnip Mat two paws up!
Now, if you want to add fresh catnip after washing, there's a little velcro opening in the side. This makes it extra irresistible for your cats. I also made it longer for those cats who really like to stretch out. This idea came from a few customer photos I saw where cats were stretched out longer than the Catnip Mat.
Speaking of customer photos, I'd love to see yours! You can email them or share them on Instagram with #janerystyle so that I can see them.
PS: Now, when you purchase a Catnip Mat, you can add a Catnip Log for just $10 more. The 10" oversized cat toy is long enough for even the toughest tomcat to grab and kick all at the same time.
This summer I needed to choose some new patterns for Janery pet beds, but I wanted to go outside of my choices, which are largely dictated by my style.
I asked Kim, the talented pet portrait artist and DIYer at Yellow Brick Home to collaborate with me on choosing some new patterns, and I was ecstatic when she said yes! I love her style and she has the cutest pair of rescue pups, who you can admire all over her gorgeous Instagram feed.
Kim selected the Bricks pattern (I named it after her blog, of course!), and I made some gray Merlin Mats and a navy Catnip Mat for her critters. She tested them out for a few months, and I'm happy to report that they passed the test!
The Catnip Mat has a super special feature that's exclusive to the Bricks Collection - it's refillable. If your cat appears to be losing interest, you can open the velcro on one side, and pop some fresh new catnip in the mat.
The Bricks Collection is available here. If you'd like to save 15% on your purchase, and enter to win a $100 store credit to Janery, check out Kim's blog post here. (The sale and the giveaway end on Nov. 20th, so don't delay!)
PS: If there's something you'd like to see in the shop, you can tell me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook - I'm @janerypetbeds everywhere.
Charlie Cushions are here!
I'm so excited to launch these plush, waterproof pet beds. There's a story behind every product I create, but the story of the Charlie Cushion may be the most important of them all.
Charlie Cushions are the reason I started Janery.
In 2003 I rescued a hairless and emaciated dog and named her Charlie. She was a Rottweiler mix with a bullet in her leg, and with a lot of love and a little training she quickly became an irreplaceable part of my family.
Charlie loved any and all soft beds, probably after years spent sleeping on the streets. But if she ate something she shouldn't, Charlie would have incontinence issues, leaking on her beds as she slept. I was constantly buying and throwing out cheap dog beds.
I finally got a high end pet bed for Charlie, thinking it would last longer and be less wasteful. I was so disappointed when Charlie had an accident on it, and the dog bed insert came out of the washer all lumpy. When Charlie curled up on it the stuffing piled up in the corner leaving a hard spot in the middle. Plus, the smell hadn't come out.
For years I wondered why there were no durable dog beds that also looked fabulous. Why weren't all dog beds protected by a waterproof liner so their cushions weren't ruined by an accident?
When my husband gave me a sewing machine for my birthday, I started sewing. And a year later I decided to create and sell waterproof dog beds. Beds that complement your decor but are durable and practical.
I had a corporate day job, but on nights and weekends I sewed for hours, honing my skills and testing different designs, but ran into roadblocks finding a quality American-made supplies. While the Charlie Cushions hit road blocks, I developed other pretty-but-practical products - washable throw pillows for humans, Merlin Mats and Catnip Mats for pets, and more.
Now Janery is my full-time job, I've found the right suppliers, and my Charlie Cushions are ready to shine. I said goodbye to my beloved Charlie on Christmas day two years ago, but my other dogs and my cat have tested the beds for her.
See all the Charlie Cushions right here.
Each year I donate a portion of sales from Janery to programs for homeless people and pets.
As the parent to four previously-homeless pets, it’s fairly obvious why I support animal rescue. But the reasons for my support of programs for the homeless may surprise you.
When I was in college, my view of homelessness changed overnight. One cold winter night, my friend got a phone call to alert him that his aunt had died. It wasn’t a peaceful death; her body was found in an icy stream in Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park.
His aunt had struggled with schizophrenia and manic depression for most of her adult life. She had trouble holding down jobs due to her mental illness, and when she was unemployed she had no access to affordable medication. Prior to her death, she had gone off her medications and became homeless in Washington DC.
It pained my friend to know that he’d only found out about her suffering when it was too late.
I was 21 at the time, and her death made a strong impression on me. Before then I hadn’t realized that:
- 60,000 of our veterans – the people who voluntarily served our country – are homeless
- At least 25% of the homeless population has a mental illness or disorder
- 28% of homeless families have fled domestic violence
- Many struggle with addiction, which is an illness requiring real treatment
This is why, in addition to helping animal rescue groups, Janery will continue to donate a portion of sales to programs for the homeless. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. To find that, the homeless usually need resources, counseling, and most of all – for people to believe in them.
I’m currently donating to a local organization: The Lamb Center. It is a small but powerful daytime center only 10 minutes from my home.
The Lamb Center serves the homeless population by providing a warm, safe place for them to drop into if they choose, and it’s staffed by a wonderful group of volunteers from local churches. Additionally, The Lamb Center provides an extensive group of services to help guests get back on their feet:
A note about the shelter’s religious affiliation: I don’t often donate to faith-based groups, but I feel the Lamb Center is one of the most ethical and fiscally responsible organizations in the area. At The Lamb Center, services are available to anyone, regardless of participation in their bible study and worship meetings.
My 13 year old dog, Charlie, has stolen the show the last two weeks - and not in a good way. When preoperative blood work before removing a benign skin mass showed something was “off”, we scheduled an ultrasound of her abdomen to rule out pancreatic issues. That ultrasound led to an emergency “exploratory” abdominal surgery, which ended with my surgeon calling to tell me Charlie has over 40 tumors spread throughout her abdominal organs, thanks to a rare cancer called Disseminated Histiocytic Sarcoma.
After years of working in veterinary hospitals and emergency centers, I thought I was prepared for the reality that my pets would eventually get ill. But no amount of clients’ euthanasia appointments and emergency room deaths can prepare you for the punch to the gut when your own pet is diagnosed as terminally ill.
Especially not when it’s your first puppy to leave you.
We brought Charlie home from the hospital tonight, and hope she will recuperate well over the weekend so she can start chemotherapy next week. In the meantime, I'll be trying to recover from the shock of it all.
It’s inspired me to start sharing the story of how I found her, because finding her and training her taught me so much about the value of tough love. She was my first dog, and wasn’t the ideal specimen for someone who’s never owned or trained dogs before.
Thanks to living on the streets and being shot at and beaten (to the point of losing an eyeball), she was aggressive, hairless and emaciated. People told me she’d kill my cats if I brought her home.
But she didn’t. That was just one of the predictions I disproved through strict training (as evidenced above), and I hope to someday share how I did it.
But right now I need to get back to cooking her up some tasty real food for recovery. And giving her as many treats and cuddles as she wants.
I think our hiking days are over.