With a combined 30+ years of retail experience as well as countless hours of creative endeavours ranging from tv and film, to art design for consumer home media, and fashion-styling and photography, Ryan and Wayne are also the creators and directors of Haus of Harley Dogwear.
“Haus of Harley was something that we started because we were finding it really hard to get nice stuff for Harley that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Anything in the lower price brackets was really cheaply made and covered in paw prints and bone silhouettes – which is so not what we wanted for our little girl! So we decided to do something about that.”
After working on various fundraising projects for both animal and human causes that included coordinating large functions with catering, activities and creative content, the duo started to think of what they could achieve with a market festival style event solely aimed at dogs (and their owners of course).
“We wanted to ditch the clichéd paw prints and kennels and cartoon dogs etc. When we started out, really no one was doing pet products at the markets and it took a long time for us to be taken seriously. Now of course there’s more pet stalls than you can poke a stick at – but it’s just people stocking the same couple of brands over and over. We want to bring together the best of the best. All the creatives, those designing and turning out quality, unique products and services that aren’t available at your local pet shop. Let’s put them on display and celebrate them!”
The same goes for the event itself. You won’t find Jack Russell racing or a doggie costume parade.
“Haus of Harley has always been about encouraging people to spend time with their dogs by taking them to destinations and having them ‘look the part’ with functional and trend-inspired gear – and that’s kind of carried across to Dogs on the Grass. We’re targeting an active audience who love getting dressed and meeting friends to browse the stalls and chill with some street food and awesome tunes – but we’re saying ‘Hey – your four-legged mate is more than welcome at our event’ and that’s something that a lot of markets, and festivals – and even cafes and restaurants – still don’t allow.”
Dogs on the Grass is aiming for a relaxed, chill vibe free from the usual pleas for adoption, funding and petitions.
“Whilst we certainly support charities and animal rescues regularly, Dogs on the Grass isn’t about the negative or political side of companion animal ownership. There are many other wonderful events dedicated to raising awareness for these causes. We’re here to celebrate the furry BFF in your life. We hope to really have some unusual and fun things to see, do and try. It’s very light-hearted! We want to take a step back on the day and see all those happy dogs on the grass who are just stoked to be spending the day with their human.”
Dogs on the Grass makes it’s debut at Castle Hill Showground on August 21st 2016.