It all started with a dream…
Carolina was living in Washington D.C., working full-time as a lawyer and by all outward appearances, was living the dream. She worked at a fast-paced law firm, was successful, had degrees for days and a professional wardrobe that most women would die for. She was someone other women envied and aspired to be. But deep within herself, she was barely keeping it together and only those closest to her truly knew the depths of her anguish. She was in the midst of an awful divorce, ready to exit the toxic marriage that had become in part, a piece of her identity. Many days she could barely manage to get out of bed and every morning she’d awake in a state of anxious fear over what new misery life would throw her way. But as any strong, powerhouse does, she pulled herself up by her stiletto heals and kept going. Cielo needed her to keep going and Cielo was her only reason for waking up every day.
Before Cielo was ever a part of the equation, Carolina knew she not only wanted a dog but NEEDED one. She needed purpose; something or someone to give her life meaning. She had just gotten her own, tiny apartment and thought “maybe a dog will help bring happiness to my world again.” Through the Humane Rescue Alliance, she had her eyes set on a beautiful pittie named Eva that would soon be available for adoption. Carolina submitted her application, had been in contact with Eva's foster and had already met her in person several times. She worked hard to establish that connection because she didn't want to risk Eva going to someone else. All that was needed to make it official was to sign the paperwork and Eva would be hers. But the universe would have other plans because she would soon find out that Eva wasn’t going to be a good fit for her after all. And once again, Carolina would be devastated. She convinced herself that she could make it work despite the uphill challenges she’d face and as she was getting ready to call the rescue to let them know she still wanted Eva, she stumbled upon a picture of Cielo and a brief bio about everything she’d endured in her short life. Cielo was a survivor of abuse, used as a breeding machine in an illegal backyard breeder operation and as a result of her trauma, suffered from severe anxiety. She was suffering in a shelter environment and her anxiety was worsening. The Humane Rescue Alliance was desperate for a foster to step forward and Carolina knew this was a sign. She agreed to meet Cielo that same day and it all worked out in the end because Eva would also go on to a forever home that would be the perfect fit for her needs.
The day Carolina & Cielo met.
As they say, the rest was history. But the truth is, even after Cielo became a permanent part of Carolina’s life, it wasn’t always easy. They were both broken souls trying to keep their heads above water; trying to recover from the trauma that humanity had caused them both. In their new, tiny apartment filled with nothing more than an air mattress and a dog bed, they found solace in one another and slowly, with time, their wounds began to heal. They had each other and nothing else seemed to matter.
It is no secret the difficulty and tribulation pit bull-type dogs and their owners have tried to overcome for several decades now. But having Cielo in her life opened up her world to just how desperate that battle continues to be. From the simple fact that people would cross the street to avoid crossing paths with her to finding a safe place to live that would allow her to bring Cielo with, having Cielo in her life only seemed to make things more challenging. But it only motivated her more to make it work. Like her own suffering, she saw the pain that dog’s like Cielo faced every day; how they’d been tossed aside as nothing more than a nuisance to society rather than being recognized for the loving joy they brought to the world. If Cielo could pull her from the darkest point in her own life, she knew that other pit bull rescues were waiting in the wings to do the same. And so, she began to dream about all the ways she and Cielo could change the world together. What would soon follow was FurRescue Fashions.
A play on the word “fabulous,” this passion project started out as Furr-bulous. The idea was to create dog-fashions tailored specifically for pit bull-type dogs and other misrepresented bully breeds as a way to ignite the conversation surrounding them in a positive way. Regardless of breed, a large dog in a pink sweater is a lot less intimidating to approach; and if she could encourage people to start asking questions then she could use her platform to help dispel the negativity that often looms over these majestic animals. Not only could she steer the narrative, but she could also use this as an avenue to give back to the rescue community. Part of her mission statement would become to donate a portion of her sales from each month to worthy animal-focused rescues.
Furr-bulous would eventually be rebranded as FurRescue Fashions to better capture their overall mission and since then, Carolina and Cielo’s family has grown by 5. Carolina remarried to a wonderful man who is supportive, kind and who loves dogs as much as she does. And Cielo gained 4 fur-siblings - Dyno, Evie, Lily and their current foster brother Jimbo. Carolina has also given up her law career; the last tie to the life she worked so hard to move past from. While she loves and appreciates the opportunities her career gave her, the passion she once felt for it was no longer present. Today her focus is 100% on her business, their mission and this month they're also celebrating three years since they first opened! One of the most important elements of this venture was to support the rescue community that does so much to change the negative stereotypes that exist not only around pit bull-type dogs but rescue dogs in general. Because of this, FurRescue Fashions continues to donate 30% of profits each month and has donated over $20,000 to rescues all across the United States and has shipped their PAWdorable accessories to countries all over the globe since opening their doors in May of 2019.
Carolina, Cielo and the entire FurRescue Fashions team knows just how much of a role their customers, fans and friends play in their success. None of this would be possible without your support and you aren’t taken for granted, not a second throughout each day. Carolina and Cielo are just a vessel for providing a platform to make a difference. That impact wouldn’t be possible without you. So let’s go back to where it all began, with the Humane Rescue Alliance, where FurRescue Fashions will once again be donating 30% of profits to the rescue that changed their lives forever.
Every product you purchase from FurRescue Fashions is hand sewn with love, is not only supporting a family of dog lovers with a passion for philanthropy, but continues to live up to it’s mission to change the stigma and give back. Thank you so much for the love and support you’ve provided to FurRescue Fashions over the years and the entire family hopes you continue to join them on their journey, wherever it may lead them next!