Doris Carvalho, an entrepreneur from Tampa, has come up with an original way of combining her two greatest passions – veterinary science and fashion. She recycles dog hair that’s left over from grooming, converting it into high-end designer purses.
Doris loves her new job so much that she hopes to convert it into a business – she’s currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 toward that exact purpose. That’s just enough money to make her first line of 30 purses and pay for marketing.
“These handbags prove that high-end can be made eco-friendly from your pet for you,” she pointed out. “I turn this groomed dog fur that would be garbage anywhere else in the world into these handbags. I sterilize and I use them to make the thread, the yarn. It’s reused, recycled.”
The purses are all 100 percent handmade, and it takes Doris about 50 hours to complete each one. She needs around two pounds of fur per purse and she insists that the completed item is as soft as any other fur. They’re priced at $1,000 apiece, but she says that the price would go down significantly if the products were to ever go into mass production. “I hope in the future I can make it cheaper and sell much cheaper for everyone,” she said.
We aren’t sure how well these purses are selling, but according to Jaime Calderbank, owner of One Lucky Dog in St. Petersburg, it all depends on how much people are willing to display their love for their dogs. “I think a few of them that really love their dogs would absolutely like something like that,” she speculated.
Doris, who is originally from Brazil, has managed to raise just $350 ever since she started the campaign, but she has 50 days to reach her $15,000 goal. “I hope people who like the project can help,” she said. “Any contribution is welcome.”
Photos: Doris Carvalho/Kickstarter