Featured Stories

Pooches and puppies satisfy upscale tastes

by: Barb Randall, 
Harmony, a lopso-opso owned by Teresa Jackson, co-owner of Canine Couture in Lake Oswego, is safely cuddled inside a doggie carrier that has luxurious fabric designed by Wegman.

Ol' Fido will never be the same - designer pet fashions have come to Lake Oswego.

Canine Couture, a retail shop featuring upscale fashions for dogs, opened in December in downtown Lake Oswego.

Owned by Teresa Jackson, her daughter Suzanne Clanton and Nathan Sanders, the shop features the latest fashions in dog sweaters and jackets, bags, carriers, collars, leashes, bowls and spa products.

'I got bored with the 'big box' stores' line of accessories. They offered nothing with style,' said Jackson, as she scratched her lopso-opso Harmony's head. 'I started researching sources for unique items for my own dogs.

'I got tired of my corporate job - I spent 20 years in corporate banking. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone: buy fun items for my dogs and yours, and spend my day doing it.'

Besides Harmony, Jackson has a daschund named Spike, and both animals frequently accompany Jackson to the store.

The idea to open the doggie fashion boutique had been formulating in Jackson's mind for several years.

'We used to talk about it at soccer games,' said partner Nathan Sanders, who is a counselor by profession, as is Clanton. 'I love dogs and had been wanting to work for myself, so this is a great fit.'

The trio began planning the business in earnest in January 2006 and by November, Jackson and Sanders quit their jobs to work on the store full-time.

'There was so much to do. We had to build every fixture you see (in the store), paint and get the store ready for business. Suzanne chose the colors,' said Sanders, pointing out the hip brown and lime green walls.

The partners chose Lake Oswego for their business location because there were lots of dogs and dog owners, but no boutique to serve them.

'There are dog boutiques in the Pearl and downtown Portland, but there was nothing like what we wanted to do in Lake Oswego,' said Jackson.

Canine Couture carries exclusive lines only. One line of dog carriers and bags features fabrics designed by William Wegman, best known for his photographs of his costumed Weimaraners.

Other lines the store carries are Louis Dog cashmere sweaters, Thayer and Ridge fleece coats, Romy and Jacob jackets, Hound in the Round totes, and Lisa Welch jewelry for people and pets. The spa lines carried are Cain and Able and Groom Dog, both made with natural botanical oils.

For a special occasion such as Valentine's Day or a dog's birthday, you will find a wide variety of treats at the store - including a birthday cake - made from all natural ingredients.

Show dog owners are among Canine Couture's customers, but the owners' philosophy is that 'every dog deserves designer.' Just like people, dogs perk up with a little something special to wear, they say.

Every item in the store is unique and would make any pooch feel special. From the miniature faux crocodile couch to the spring motif collar and leash sets, or the cozy bathrobe your dog will don after a sweet smelling bath, there are options galore for items to pamper your pooch.

The shop also offers online shopping through a Web site www.caninecouturepdx.com. Gifts can be sent to dog friends around the country.

As you would expect, dogs are welcome in the shop.

Canine Couture, located at 460A Fifth St., is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 503-699-4900.