Posted by Courtney Ruge

 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with Claire Wolfson, founder and creative voice behind the ultra-cool dog blog, W L F H N D.  Claire's blog is a place where she celebrates her immense love for her dachshund Bean and connects with a network of people who share the same devotion to their hounds.  Claire and Bean are truly the epitome of hound and human friendship and it is my pleasure to share their story with you. 

 

What inspired you to start W L F H N D?

A few years ago, Bean, my dachshund, suffered a serious back injury that is very common in dachshunds causing him to lose control of his hind end. I was devastated seeing him so helpless. After undergoing major reconstructive surgery, he made a miraculous recovery and has been a champ ever since. His spirit inspired a small apparel and accessories company that has been up and running for the past couple years and now has led to the launch of W L F H N D.  I eventually left my corporate design job to fulfill my creative hunger and spend time and energy on W L F H N D.    

 

Leaving your job was a bold move.  Tell us about this journey and your experiences along the way.

Yes, it was!  After two years at this particular corporate design job I was ready for a change. I was burnt out and had an overwhelming feeling of not being where I was supposed to be. At first I was pretty lost to be honest. It took some trial and error to get to where I am now. I actually even enrolled and got accepted into an MFA program that would further my design education. I attended one week of classes and knew that wasn’t for me either! I’ve always followed my heart and it was telling me to keep searching! After freelancing in Portland for a few months I decided I needed to take some time for myself. I rented out my apartment and headed back east to my hometown, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. My intent was to sort out and develop my ideas for the coming year and establish a game plan to conquer my goals. Wellfleet is the most tranquil place in the winter and exactly where I needed to be to harvest my brain. The map I created during that time enabled me to achieve a lot last year. The two biggies were of course launching W L F H N D and the growth we’ve seen with our doxie inspired clothing and accessories line, Bean Goods. I’ve found that with a keen focus and positive energy you can accomplish almost anything you put your mind to.

 

You've definitely been through a lot!  How did Bean and Van impact your life during this time? 

Bean and Van are my everything. I’ve had Bean for nine years now and he’s been right there by my side through so much. We’ve moved ten times and resided in three states!  Soon after Bean's recovery we decided to get him a partner-in-crime and adopted his brother, Van. Van is a wire-haired dachshund and is truly one of a kind. We’ve had Van for about four years now and it’s been amazing to watch him and Bean’s relationship unfold. They are the best of friends and light up our lives everyday.

 

That's awesome!  I completely understand the feeling!  Lola is my precious morkie and she's the inspiration behind penn + pooch.  Tell us about Bean Goods and how Bean and Van continue to inspire your work.

As I mentioned earlier, Bean suffered from a serious back injury that caused him to lose control of his hind legs. We were devastated and didn’t know what our little guy’s outcome would be. He underwent major reconstructive back surgery and miraculously made a full recovery. His strength and spirit inspired our brand. It started with just beanies and actually was originally called Bean Beanies. From there it’s grown with a collection of graphic tees, tote bags, sunglasses and more.

 

So cool! We love Bean Goods and all the designs. W L F H N D focuses on more on your lifestyle. What is your favorite thing about blogging and sharing your stories with the world?

My favorite part is connecting with like-minded individuals who share a love for dogs, design, style and fashion.  Since the launch of W L F H N D, I've met so many amazing, creative and unique dog lovers.  That's what keeps me inspired.

 

The world is a great place full of inspiring people and dogs, isn't it?! What advice do you have for others entrepreneurs dreaming to start their own company?

Don’t give up! It takes time, energy, and focus to be successful at anything. My favorite inspirational quote is, “I may not be there yet but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” It’s so simple but so true.

 

From one business owner to another, I couldn't agree more!  Lastly, as the voice of Bean and Van, what do you think they would want to add to this interview?

“All we care about is having a warm snuggle spot, toys, treats and having Mom & Pop around at all times. Keep doing what you’re doing so none of this changes, K? Woof!”