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Tracy collars pets with Chillgo couture

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Humane and fashionable: Tracy Lambert and her dog Boomer wearing a Chillgo harness (Photograph supplied)
Haute couture for pets: a Chillgo gombey themed dog harness (Photograph supplied)
Haute couture for pets: a Chillgo hibiscus themed dog harness (Photograph supplied)

Owning two beloved pooches, Tracy Lambert noticed a gap in the Bermuda retail market: not enough haute couture for pets.

“As a consumer, I’m always looking for stuff that is different or that you don’t often see around the island,” Ms Lambert said.

So this month she launched Chillgo, a line of Bermuda-inspired dog harnesses, collars and poop bag dispensers.

Ms Lambert said: “In the Chillgo Bermuda Collection, there are five local themes, loquats, gombeys, hibiscus, longtails and turtles, all items you see around the island.”

Her products, handmade, handcrafted and specially designed, are available at Pet Stop at 5 Mills Creek Lane, Pembroke and at Flying Colours, at 5 Queen Street in Hamilton.

Because she works as a cashier at Pet Spot on the weekends, she gets to see potential customers’ reactions first hand.

“It is exciting to see my products on store shelves for the first time,” Ms Lambert said. “It is a little bit different for me. You look at people in the shop and wonder if they are interested in your products. I get nervous.”

She has done side projects before, organising parties, for example, but nothing to the magnitude of Chillgo.

“I wanted to do something more touristy and more themed,” she said.

Her fashion accessories target locals and visitors.

“I thought they would be a cute gift for when visitors come to the island and they want to take stuff back that has a Bermuda theme,” she said.

Ms Lambert takes some of her inspiration from watching the ABC television reality show, Shark Tank about budding entrepreneurs presenting their ideas to potential investors.

“I have learnt from Shark Tank that running your own business is a lot of hard work,” she said. “Not everyone will like your product right away. You can’t please everyone with every modification that they want. You have to go with the plan that you have.”

Several customers have sent her photos of their dogs wearing Chillgo items since they went on sale last week.

“Some people have stopped me in town to tell me congratulations,” she said. “I think they are surprised I am doing this because they know how busy I am. During the week I work full time as a receptionist in a law firm. But I work on Chillgo in the evenings when I am at home. I don’t have any children, which is a good thing in terms of the business.”

She has her products handmade in China which has brought with it some shipping challenges. Because of global shipping delays it took her several months to get her products to Bermuda.

“I thought it would be a lot faster to get things to Bermuda, to tell you the truth,” she said. “But at least I now know how long it would take before things get around the world.”

She does not have many other pet design competitors in Bermuda right now, so marketing has been fairly straight forward. “I came in at the perfect time,” she said.

She sees herself as a naturally creative person, and is now working on a line of Bermuda-themed watch straps. “I have not launched that yet,” she said.

She is also considering creating a cat-couture line. “People want to put Bermuda colours on their cats also.”

Her dream is to eventually sell Chillgo in the United States.



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Published July 25, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated July 26, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Tracy collars pets with Chillgo couture

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