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January 2009
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Duluth Company Goes To The Dogs

Louise Russell’s company in Duluth, Minnesota is the largest maker of dog booties in the world.  Russell has seven employees who work with her full time at sewing tables stacked with colorful, yet tough fabrics.  Dogbooties.com has quietly grown over the years and now ships booties to mushers and dog owners in all fifty states and around the world.

Although business typically picks up when the snow starts to fall, this year Russell says the company has also benefitted from a brief mention in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, revealing that the site has had over 2,000 online orders since that paper came out.

In 1991, Russell purchased the Arrowhead Fabric business, which specialized in supplying tough fabrics for the repair of outdoor items like backpacks and sleeping bags.  Then some area dog mushers asked if she could make something to cover their dog’s feet.  Russell’s dog booties have since become so popular that the company made 140,000 of them last year. 

Russell says her company’s advantage is in its stay snug design, and that they don’t cater to pampered pooches.  Her booties are designed for protection from snow, hot surfaces, salt, mud or for protection as paw wounds heal.  The booties are a necessity for dog sledders, who can actually go through a couple thousand booties a year.

The booties are all proudly made in Duluth and are cheaper than most of her competitors at around $10 for four.  You can see the booties as well as collars, leashes and dog jackets at Dogbooties.com, or read more about Russell’s story in the Duluth News Tribune.

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