Exclusive, Lifestyle

Q&A: Meet the woman behind Van’s coolest pet shop

Photo via Curiocity Group

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone that cares more about the happiness of pets than Dayandra Elrod. The Vancouver native has, for the past two years, grown her passion project into a full-fledged retail store. That project? Good Boy Collective, which aims to provide our furry friends with the best of the best in the pet world.

We like the sound of that, so we decided to ask her a few questions about Good Boy. From humble beginnings to collaborations and events, here’s the rundown on Vancouver’s best pet store.

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So, what prompted you to first start up Good Boy Collective?

Through working with Garmentory, I learned a lot about the difference between fast fashion and slow fashion. As a dog owner, I realized that there was a similar problem in the pet industry but it was getting less attention. Lots of products for pets are mass produced unethically and of poor quality. With that said, the brands doing it right exist – but they are far less represented. To be honest, a lot of stuff out there just isn’t very stylish or modern. As someone who cares about my personal style and the feel of my home, I found it really hard to find things that I would feel good about having on display in my house. The items your pets acquire end up being a part of your home in some way… If you hide your dog bed when guests come over, why have it in your home at all?

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How has the brand grown in the (close to) two years since you first started out?

When I first started Good Boy, I was actually sewing the dog beds I sold myself! I have since learned that I am not a professional, so I have put my sewing machine to rest (LOL). Good Boy has been my passion project and it’s chosen its own adventure. I had done a couple pop-ups and events over time, but since it was more of a side gig it was treated that way. With that said, I had always wanted to pursue something full time.

My favourite adventure was in 2018. I partnered with Lululemon lab and did a pop-up in their Gastown location. We did a Dog Yoga class that raised money for a local dog rescue and it was super fun. Doing this event made me realize that in having a space, there was a lot of possibilities to do great things for local rescues and for the community. Also – seeing the beautiful products offline helped people appreciate them. That’s when the lightbulb went on for the idea to open the shop.

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How do you pick the items that you sell at Good Boy Collective?

All of my brands have unique people behind them and a reason why they do what they do. They may donate to a rescue, use all natural ingredients, recycle things humans don’t use to make something awesome or even won design awards for their eye… At the end of the day, they are all cool people doing cool things for the love of pets. I try to choose meaningful brands that I would use myself. I don’t carry anything that I wouldn’t want in my home or use for my own pets, and I go with brands that are doing things in a modern and ethical way.

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Do you have a favourite brand at the moment?

This question is simply impossible for me to answer. I love every brand for a different reason!

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Good Boy Collective is also devoted to supporting the community. What are your thoughts on Vancouver’s dog (and owner) scene?

I think that there has been a really positive shift in the way people think about their dogs. Dogs are officially members of the family, a fur sibling to your kids. Statistically, young couples are adopting dogs instead of having children. So with that change, there is a new respect for the quality of products that your pet deserves. A lot of my customers are rescue dogs, which is super awesome to see! A big goal for me is to have Good Boy to take part in connecting our dog owners and giving them a sense of community. Good Boy will play as a space they can not only shop for some unique products –  but learn something new about their dog, or even have a casual drink for a rescue fundraiser.

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Does Good Boy Collective have any big plans for the summer?

Yes! Still TBA – but I’m hoping to host lots of community events in the space. I would love to have fundraisers, adoption events, and education events for dog owners all summer. So if you’re someone who would like to have an event and you’re reading this – give us a shout! We are also going to add a new way to purchase dog food that involves zero waste. I’m super excited to show customers what we’ve been working on… Stay tuned!

GOOD BOY COLLECTIVE

Where: 3633 Main St

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