Amelia is almost invisible in the leaves!
10 Questions with Dapper Maximus Designs
If you haven’t already seen this up and coming brand on Instagram I urge you to go check them out (@dappermaximusdesigns) !! With an impressive 79 sales on Etsy since August this brand new start up has taken off with a bang! Once you’ve read this interview, you can only sit back and see just how impressive the girl behind Dapper Maximus Designs really is!
We have received two beautiful leads, one is photographed for this blog & the second will be a delightful surprise a little later on! With both of them I asked Neve if she could create a lead I could pop into my pocket! It’s always been a dream of mine. Not only did she send me a lead in my favourite colours (white & camel) but she made it so small it fits effortlessly in my pocket!
Finally a lead that fits in my pocket!
1. What inspired you to start Dapper Maximus Designs ?
My idea to start the business ‘Dapper Maximus Designs’ came about when I couldn’t decide whether I should buy Maximus a rope lead or a leather lead. I then decided that it would be a great idea to combine the two! I thought it must have been done somewhere, so I looked for ages and could only find one company that did very basic, not very fun ones and they were all the way in America. I decided to take on the task of making it myself, and so the journey began! I also wanted to find a way to give back and to hopefully make a difference. Because of this, I will be donating £100 for every 100 sales I receive to a dog recue. My original dog rescue I wanted to donate to have sadly had to close down. I am now on the hunt for a local, new one.
2. Could you tell us more about the team behind the brand ?
My name is Neve, I am 17 years old and I am the twin sister of Charlotte, who runs the @dappermaximus account. I have always known that I didn’t want to get the standard 9-5 job when I grew up. I wanted to be more flexible and have always been interested in business. I have studied business all throughout secondary school and am now studying it in more depth at A-levels. Seeing all these small business’s on Instagram really made me want to take the leap and the risk of opening my own business and hopefully it all goes well!
3. What are your hopes for the brands future?
Well, so far its been going really well. Since opening, there has not been a day go by where I haven’t had to make a lead for an order. I hope that this continues and that one day it can become my full-time job as I’m really enjoying it all. As you may have seen, I now can emboss the dogs name onto the leather handle and I have been working on doing ombre rope recently, due to numerous requests to do them as some customers, understandably, didn’t want to risk the nice white rope getting dirty. I also plan to do leather collars in the future to match each lead.
4. Where do you source your materials from?
I source all of my materials from the UK. This is better for the environment and makes it a lot quicker to get new stock in. The fabric store where we get our bandana fabric from is just down the road from us, so myself and my mum (who kindly makes the bandanas whilst I learn to sew) hand pick each one in person.
5. How are your products made?
Firstly, I measure out and cut the correct thickness rope and tape the ends so that they don’t fray. I then get all of the hardware and whipping that I need to put the rope together. To attach the hardware at each end, I splice the rope. This makes the rope very strong, but then for even more strength I use whipping and strong glue to make the ends nice and secure and so that it looks a lot neater. I match the colour of the whipping to the chosen leather handle colour. I then get the coloured leather strip that I need and cut it to size. To attach this to the rope I put it through the D-ring, using three folds. Originally I thought to secure this using rivets, however my dad and I struggled to make these strong enough. My dad and I did strength tests with these and whilst they were strong, they just didn’t give us the reassurance that I needed. Our troubles with this are most likely down to the leather having three folds instead of the standard two that you get on fully leather leads. So, instead of this, I use joining screws, which are glued together with industrial strength glue, for extra strength. The lead is then packaged and ready to be sent.
6. How long does it take to make 1 rope lead?
The time it takes me to do each lead varies, sometimes it takes me an hour and other times it takes me two hours. I don’t want to rush any lead as I want to make sure each one is as good and as neat as I can make it. But hopefully over time and with practice, I will get quicker.
Absolutely in love !
7. Your leads have amazing attention to detail from colour choices & charms to personalisation. Where have you sought inspiration for your designs?
Thank you! My original design has changed so much to get it to where it is now. I really wanted my products to have a unique selling point and to not just be another one of the many rope leads that you see all over Instagram. As much as I love all rope leads, I didn’t think there was any point becoming another shop that does them. So instead I added my special touches like the leather handle and the charms. I also have the option to add a lovely, small, cotton drawstring bag which was my mums idea. I wanted to give my customers the option to personalise their leads to make sure that the design suits their needs and wants. You can choose the thickness, length, colour and the charm on your lead. I came up with all of this purely from just spending months designing and working on how I can make the leads as different and as good as possible to make them stand out.
8. Whats in store for Dapper Maximus Designs this coming year?
This coming year I hope to practice making the leather collars that I want to release and to make sure that I make each one as good as I can make them. These will then be released to the shop to match each lead handle, so that customers can get matching sets. I also will just keep on improving each of my designs and will hopefully bring out even more colours to choose from.
9. Could you share with us your favourite dog friendly location?
My favourite dog friendly location is either the Cotswolds or Devon/Cornwall. We visit the Cotswolds regularly due to having grandparents who live there. Our grandparents house there is a beautiful, little cottage surrounded by the quiet countryside. Maximus and Oscar absolutely love it there and so do I. It is my favourite place to be by far. I also love Devon and Cornwall as its very dog friendly. You have the countryside and you can also have the beach. Just perfect for dogs. Most of the cafes and pubs there are very dog friendly, so you feel very welcomed, even with muddy boots on!
Despite having a leather handle & stag charm, this lead is still so small it fits perfectly in my balm.
10. Lastly! Could you leave us with some advice for aspiring designers?
My advice would be patience. I started the idea to start this business at the beginning of February and I didn’t even release my first product until mid August. It takes time to create the perfect design that you are happy with and to then learn how to make it. You have to make sure that you are completely happy with what you have come up with and that won’t happen straight away. I have experienced problem after problem after problem with creating my shop and I still face problems, you just have to make sure that it doesn’t put you off! Just have patience, drive and determination and you will get there and hopefully, you will enjoy it! Just don’t give up to quickly.
Check out Dapper Maximus Designs here !
Eva & Amelia ♥