Have you ever felt overwhelmed about the needs of this world, and wondered how you could make a difference? Many of us have learned to cope by sealing our hearts up against the hurts we see, believing that we are unable to make much of a difference as just one person.
Heather Lough is a young woman with a tender heart, especially towards dogs. As a young girl, she would often bring home various critters in need of care and, fortunately, that nurturing spirit was encouraged by her parents. Not only was she encouraged to care, but she was also urged to follow her internal compass. Her love for fashion prompted her to spread her wings and fly solo to New York at 19, where she put herself through college. Now she has her own boutique, Nova New York, which would be a dream for any fashion-loving girl.
But a trip to Italy with her Sicilian boyfriend, Ben Gambina, proved to be a life-changing event. Stray dogs were everywhere. And Heather wasn’t content just to drive by. In fact, Heather persuaded her boyfriend to buy a stockpile of treats to hand out to the poor creatures. Imagine this crazy, well-dressed American, jumping out of the car, running around in heels, handing out dog snacks. “I think one was actually not a stray, and I was yelled at in Italian.” Her boyfriend just smiled, guiding his passionate girlfriend away. (I told Heather that Ben is definitely a keeper!)
Back in New York, Heather continued to educate herself about the plight of animals here in the United States. She didn’t shy away from the hard facts, even though she is aware that her tender heart would probably cause her to want to take in strays, spend all her money on them, and possibly even become a pet hoarder. Knowing her weaknesses, she wanted to figure out a healthy way to make a difference. She realized she could use her store as a platform to sell dog tees to fund animal welfare programs, and DogTeezers was born!
When you visit the DogTeezers Facebook page, you will quickly see the things that have captured Heather’s heart, both the cute and the critical. This is a new venture, so be sure to like DogTeezers and tell your other animal-loving friends about this animal advocacy program. We love to support fellow soldiers in the trenches, and doing it with style is an added bonus!
Heather is one of our wholesale customers who buys dog tees, dresses, and other adopt-themed products. These products are available at Nova New York and 50% of proceeds go to a charity of the customer’s choosing. Because the store is a community-based boutique, they are able to offer this kind of specialized service to their customers. She says this is important so people can feel connected to the charity of their choosing, whether it is for cats, dogs, or horses.
Heather’s story is inspiring on many levels, and we are excited to see where this endeavor takes her. When I hear the passion in her voice, I wouldn’t be surprised to see DogTeezers taking on a life of its own and surpassing all expectations!
If you are in the New York area, please stop in to Nova New York and support this young entrepreneur who has found a unique way to give back and be a champion for the animals she has a heart for.
59-07 Bleecker St.,
Ridgewood, NY 11385
All photographs courtesy of Heather Lough and Dog Teezers.