Above, Pucci, the rescued Boston Terrier
Last month, my boyfriend and I were having lunch with our Yorkie in Palm Beach when we spotted this charming pet boutique called Pucci & Catana. Of course, the shop had me at “hello” with the name “Pucci” in it. So, after enjoying our delicious salad, thin-crust pizza, and dog bisquit, the three of us strolled over to check out the goodies.
From the beautiful leashes and harnesses to the stylish pet carriers and whimsical beds, it was clear that the boutique’s owners delighted in finding products that fit every possible personality – both human and pet!
We chatted at length with general manager and passionate business owner, Ashley Scouller, whose family started Pucci & Catana. We talked about their two South Florida boutiques, pet fashions and trends, celebrity clients, and their “Red Carpet Style Pet Fashion Show” which was held on stylish Worth Avenue in Palm Beach (video below).
Where did the name “Pucci & Catana” come from?
We are a family owned business, and my mum came up with the name in early 2010 when we were throwing around ideas for our first pet boutique. We own a 24-hour Veterinary Hospital “Cavan Hills Veterinary Services” in Canada, which is also the base for our non-profit dog rescue, the Coconut Retrievers. We have always been involved with animals so it was perfect timing when we rescued our little Boston Terrier “Pucci” and decided on opening our first luxury pet boutique in Florida.
The full name “Pucci & Catana” developed because we wanted people to know our store is for both cats & dogs. It’s very catchy and turned out to be an excellent choice as customers love snapping photos. Pucci is no longer with us, but he will always be our inspiration and store mascot. We have recently designed our logo after Pucci the Boston Terrier in a pop art theme to redefine our store’s luxury image with a touch of fun.
As a luxury pet boutique, what kind of products do you carry?
Our vision is to deliver fashion forward canine and feline products to the world and introduce exciting international designers to the American Pet Accessories market. You will find everything from sushi squeaky toys to African beaded collars as well as exciting seasonal accessories to help you avoid those embarrassing fashion faux paws!
To keep things fresh at P&C we have a rotating list of innovative and fashionable designers from all over the world. We are a retail boutique for cats and dogs; we don’t do grooming and keep our focus on dress, travel & play.
We have a mix of price points in the store. Yes, we are a luxury pet boutique carrying one of a kind pieces, but we also cater to the masses with our fun mix of affordable toys & apparel.
If customers can’t visit South Florida, they can visit the Pucci & Catana website. We ship world-wide!
Above, Ashley and her rescued Boston Terrier, Pho Sho (with friend)
Is it true that you source your pet fashions and accessories from all over the globe?
As a young buyer I find myself constantly networking with vendors and designers, searching for inspiring products to add to my Boston terriers’ Pucci & Pho’s dream closet. Pucci and Pho are both rescued Boston’s, Pucci from Canada and Pho (named after my favorite Vietnamese soup) from the Naples Humane Society here in Florida.
I have surrounded myself with passionate and free-thinking staff and together we strive to get the best products onto the shelves at P&C. The most important thing for me is to know what my customer wants. I love to spend hours chatting in the stores with customers or reaching out to them though Facebook and Instagram.
The Internet makes trotting the globe to find the latest trends much more accessible, although I still love the traditional methods of travel to exotic locations. I was in Bangkok a few years ago and was completely blown away by the underground pet accessories markets that dotted the city. I always think of the Asian Market as much more advanced in pet fashion than the US.
This week we are introducing a new line of collars (full of wool fabrics, chains & ornaments) and uber plush beds that come from a designers “Fantasy World” in Hungary. As our staff routinely say we are #obsessed!!
Are there distinct styles from each of the fashion capitals that you visit, such as New York, Paris, and London?
Color is the biggest distinction between these fashion capitals. New York tends to stick to colors depending on the season (brights in spring and blacks the rest of the year), while London tends to stick to the conservative colors of tan, brown & black. Paris is the couture capital of the World and very obviously the inspiration for many of our couture lines that play with pastels. I look at Oscar Newman Couture and Ruff Ruff Couture (both popular lines in our store) and see pet apparel that mimics candy colored dresses & pastel coats worn during Paris Fashion Week. Being in tourist destinations of South Florida we get to mix and match the more traditional styles and create new ones.
Above, Pucci & Catana boutique in Naples, Florida
You have two locations in Florida – Palm Beach and Naples. Is there a Palm Beach versus a Naples style when it comes to pet fashions?
Yes – the West Coast vs. East Coast! Naples is growing and changing where Palm Beach is traditional in style. Palm Beach to me is Lily Pulitzer and Ralph Lauren. Those traditional colors of bright pink and green are a huge part of our Palm Beach customer’s pet wardrobe. Mint is a color that we’ve heard a lot of about for Summer 2013 on Worth Avenue. Susan Lanci one of my absolute favorite vendors has introduced “Mint” to her collection’s color palette this Summer and continues to set trends with each color she chooses to add to her line. You can even find our staff (including myself) on Instagram matching their nail polish to the brand new colors of harnesses and hair bows from Susan Lanci.
On the flip side, Naples style is a little more exotic and everything from bright pink pet strollers, Peruvian dog ponchos, Aurora Borealis Swarovski cat collars to neon feather fur extensions, seem to make my customers happy! I find it much easier to experiment with new products in our Naples location, especially with the European tourists that come throughout the summer months.
What pet fashions and accessories are your celebrity (human!) clients looking for?
I can give you a few little tidbits! Sonja Morgan from the Real Housewives of New York loves the Ultra-suede hair bows, Judge Judy opts for the classic dinnerware line, while Rod Stewart get a kick out of our Scottish kilts and bow ties. We received a thank you letter from “Bo” Obama at the White House last summer thanking us for his gifts – a bling collar and conch seashell squeaky toy.
Above, Susan Lanci collars (left) and SNOUT STIX
What is the most unique pet fashion or accessory that you carry?
We carry so many unique pet products it would be unfair to name just one. Last week I would say our SNOUT STIX would be the most unique. It’s chap stick for pets with a dry nose. Next week, I predict the CAT NIP BUBBLES will be my favorite, yes the bubbles you blow into the air and cats chase around until they pop.
Our SUSAN LANCI line of ultra-suede (a micro-suede that can be found in exotic cars) harnesses, collars & leashes is constantly growing which makes it unique in our store. We carry her entire line, and pride ourselves in having her newest designs. We get the most repeat business from our Susan Lanci collection as her products are made with the highest quality in mind (made in California) and designed to make everybody ask “where did you get that”?
Above, a Pet Pawty at the Pucci & Catana boutique in Palm Springs
Pucci & Catana is known for throwing lively parties for pets and their owners, including a fabulous red carpet fashion show on Worth Avenue. Tell me about these events.
Our stores are open 10am to 10pm 7 days a week. Since we are open late and play a super upbeat ipod playlist (many customers ask for copies of it), a very fun atmosphere is created on a day to day basis. Our favourite mixes range from our friend DJ Lindsay Luv in Los Angeles to Rihanna to Nikki Beach music from Saint Tropez.
In-season, we throw weekly whine & cheese pawties, encouraging customers to have fun while they shop for their pets! Creating this kind of atmosphere has been key since day one, as having a good time and shopping for your pet go very well together.
Most recently we hosted our most luxurious event to date “Red Carpet Style Pet Fashion Show” on Worth Avenue as a part of Fashion’s Night Out Palm Beach. We rolled out the red carpet and had dogs from all across the country audition to model our fall 2012 collections. We hired a young innovative company LaFrance Films to capture that evening as it was a very special one. Worth Avenue is not closed to traffic on a regular basis and our runway stretched from Chanel’s front door to Tiffany & Co.
Pucci & Catana “Red Carpet Style Pet Fashion Show” on Worth Avenue
Are there plans to open more Pucci & Catana boutiques in the US?
Yes, we plan to expand to other fashionable cities in the US and grow Pucci & Catana into a lifestyle brand for your pet. With the addition of our webstore in 2011 and combining great style and a fun atmosphere our store Pucci & Catana has quickly gained a following amongst celebrities, trendsetters and pets worldwide. You can follow us on Facebook & Instagram for behind the scenes photos, secret sales, VIP parties, photo contests & pet fashion shows.