Dog culture: Morgan Cummins from Somerset brand Houndworthy
PUBLISHED: 15:55 06 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:55 07 January 2016
We caught up with Morgan Cummins, co-owner of dog-lifestyle company Houndworthy, based in Weston-Super-Mare, to discover the inspiration behind the canine-loving Somerset brand
Can you describe your work space and daily routine?
Like most dog owners, our day revolves around our mutts. But then so does our business! Houndworthy headquarters is a small 120 year old stone coach house situated about 500 yards from the beach. Every day starts with a walk through the two beautiful Victorian parks across the road and then out across the sand. Two feisty terrier poodle crosses named Motley & Tucker keep us on our toes and are constantly underfoot during our work day. Orders are picked, sorted, packed and posted in the mornings and the rest of the day sees us keeping up with our various social media feeds; Houndworthy is growing in popularity across Instagram and Facebook and we’ve also recently launched our YouTube channel.
Why did you choose to manufacture the products here in Britain?
Virtually everything in our range is manufactured right here in Britain. Occasionally we’ll work with a leading brand somewhere else on a collaboration when the fit is right, but for the most part, we work hard to find suppliers who we can actually visit and hang out with to develop a product. We find this translates into better overall quality and a more intimate understanding of what we make, why it is made that way, and why it matters.
Are all the products designed in house?
You betcha. We make stuff we believe active dog people would use and appreciate.
Do you have a philosophy that you follow?
Our approach has always been about doing what you love doing, doing it well, doing it with purpose and meaning, and truthfully believing that what you are doing is something important and valuable to society. Dogs are incredibly meaningful to the people that love them and they enrich our lives in so many ways. Our business was created to celebrate the culture of dogs and bring dog lovers together to share those experiences. For us Houndworthy really is a way of life, and we’re just really happy that we can make a living out of sharing the things we care about with others who dig the same stuff. Dog people rock!
Who is your target customer?
Us! Well, ok, perhaps not just us. But generally, we do think that the best companies on the planet are those who work hard to create things that they themselves would buy, appreciate or share. Our name is on our gear so we really care about getting it right. It’s as much a case of pride as it is taste. We know there are a lot of people who are just like us… their dogs represent a very important aspect of their lifestyle, valued as integral members of the family.
Do you have a favourite product?
Our monogram leather collars are hugely popular. We sell them to dog owners around the world and it’s cool to think our signature collars are being worn and seen in major cities from London to Tokyo (and everywhere in between!). We love them.
Have you always been creative?
We both come from creative backgrounds in design and advertising. Jo is our Creative Director and is responsible for most of our image creation, while I come from a copywriting background. Our previous careers have definitely have helped us when it comes to delivering the Houndworthy experience.
Do you have any famous customers that you know of?
We’ve had leading Hollywood stylists shop with us, plus we count a few top fashion designers in Europe and London as valued clients. Keep an eye on our Instagram feed as we regularly post about our famous customers!
Where do you see Houndworthy in the future?
Where don’t we see Houndworthy in the future? We’re already exporting our products to dog owners around the planet so there’s no reason to think small – anything’s possible!
Are dogs better than cats?
Nine lives are for pussies.
Morgan’s 5 top tips for dog owners
1. Teach them to come back to you on a very loud whistle (like ours!). One day, you’ll be really thankful you made the effort.
2. Take your dogs everywhere. As a dog culture company, we believe mutts are the basis for the lifestyle we lead… where you go, they follow. You’ll be happier, plus you’ll be making the world a more dog-friendly place.
3. Choose pet goods that are well designed and well made. Just like the food you feed yourself, you get what you pay for! Don’t cheap out on dog gear (or dog food for that matter) or they’re the ones who’ll end up paying for it.
4. Explore more. Britain is dog-walking paradise and the rest of the world envies us. Don’t ever forget it! Get out there!
5. Don’t just walk your dog, let him/her walk you. They know when you’re enjoying yourself and the world is basically one big adventure to them. Follow their lead.