A pet accessory business based near Milton Keynes has recently won the Best New Business at the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Awards. Barking Bags is the brainchild of Debbie Greaves and her partner Rob Angell, who were inspired by the need to find a bag that would carry all the paraphernalia that they needed when they were training and out on a walk with their dog, Maisie.
The PIF Awards celebrate success across a wide range of products, services, companies and individuals and provide the perfect platform to recognise excellence and innovation in the industry. The awards were recently handed out at a black tie event at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northamptonshire and were attended by the major companies and experts in the pet industry.
Barking Bags are fast becoming an essential companion for dog walkers. Their fashionable and multifunctional design allows the wearer the flexibility to use them cross body or as a bum bag, helping dog walkers to carry everything they need without compromising on style. They are weatherproof and suitable for any climate or environment.
Barking Bags truly come into their own particularly during the winter months as Debbie explains,
“Regular exercise is vitally important in the winter months and it is important to make the walk pleasant for you and your dog. Always carry bags for cleaning up and disposing of doggie poop—leaving dog waste is not only a health hazard, but also it is against the law. Try to hydrate by carrying water for yourself and your dog, especially in warmer weather, and be sure to pack your dog’s favourite bite-size treats for rewarding good behaviour away from home.
“We have a range of high quality, water resistant, unisex fabrics and also high end luxury leather bags to choose from, but in response to customer demand, we also produce a vegan friendly range as well. These allow you to carry all the essentials you need.”
Inspired by young British designers, Barking Bags make walking the dog easier, safer and more convenient. Their ingenious designs have mesh pockets for water bottles and soggy toys, a poo bag dispenser, a safe place for keys and mobile and much more. Some models have reflective strips for added safety when walking in the dark and Barking Bags sell police approved panic alarms that can be clipped onto the bags. Barking Bags come with breathable side pockets with the option of a draw string side pocket – large enough to carry the dog waste once it is bagged up which means no more walking around carrying the unmentionable stuff.
The bags are great for professional dog walkers, breeders, show dog owners, groomers and ordinary dog owners. You can fit all your bits and pieces in the compartments and they make the perfect accessory or gift for any dog owner. There are also a range of additional accessories that can be purchased in the Barking Bag range that include water bottles, collapsible dog bowls, alarms, towels to dry the dog’s paws on and belts to hook your bags onto so you can keep you hands free to control your dog. The bags have 100% 5 star reviews on Google
Barking Bags were also nominated in two other categories at the Pet Industry Federation Awards (PIF) and were finalists in three categories at the Pet Quip awards. There are plans afoot to increase production of the range due to demand and to introduce new range of smaller bum bags. The bags are currently made by artisans in India and are packaged in the UK at MK SNAP – a local charity working with adults with learning difficulties.
TipTop Outlet opens brand new store at The Mall Luton
The Mall Luton has today welcomed new store TipTop Outlet to the centre, with the retailer opening its doors to eager customers looking for premium brands at affordable prices.
The store, which covers two floors, is home to an iconic line-up of brands including Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Timberland. More affordable ranges can be found on the first floor, which is accessible via staircase or lift.
Shoppers will be able to browse a huge range of shoes, clothes, and accessories, with a fantastic mix of sought-after, limited-edition lines not readily available in other stores, and great value bargains. Items such as the Nike Jordan Limited Edition trainers that usually are not available within stores in the UK will be one of the first of a selection of unique offers at the store.
Manager of TipTop Outlet, Mutaz Alhejoj, said, “We are excited to unveil the store after working hard to get it ready over the past couple of months. Tiptop is a great place to find your next pair of favourite trainers but also to browse through our collections of branded clothes and accessories. Exclusively for the opening, we have secured many pairs of the Nike Jordan Limited Edition released in 2021. We look forward to welcoming shoppers to our store!”
The opening of TipTop comes in the same week as the newly extended Primark store fully opens at The Mall, bringing an even bigger and better range of fashion and homeware to the centre. The 10,000sqft extension into an adjacent unit sees the retail giant increasing its presence in Luton and offering a wider choice of products to shoppers.
Roy Greening, General Manager, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Tiptop Outlet to The Mall. Their unique and exciting offer is a fantastic addition to our already impressive line-up here at the centre.
Roy continued, “With the opening of the extended Primark store this week, and the opening of TipTop, all just in time for the festive season, we hope shoppers will love discovering the new lines and brands now available here”.
TipTop can be found opposite H&M in The Mall. Shoppers can access the bigger and improved Primark store through an enlarged entrance within the Mall as well as via George Street.
TipTop Outlet Luton Address
The Mall Luton
Your Autumn / Winter Style Checklist by Own Your Style UK
I can’t help but get excited for the season ahead! Autumn fills us all with the expectation of lazy family walks through the woods and cosy fireside drink. Cooler mornings, warm daytimes and chilly evenings call for what’s referred to in the world of fashion as transitional dressing!
Here are my top tips for transitioning your style into Autumn & Winter plus my top trends for the season ahead too
Use your summer wardrobe and layer like a pro – don’t pack away your summer dresses, wear them over a long sleeve tee, lightweight jumper or throw a chunky knit cardigan over the top to give them a seasonal update – Chunky knits are a must have piece for the season ahead. I also love an oversized knitted vest (aka tank top too!) so very A/W 21. Check out H&M and Zara for knits on the High Street, American Vintage for the most comfortable snuggly designer knits and M&S for great cashmere!
There is no shortage of options for boots this season – summer dresses, skirts and jeans look great worn into autumn with a cute flat or chunky soled ankle boot. It’s an instant way to ‘Winterise’ an outfit in one easy step! From the classic Chelsea boot to knee hight boots, Cuban heel cowboy boots, combats, platform boots and the resurgence of the 80s platform style there really is something for everyone. My advice – buy them now before they are gone. Both M&S, H&M, Dune and Zara offer an excellent affordable alternative this year to rival the designers!
One of the most versatile pieces in any wardrobe – want to elevate a casual outfit throw on a blazer. Need to look smart for a meeting, throw on a blazer. Blazers can be worn over tees, dresses, jumpers, sweatshirts – they literally go with everything!! Just choose one that suits your preferred style. From tweed (with a Chanel vibe), tailored and coloured to oversized there are so many styles available this season! An effortless and cool transitional piece for everyone. Arket, Zara, Massimo Dutti. H&M, Mango, & Other Stories and M&S on the High Street all offer stylish blazers
10 Trends for Autumn!
Which ones do you have in your wardrobe?
- Quilted coats – Granny chic is back
- Vintage Florals – from dresses to knits
- Belted Blazers – cinch it in
- Metallics – gold is a winner
- Floral Knitwear & Chunky Cardigans – wear them on repeat
- Faux Fur – Get cosy
- Bright colours – Green is a must!
- Mini Dresses – think Mary Quant
- Capes & Ponchos – Great for layering
- Dark Denim – try high waisted jeans
About Janine / Own Your Own Style UK
Janine is a Style and Personal Brand Image Coach™ and helps women elevate their style and personal image for success. Visit her website at www.ownyourstyleuk.co.uk and download her 10 Checks to Skyrocket your Personal Brand Image for Success or sign up to her regular style edits.
Janine also offers all new clients a 30 minute free style and image online/telephone consultation – book via her website – Just use the word Trendlife when booking
Kinship Local helps champion local artists after a year of lockdown
Newly opened gift shop Kinship Local in Rowsham has found a positive way to help fellow small creative businesses whose sales may have suffered this last year.
Kinship Local was founded by small business owners Claire Ashton and Jen Burton, who have a passion for championing British made, independently owned, small creatives.
Lovers of good quality, great design, and an eye for the bright and bold, Kinship Local has been working with a range of Pop-Up Makers since opening its doors in June.
Claire explains, “We wanted to offer artists, designers and makers a local space, set amongst our own curated eco-conscious products. We wish to encourage local residents to shop small, shop locally and to support those who make in small batches, who pour their hearts and souls into their products. Step away from the mass made, and embrace the slow made”.
Jen adds, “Choosing to shop and buy from a small independent creative brings so much positivity. The Makers we choose to support in-store have a strong belief and ethic around sustainability and creating less waste, which is so important. Also, with the loss of income last year, it was crucial for us to help drive the local economy by supporting small businesses. We truly believe that you can buy beautiful, buy small and buy local all at once.”
Retail space along the UK highstreets is unattainable for so many smaller retail outlets. So with the support and belief of the team at Wild Raven Farm Shop, Kinship Local has been hugely popular and a happy welcome to local residents.
Since their second week of opening, Kinship Local has offered 3-4 Pop-Up makers every fortnight to showcase a range of products. So far, Bella Bowlicious headbands, Bethan Lily knitted cushions, Tweedles Handmade eco food wraps, Bridie & Bert Towelling Robes, Wild Flora Handmade resin wildflower jewellery, and Sarah McFloof painted pebbles and gnomes have all featured.
This week they welcomed Am & Flo hand-painted peg dolls, Magic Kind clothing, Jennifer Wesley cards and Immy & Boo recycled and repurposed fabric headbands, lavender eye pillows and yoga bags. There is always a mixture of products to inspire and a range of handmade gifts to give.
Pop-Up Partner Beth from Bethan Lily Knitwear says, “Kinship Local has been an excellent opportunity for my business. It’s kept me going and is definitely worth a visit to see all of the other lovely products in the cabin. Jen and Claire have been a pleasure to work with! “
“Since launching my products, both Claire & Jen have updated me daily and share in my excitement of sales and feedback with me….for this, I will always be thankful to them,” says Claire from Bella Bowlicious.
Whilst they are full until the beginning of September, Claire and Jen are looking for more artists and designers to support and champion.