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Brand Spotlight - RIFRUF

Brand Spotlight - RIFRUF

Join us for an interview with RIFRUF founders Peter and Jeremy in this Brand Spotlight.

Hey there, folks!

As some of you are already aware, the dog brand RIFRUF is one-of-a-kind.

They started out by establishing themselves in the dog shoe market and right away won awards like Best Dog Accessory Product of the Year from the Pet Innovation Awards. They are a young brand and have already made some serious moves in the dog product world.

Dogs wearing RIFRUF shoes.

Angus modeling the Caesar 1S in Barley, Paco modeling the Caesar 1 in Wool, and Shakespeare modeling the Caesar 1 in Black.

Offering Head to Paw Dogleisure™ products for our best furiends, we at Pet Project LA love them because of their attention to detail and commitment to their customers. 

Join us for an interview with founders Peter and Jeremy about their pawesome products for our BFFs.

Dog wearing Caesar 1S in Barley

"Sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands (or paws)!" 

Pet Project LA: Peter, was there a “final straw” while you were out with Caesar or shopping for shoes that made you decide to jump in on the dog shoe making business?
 
Peter: The real final straw was when Caesar stepped on some broken glass and the need for dog shoes was just so obvious at that point. I knew there wasn't anything out there in the dog shoe market that met the standards I had for my own shoes, and I most certainly did not want to see Caesar sporting anything that was available at the time. Sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands (or paws)!
Dog modeling RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Wool
 

Paco modeling RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Wool.

Pet Project LA: Jeremy, how did your background in the human shoe space cross over to the dog shoe world? 

Jeremy: To be honest, I'm just a big design nerd, so when I saw how poorly designed and engineered most dog shoes were, I felt that something needed to be done.
 
I've worked across so many different brands and designed various types of shoes, from childrens to mens to womens, so in a way, crossing over to dog products felt like a natural next step!

Pet Project LA: How many different prototypes did you go through before landing on your first dog shoe model, the Caesar 1?
 
Jeremy: Is too many to count an acceptable answer? Definitely at least 10-15. The prototyping stage is a very down and dirty phase, especially when designing a product where the processes have to be completely rethought and redone. Once we were able to convince our manufacturing partners that we weren't completely crazy, it became a step by step game where we would try to improve the product one prototype at a time. We knew we had something special at prototype 1, and at prototype 15, we knew that it was time to introduce RIFRUF to the world.
Dog wearing Black RIFRUF shoes

Shakespeare modeling the RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Black.

"Its low-key design and premium construction allows it to be worn on any occasion."

Pet Project LA: Since your first model, you have developed the Caesar 1S and just came out with the Apollo 1. What are the differences between the shoes? Do you find that the different models work better for certain types of paws? 

Jeremy: Definitely! The Caesar 1 is our founding model and is the most versatile, minimal, and multifunctional shoe, not only within RIFRUF, but in the entire dog shoe market. Its low-key design and premium construction allows it to be worn on any occasion.
 
The Caesar 1S is the remix to the original 1. Unlike the Caesar 1 which is a single piece minimal upper construction, the 1S has a tongue which adds a bit more protection. We recommend the 1S to any dogs that have prominent dew claws, as the tongue-construction will lock it down better.
 
As for our new Apollo 1, we believe it's the pinnacle of dog shoe design. It features a great hiker-inspired aesthetic, a fully waterproof construction with a moisture wicking topcoat, and most impressive yet, an EVA foam midsole that provides cushion and support for your dogs joints. The midsole component is something that you only see on premium human running shoes, so for us to finally be able to perfect it in our dog shoes is something we're very proud of. If you like the Caesar 1 and 1S, but want a bit more bells and whistles, we recommend you add the Apollo 1 to your dog's sneaker collection!
Paco modeling RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Wool.
Paco modeling RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Wool.

Pet Project LA: Are you going to continue to modify your shoes?

Jeremy: Something that most may not know is that we're always improving the functionality and comfort of our shoes even after we launch the product. When we hear honest feedback of how our shoes are fitting, we take all that in and see if we can implement those changes, especially if it means that our customers can get a better product in the end.
 
For example, the very first drop of the Caesar 1 compared to our current Caesar 1 is vastly different. Since the very first launch, we've improved the comfort package, added a foamed-collar, and upped the quality of our hook and loop strap. This is all thanks to the feedback we've digested from our amazing customers!
Dog wearing RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Black. Shakespeare modeling the RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Black.

Pet Project LA: Aside from the shoes, you have dog socks, hoodies, and just released harnesses, leashes, and raincoats. Are there any other exciting things on the horizon for your fans and customers?
 
Jeremy: Of course! We can't give away too much, but just know that RIFRUF is the go-to Head to Paw™ Dogleisure™ brand. We have a lot in the works from exciting new products, and incredible new color drops that we can't wait to show you. If you thought year 1 and 2 for RIFRUF was big, just wait until year 3!
 
Pet Project LA: What would you say to someone who thinks dogs don’t need shoes or clothes for protection/comfort?

Peter: We do receive comments from time to time about how dog shoes are "unnatural". It's unfortunate, because while these comments come from a good place (people trying to protect dogs), they're highly misinformed -- there's an abundance of articles on the internet backed by vets about how dog shoes are a necessity depending on where you live. Dog paw pads are tough, but they are not indestructible. We've brought dogs along with us as our world continues to modernize (i.e. building concrete/asphalt roads as the world continues getting warmer, salting and putting chemicals into the ice and snow, broken glass and litter lying around), and nature didn't exactly prepare dogs for these man-made environments. So if you wouldn't put your bare feet or your unclothed body through these elements, please do your dog a favor and help them out as well!
Dog wearing RIFRUF shoes in Barley.

Angus modeling the Caesar 1S in Barley.

"Our philosophy is pretty simple: if we wouldn't wear it, neither should our dogs."

Pet Project LA: It’s really amazing that being cruelty-free and using vegan materials goes hand-in-hand (or paw-in-paw) with your mission. What else is essential to the ethos behind Rifruf? 

Peter: Our philosophy is pretty simple: if we wouldn't wear it, neither should our dogs. Our mission goes beyond just dog shoes (hence our new products) -- we felt there was a big gap in the dogwear market for modern items that we would happily wear the human version of. That's the litmus test whenever we design and launch new products; it has to be something we would be proud of seeing our dogs wear!
Dog modeling RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Wool.
Paco modeling RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Wool.

Pet Project LA: Thank you both for taking the time to speak with us about your totally pawesome brand! Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

Peter: We're a young brand and because of that, we have a lot of new and exciting things to show our RIFRUF Pack as we look to continue and grow (so stay tuned)! For any readers who have already tried RIFRUF products, thank you for your support! And for those new to RIFRUF, we'd love to invite you to join the RIFRUF Pack. Let us know if you ever have any questions about our shoes, training tips, and anything else, we're just an email away at team@rifrufqueens.com

 

Dog modeling the RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Black.Shakespeare modeling the RIFRUF Caesar 1 in Black.

Thank you so much for joining us today, y'all! Hope you have learned some grrrreat things about one of our favorite brands, RIFRUF!
 
Ta ta for now! <3

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