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The Former Fashion Designer Making Stylish Accessories For Dogs

Shopping

Forget chrome or clunky retractable leashes for walking the dog, thanks to local pet accessories label, Nice Digs, this functional item now packs a lot more personality!

We sat down with founder Georgia Havekotte to discuss the label’s origins, her background in fashion, and the handcrafted creative process behind every Nice Digs product.

8th August, 2019

Pet accessories label Nice Digs has just released their latest collection. Photo – Frances Parker.

The latest Nice Digs collection, Low Key, is inspired by the chiaroscuro painting technique. Photo – Frances Parker.

The Spike leather dog leash by Nice Digs. Photo – Frances Parker.

Nice Digs produces stylish, handcrafted and functional pet accessories. Photo – Frances Parker.

The Dandenong Ranges-based label was founded by Georgia Havekotte, a former fashion textiles designer. Photo – Frances Parker.

Dog beds in the Low Key collection are made by hand painting acrylic on canvas, which is then photographed and digitally printed onto soft chenille. Photo – Frances Parker.

Nice Digs’ leashes and collars are adorned with an embellished gold tag. Photo – Frances Parker.

The label’s beds are designed, printed and made in Australia; the vegetable-tanned leather and fabric accessories are handmade in-house, and items made of premium Nappa leather are produced in Europe. Photo – Frances Parker.

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 8th August 2019

‘We encourage people to start thinking about the items they buy for their pets in the same way they would buy something for themselves or their homes.’  – Georgia Havekotte.

Handcrafted, fun and stylish are not words typically used to describe dog leashes, but these are the cornerstones of pet accessories label, Nice Digs.

The brand is based just outside Melbourne in the Dandenong Ranges, and was founded by Georgia Havekotte shortly after adopting a rescue dog in 2013.‘While looking for accessories for her, I just couldn’t find anything that suited my own personal style and needs,’ Georgia recalls.‘I’m a fashion and textile designer by trade, so I decided to create my own designs. Once I realised what was possible, I decided to launch the brand with a crowdfunding campaign, and build it from there.’

While function is of course the main purpose of Nice Digs’ products, the label’s success can be attributed to its use of luxurious fabrics and zany patterns that become instantly recognisable. ‘I’m a very visual person, so I gravitate toward strong patterns, colour, and repetition,’ Georgia says.

What further separates Nice Digs from the majority of pet brands on the market today is the handcrafted nature of its products. The label’s beds are designed, printed and made in Australia, the vegetable-tanned leather and fabric accessories are handmade in house, and items made of premium Nappa leather range are produced in Europe. Leashes and collars are adorned with gorgeous golden hardware and an embellished brand tag.

‘We encourage people to start thinking about the items they buy for their pets in the same way they would buy something for themselves or their homes,’ Georgia says.

Nice Digs’ latest collection, Low Key, is inspired by the chiaroscuro painting technique characterised by featuring strong contrasts between light and dark. Dog beds in the collection are made by hand painting acrylic on canvas, which is then photographed and digitally printed onto soft chenille. The bed designs serve as the inspiration for the label’s other hand-painted and spiked accessories, ranging from velvet collars in regal shades to vintage-inspired, handsfree leashes.

You can shop Nice Digs online at Nicedigs.com.au. Even if you’re not in the market for a dog leash, their Instagram @nicedigs is worth a follow for the cute pooch pics alone!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net