Team Pup n Suds...Just Kidding. A Small Business Spotlight: Wild Dogs Co.
We all know how I feel about friendship: That it’s super tight. And that high fives are my favorite currency. And that small business owners are some of my favorite people.
This week I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite people, artists, and small-business owners: Genevieve Mariani.
Genevieve owns and operates Wild Dogs Co. and we got connected through instagram (duh) after being on Girl on a Moto’s Podcast (DUH). Somehow, that Podcast has connected me with some of the raddest people I have ever known. This is no exception. I am so proud to be able to present to you another Small Business Spotlight, enjoy.
1. Please state your name for the record. Your full name. I want your middle name.
Genevieve Gabor Mariani
2. Where you from?
I grew up in Minnesota, but I’ve lived in Altadena, CA for the last five years.
3. How old are you?
I am THIRTY YEARS OLD!
4. What do you do for work? Is Wild Dogs Co. a full-time gig?
Wild Dogs IS a full time job but I also have other jobs because WDC is new and small and broke...I work at Wolf Connection (www.wolfconnection.org), I will be starting work with Pack Life LA, (www.packlifela.com) and I am also an art teacher to both children and adults!
5. How did you first start getting into drawing/art/being awesome? What was it that made you go, “THIS. This is the thing for me”?
I mean, I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. I have experienced brief interludes where I either became obsessed with/attempted to pursue other careers involving animals/nature - but it was always written that I would be an artist, regardless. Now, I’ve found a way to begin to kinda smoosh all my passions together...because while I love drawing and painting - nature, wilderness, and motorcycles light me up and give me inspiration to continue to create artwork
6. What is one thing that someone that is trying to do what you do should know?
Be sincere. Imitation won’t get you far - no matter how much it may seem like. Draw inspiration and motivation from others - but be true to yourself. THAT will get you further than anything else.
7. What’s your favorite color?
Uh, red and green...it was purple as a child so I also still love purple. But red and green are complimentary colors that occur so often in nature - I love the vibration they make together - it’s like visual meditation for me.
8. Tell me one thing you love about what you do?
I love that I get to spend so much time in the mountains. There was a time I yearned for that - and missed them daily. Now I am up there at least three times a week!
9. Tell me one thing you hate about what you do? Why? Is there something that could change about it so that it could also be something you love?
I hate that I am not always taken seriously. I hate that I am not respected the way someone with a 9-5 job is. As an artist, someone who works with animals and kids - I am cute. I am creative - but I am not generally not seen as a professional. Being a woman adds another element of inequality to this...I think I do love these injustices to an extent - because I get to prove the world wrong and show those on the path behind me that it’s OKAY. I get to show them that you CAN make a career being artist - you CAN do everything that men do, ride bikes, climb mountains, etc.
10. What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever made? Do you have one? Why? Why not?
For Wild Dogs Co., at this point it is the “Don’t Tread on Anyone” tee. I am simply very proud of the illustration and printing - it was my first successful two-color print and it was SO satisfying to see it come out. Also, I think it’s a really clever play on the Gadsden Flag, and comment on speciesism. Both close to my heart!
Here’s the thing about owning a small business and hustling your rump off to make sure you can also pay your bills: it sucks. But it’s also the best. Which is something that Genevieve and I have bonded over since first meeting. That, and the fact that screen printing is hard. Do yourself a favor and visit @WildDogsCo and @GMariani via instagram. Send words of encouragement. Tell Genevieve she’s doing a good job. And always, ALWAYS, support small businesses like Wild Dogs-businesses that are doing their best to make a difference. Happy Wednesday. —Nick