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Fetch & Follow Stories | Ren & Otis

We have been lucky enough to meet some inspiring creative owners and their dogs while working on Fetch & Follow. All of whom have their own stories to tell on how their dog has helped to enriched their lives and we wanted to share their stories with you. Each month we will be featuring one of these talented individuals and their equally amazing dogs
We first met Ren Valuzyteback and her cockapoo Otis back in our Netil market days when we both used to have a stall. Otis was a small pup back then who enjoyed using Ren’s wicker bag as a bed and he instantly stole our hearts
Ren is the talented designer and maker behind the brand Ren London. The label started with a collection of hand printed linens along with teaching block-printing workshops. She has since expanded into a range of mindfully made and beautifully designed womenswear.
 
 

We spoke to her about what it is like to run your own label with your dog as your sidekick, along with how Otis came into her life.

Tell us about Otis and how he came into your life

I grew up with dogs, so missed the companionship ever since I’ve left my parent’s home and their schnauzers. My partner and I discussed getting a dog for a good six months or so. Then we went to Morocco in 2015 and came across a tiny puppy that’d wandered into the road while we were travelling between Marrakech and the coast. We couldn’t find the mother or the litter anywhere. I got on my phone to see what to do with the poor little guy. Sadly, it’s a long and difficult process bringing Moroccan dogs into the UK. We found a family nearby that took him in and as soon as we got back to London began to look for one of our own. A couple of weeks later came Otis!

How does Otis fit into a general day working at Ren London?

He provides structure to my day and reminds me to take much needed breaks (in the form of walks or cuddles). Working for yourself can be a pretty solitary day to day life and it just helps having him there as my little sidekick. He accompanies me to my studio, on any errands, and is nice enough to sometimes carry my post for me.

When you’re not working where do you and Otis like to hang out?

You can find us at Wilton Way Cafe, we treat ourselves to a slow start most mornings. I make sure he gets a really long walk, usually out of town, on the weekends. We go to South Devon once a month and love to walk the coast there. Getting lost in Epping Forest is a nice way to spend an afternoon. We also have a secret spot near the Henry Moore sculpture park where we like to have a picnic and Otis takes a dip in a lily pond nearby.

What essentials do you always have on you when heading out with Otis and what do you carry them in?

One of our fetch and follow leads, poo bags, and a variety of treats. When I remember, I try to bring one of my linen throws for Otis to snooze on when I’m working from a cafe. Everything comes with me in one of my baskets. I like to collect them when I travel and have a handful that I rotate. Right now I bring along this bucket style palm leaf one I picked up on my recent trip to Morocco.

What adventures do you and Otis have planned for the rest of the year

This summer we’re taking Otis in our 50-year-old Peugeot on a road trip to the south of France and back up along the west coast. Also, each August bank holiday we spend a weekend in Normandy at an incredible airbnb find. We call it “Otis holiday” because he spends the weekend romancing the host’s golden retriever, Loup. They’re inseparable the entire weekend.

 

Ren's latest collection is available at
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