Walter & Florence create beautiful, pug-inspired gifts and homeware with a vintage twist. They’ve combined their three passions: pugs; stylish products for the home; and 1950s chic.
Rupert the westie headed down south to check out his pug besties Walter and Florence. Here's what they had to say
What’s the story behind Walter & Florence?
We put a lot of thought into our product collections, which are all designed and made in England. For example, our fine bone china mugs are manufactured and hand-decorated in Stoke-on-Trent, historical home to the ceramics industry.
And, our linen and cotton scatter cushions (made in Lincolnshire) come with cushions pads filled with duck feathers that have the quills removed for extra plumpness. Our attention to detail is something we’re very proud of.
We love your vintage twist – how did you come up with this design idea?
Pugs are our first love but the elegance of the 1950s is our second. We’re huge Audrey Hepburn fans and wanted to capture the chic we all associate with her vintage style.
So, we based our illustrations on fashion sketches of the era, with their black ink-sketched outlines and splashes of watercolour. We also poured over fashion archives and looked at fabric patterns to get a feel for mid-century design.
Colour was also important. If you look at colour palettes from the fifties, they’re so varied from the sludgy and earthy colours through to the more vibrant hues we like to use, such as aqua, orange, green and purple.
How much design input do the pugs have?
Our pugs, Walter and Florence, are the main inspiration behind our brand. So, it’s only right that we ask them for their paws-up before we sign off a new illustration or product. They’re pretty relaxed, though, and never make diva-like demands, such as asking us to airbrush out their wrinkles in illustrations or photos.
Do pugs make good employees?
It depends what your definition of ‘good’ is. Our two pugs-in-chief turn up for work when they feel like it, sleep on the job and their co-operation in photo shoots can be a bit hit and miss. But they’re loyal and never stoop to office tittle-tattle at the coffee machine.
What gives pugs such appeal?
We probably all say this about our favourite breed but we think there’s something special about pugs that sets them apart from other dogs. ( Urm not sure Rupert agrees with this!!) They’re notoriously stubborn and will try their best to call the shots. Pugs behave like clowns and are hugely affectionate, with no idea whatsoever about personal space. And, they’re in total denial about their size. A German Shepherd or Rottweiler is fair game when you’re a pug.
In Your Dog House Gifts is an online marketplace that brings together bespoke British designers of high quality dog themed products all under one roof