STYLISH POOCH: Island-Style Pet Couture Takes the Spotlight

STYLISH POOCH: Island-Style Pet Couture Takes the Spotlight

STYLISH POOCH: Island-Style Pet Couture Takes the Spotlight

Jean is a graduate of YWCA Oahu’s Launch My Ecommerce program, provided by the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership, and funded through the Wells Fargo Open for Business grant. The program was created to educate small business owners needing to transition their business online through a cohort focused on how to build a Shopify ecommerce website with hands-on labs facilitated by industry experts to provide technical and legal support.

Her goal was to sell quality handmade pet dresses that are beautiful, well-made and yet affordable! Now that some of her products are featured right here on Shop YWCA, they can make perfect gifts for fur babies, which are easy to put on and clean, and will definitely add a little more bounce and color during your walks.

But Jean’s story goes way back in 1991 in the municipality of Lagonoy in Camarines Sur, Philippines. She met her husband then, and they decided to begin a new chapter of their life together in Hawaii. 

Jean faced challenges as an immigrant, and often missed her hometown and family back home. She endured microaggressions and stereotypes, but with encouragement from her supportive husband and daughter, she persevered to become successful in her career. 

Oftentimes, she also wondered if she’ll ever get the chance to witness all the beautiful sites in the Philippines and in the world, so she traveled whenever she could. 

Jean found a love for travel and found it frustrating to have limited vacation days at a financial institution where she worked. So after 25 years of working, she decided to retire from her 9-to-5 and realize her dream of becoming a business owner and The Island Pooch was born.

The inspiration was her own little “resident island pooch” bichon frise, Angel Marie.

Angel loved the Hawaiian-print dresses her mom hand-made for her, and with many compliments received, Jean decided to spread more joy with her “slice of paradise” to other fur baby mommies.

Every piece of Island Pooch garment is hand sewn by Jean. The care she puts in every stitch was inspired by her mom who was a self-taught seamstress by profession. Jean said her mom was very passionate with her work, which is why the same dedication is poured into every garment produced in the business.

“Dogs are more than just companions,” said Jean. “They can help you grow and heal with the joy they bring, which is why they deserve care.”

In addition to pet dresses and accessories, The Island Pooch also offers recycled items made from fabric scraps transformed into throw pillowcases, aprons, pouches and more.

Find some of The Island Pooch's collection right here in Shop YWCA!