Pet carriers: not exactly the first word in luxury accessories. But, leave it to one style-conscious advertising exec who solved a fruitless search for the perfect option by creating her own. JUST FRED, the new venture by founder Tennille Teague, combines elevated taste with meaningful values which will strike a chord with all pet owners. From a wishlist-worthy vegan leather bag to transport your furry companion in style, to convenient kits, pouches, and swag: it’s a must-visit destination website for animal lovers…or those who just want to peep cute content of pets posing with disco balls! Teague tells The Daily how the journey began, thanks to some inspo from her two pups, Mo and Rizzo.
Everything is so cute! Tell us everything we need to know.
JUST FRED is a Brooklyn-based and female founded dog accessories brand that promotes and values alternative self-expression, community, and inclusivity. We create cruelty-free products for pets, including travel carriers, walking essentials, apparel, and “fred flair”—pins to add to your accessories. Our namesake, “Fred” is a representation of all dogs—young and old, big and small—around the world, who we experience day-to-day life moments together with in unity. JUST FRED also proudly helps support selected animal organizations to ensure that rescue animals get the loving homes, healthcare, and legal protection that they deserve.
Do you currently have pets?
JUST FRED was inspired by my 14-year-old dachshund Mo (short for Mo-Town!). I was craving a dog carrier that was discrete, had elevated style, and was comfortable for him. After not finding something like this in the market, I decided to design one myself and everything began from there. My second dog, Rizzo, is a new addition to the family. He was seven-years-old when I fostered him. I immediately fell for the little guy and asked him to join me and Mo in life. These two boys are the best little partners in crime…and upstanding co-CEOs of JUST FRED!
Before you began this venture, what industry were you in?
I come from a career as an executive producer in the advertising industry, so I’ve always been drawn to creating compelling brand stories/worlds. I’m also an advocate for helping ensure kindness to animals, so starting JUST FRED is a natural mix of those two passions.
What differentiates the brand?
JUST FRED is more than a brand; we also consider ourselves a community for dog lovers with a mission to help the underdogs and create cruelty-free pet accessories for dogs and their human partners.
How do your personal values align with what the brand is all about?
It’s important that no animals are harmed in the making of any of our products, so everything from JUST FRED is cruelty-free. And we believe it is important that our personal values align with our personal style, which is why we’re on a dedicated mission to support and bring awareness to the underdogs by working with organizations to help ensure that animals get what they need and deserve.
Tell us about the charitable element and your donation partners.
We support four amazing animal organizations that each have a different focus on how they help animals. Our community can choose who they’d like us to donate to on their behalf when they make a purchase on our site. It’s a direct way for us to really connect our community with specific support through their purchases.
Who are the organizations?
Animal Haven is a nonprofit animal shelter that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the Tri-state area. Mr Mo Project is a nonprofit rescue with the mission to rescue senior dogs from shelters so they can live out their lives in a loving home. See Spot Rescued is a nonprofit dog rescue, that rescues the soul mates and members of the pack. And Animal Legal Defense Fund fights to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.
What do you keep in mind when coming up with a new product?
A few things are top of mind! First, would this be something that benefits the dog’s comfort? For the carriers, we have extra sturdy bases to instill confidence in how their weight is balanced and the super cushion filled sides ensure they have something soft to lean against when hanging out (or if you accidentally bump into something.) For our collars, harnesses, and apparel, we use the softest material so they are soft to the touch of the dog’s skin. It’s also important that the materials chosen are 100% vegan and no animals were harmed in making them. We also want to make sure that it’s something that we’d be inspired to use and wear in public. We believe what you choose for your dog is an extension of your own style so why not have those choices! So many dog products are lacking in a stylish design. If they have some design to them, they are a bit conservative. If they are a bit more edge, they lack quality. We are always thinking about how to provide high quality along with cool design.
You sell the cutest little puppy hoodies! Do you plan on expanding into more pet clothing options?
Most definitely! We love good pup fashion and there isn’t enough of it out there. We have a winter coat in the works, as well as a sweater, that we are pretty sure the pup’s owners will want in their size as well!
I’m getting my first puppy this week!! What product would you recommend for my first Just Fred purchase?
First off, congrats. This is definitely the most exciting time ever! I’d say a harness and leash are important as you work with your puppy to get them comfortable walking on leash. For small or medium sized dogs, we’d recommend getting them used to a carrier from the early days. Take a few minutes a day having them inside the carrier with you while you are home. It can be as simple as walking around your apartment with them in the carrier on your shoulder to help them gain confidence being inside and above the ground. This is a game-changer to do this early on, so when it comes time to travel, go to the vet, or just a casual ride in an Uber, they will be much more confident and willing to join you on your journeys.
What other options make for a great gift for the pet lover in your life?
I’d say our #2 Pouches, which hold a roll of waste bags for swift, easy, and—dare we say, chic!—clean up after your pup. They are discrete and have a snap strap to secure on your leash, keychain, or the handle of your bag effortlessly. Our Matchbox enamel pin was also created through a collaboration with London-based artist, Laura Jayne Hodkin. Her work is based around female empowerment and is a great addition to not only your JUST FRED accessories, but also any of your everyday fashion.
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