A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a photo contest hosted by RESQ/CO, a California-based dog collar and leash company. My prize was their Skinny Rope Leash--one of the many hand-crafted designs made by the RESQ/CO crew. I've been a long-time follower of RESQ/CO on Instagram, but getting to see the craftsmanship in person solidified my support of this amazing company.
The story behind RESQ/CO is an inspiring one--as I've discovered is the case with all of the start-up, dog-centric companies I've featured on this blog. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, founder Genny Davila left her job as a graphic designer for Volcom in pursuit of what really made her happy: dogs and more specifically, her constant canine companion Moose.
"The week after I was diagnosed with MS I knew I needed to find the courage and strength to change my life," Genny told TOMS, who recently added RESQ/CO to their socially-conscious Marketplace. "I had no choice but to re-prioritize and put my happiness and health first. I realized that I owed it to myself to do the work that I was passionate about, that I could feel fulfilled from."
And that she did. What started as a hobby has now grown into a flourishing business and dream come true for Genny. Drawing inspiration from flea markets and dog beaches, she designs, creates and field tests prototypes of collars and leads herself before sending them off to production. Each product is made using high-quality nautical rope and leather--not just for looks, but to withstand the salt water, snagging branches and dirt her customers undoubtedly encounter on their adventures.
Genny's positive personality and relationship with Moose shine through in the RESQ/CO brand, which urges followers on social media to #RoamTogether with their dogs. To give back to the dog community, RESQ/CO donates 5% of all profits to animal rescue and awareness groups. They also make a yearly donation to to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
So what's next for RESQ/CO? Helping more pups in need and eventually an expanded product offering, says Genny. But for now, Genny and Moose are off on a much-deserved vacation in Texas, proving that travels are just that much better when you #RoamTogether.