How to make a difference?
After a career of 20 years in the hotel industry spanning 3 continents and 4 countries, Canada, France, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, I realized I needed a change in my professional life.
My love for animals since a very young age, as we always had rescued dogs at home, and the difficult situation of rescue associations around the world made me decide that I wanted to do something focusing on helping rescue associations and abandoned animals.
At the time, I had been living in the UAE for 14 years and having strong ties in this country, I decided to do something for the rescue associations in the country we were living in.
How the idea was born?
The first idea that came to my mind was to work as a volunteer for rescue associations. When I discussed my idea with my husband, his reply was: “Helping the rescue associations is a fantastic idea but I think you are just too sensitive to do volunteer work in a shelter. Why don’t you think of another way to help them and also avoid turning our 2 bedrooms apartment into your own small shelter”.
Two months after that conversation, my husband and I went to Hong Kong for a hotel exhibition which turned out to also have a small exhibition presenting suppliers of products for the pet industry. And this is where we met Will Chen, the owner and founder of Pet Lifestyle and You (P.L.A.Y.).
Why did we choose to represent P.L.A.Y?
When we met Will in March 2014, his company was a “young” company as P.L.A.Y. has been created in 2010. P.L.A.Y. and the company philosophy had something in common with our own which was their love and care for animals. They used this passion to design and produce unique, luxury and ecofriendly pet accessories not only for their own little dog Momo or for the animals in general, but also to support rescued animals and the associations helping them.
That particularity in P.L.A.Y.’s philosophy plus the fact that all their pet products are eco-friendly, safe for children, high quality and unique design; made me realize that representing their brand in the Middle East & GCC will be an amazing opportunity to reach my goal of helping rescue associations and also providing pets and their owners a unique, luxury and eco-friendly range of pet products that was not available in this part of the world.
Before recommending P.L.A.Y products to pet owners in the Middle East, I decided to test the products within my four feet family which was at that time only Sugar a little Shih Tzu of 5 years. Since them our furry family has increased quite a bit and today we are the proud parents of 2 more doggies: Zoe and Caramel and also a cat named Dusty whom are all rescued animals, adopted from UAE rescue associations.
As soon as we received the first sample from P.L.A.Y which, one of them was a Denim orange lounge bed, Sugar adopted it as soon as it touched the floor and the same happened with the toys! Sugar will play with them and take them to her new P.L.A.Y bed to make sure she will always have an eye on them!
The decision was at that point taken. Seeing Sugar loving so much the P.L.A.Y products, we knew we had to share our experience with as many pet parents as possible in this part of the world!
Joining forces with ethical partners
In August 2014, Doggy Be Pet Accessories for a cause was created and beginning of November 2014 we partnered with our first retail store distributor.
Since then we have partnered with more stores to reach today a number of 16 stores all having the same philosophy of supporting rescue associations in UAE and not selling animals.
One might wonder why only 16 stores and not more? Doggy Be is a small Dubai based company run by the strength of 2 persons and our aim has never been to become a massive pet product importer but to always work with ethical partners, make our four feet customers and their Zuman happy plus being able to make a difference, even if small, to the rescue associations by supporting them with food or toward their vet bills.