Two students – one with a passion for solving the world’s problems; the other with a flair for business. And so, Year of the Dog was born.
It all started with a conversation in the kitchen, where my flatmate expressed his frustration at the lack of variety of shirts for men. In the year that we’d been living together, he’d come to me with many business ideas, but this time it was different. This time, we decided to do something about it.
Shirts are a staple part of most men’s wardrobes, yet there is a serious lack of variety available. Up until now, the vast majority of men’s shirts have been one of three styles – plain, checked, or flowery – but Year of the Dog aims to change that. At Year of the Dog, we believe that every person is unique. Men can’t be dumped into three categories, so why should their clothes? Year of the Dog plans to bring the fashion industry into the 21st Century by bringing equality to fashion; offering men the variety that has always been available to women and a chance to stand out from the crowd.
Although our focus is on shirts now, who knows where the future will take us? Our mission is to create a fashion brand for the people, to give them the tools to create their own unique look, and most importantly, to give them a brand that listens to them. That is why, instead of hiring a designer, we are letting you design our shirts! Check out our competition winners here!
We decided on the name Year of the Dog as we were in the year of the dog when we came up with the business. Pretty boring, right? However, there was more to it than that. Year of the Dog is not only our name, but it was our very first business goal. The year of the dog, by its very definition, lasts only one year, which gave us a date by which we needed to have the business up and running (5th February for those that are interested). Being typical procrastinating students, that goal was well-needed motivation to get to work!
And, of course, we love dogs!
We want to give you clothes that you want to wear, and in order to do that, we need your input! That’s why we not only welcome, but strongly encourage any and all feedback and ideas that you may have for us. Our company may have been created by just two people, but we want it to be shaped by us all.
Taking risks is scary, but we know it’s also the only way to progress. As author John A. Shedd once said, ‘A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for’. We took a big risk in starting this business because we wanted to make a difference, but it doesn’t stop there. We are determined to be brave in the face of new opportunities, so we can bring daring and creative ideas and products to you.
Not only do we want to be creative in the way we run our business, but we want to inspire you to be creative too! Creativity brings with it the freedom to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether it be painting, writing, dancing, or something else entirely. With everyone being so uniquely individual, it makes no sense that just one or two be involved in the creative process of design. So, if your creative talent happens to be drawing or
fashion, or you just want to try something new, check out our competition winners here!
We believe that hard work and dedication are essential to success, so we promise to remain enthusiastic and focused in order to achieve our goals. We made a commitment to you to bring you quality fashion that you love, and we intend to work hard to keep bring you what you want.
The fashion industry, as with many industries in the 21st century, is constantly changing, and we welcome this change with open arms as the world would get pretty boring without it, right? Evolution is the key to progress, so here at Year of the Dog we will constantly look for new opportunities to grow and improve, whether it be in our business methods or our products.
Hi, I’m Selvy – one half of team Year of the Dog!
So, how did I come to be here? Well let me set the scene. I started my business degree at Swansea University with great enthusiasm, ready to make big waves, but, almost at the end of my second year, I still had no business idea.
It would soon be time to go on my placement year and a finance job looked the likely option. It also looked like the exact type of thing I was trying to avoid by studying business. I came here to build my own business, not run the numbers for someone else’s! That’s when Jacob approached me with his idea, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Immediately I stopped applying for placements and put all my energy towards turning this idea into a business. After all, business is all about problem-solving. I just needed the right problem to solve!
I strongly believe in doing what you love in life. Life is too short to waste time doing something you don’t like, but it’s not always easy in this world to follow your dreams. That’s why I hope that Year of the Dog will not only be my passion, but will help others to follow their passions too.
Hello, I’m Jacob - the other half of Year of the Dog.
I arrived at Swansea looking to challenge myself with my engineering degree, however while it was difficult, it didn’t feel like the challenge I was looking for. Having grown up very close by, moving to university felt more like changing school than taking a big step in life. I needed to find something to push me out of my comfort zone.
Before joining university, I’d decided to bolster my rather barren wardrobe with some new clothes – specifically some new shirts. While I was able to find enough clothing to start the year, I was left disappointed by the lack of choice. Don’t get me wrong I love a plaid shirt, but I’d like a few more options than red, blue or green please! I quickly decided I wanted to do something about it. So, I had my idea and a gap in the market but no business knowledge to get my idea off the ground. Luckily the next year I’d meet Selvy, and soon after we would begin our journey into the fashion industry.
My main goal for Year of the Dog is to allow others to express their individuality through their clothes; not to be confined to the plaid and chequered boxes that they often are.
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The beautiful view from the flat where it all began!
Meet Elmo - one of our many inspirations!