In the old days, as far back as early 2007, Santa Ynez was a rough and tumble town, a place where dogs roamed the streets stark naked, aimlessly searching for a better life.
Cats had no culture to speak of, no Parisian quilted totes to rest in and be carried when a kitty just needs to get off her feet. She could not fathom the luxurious fur-lined trundle bed that she would one day recline upon, much less the bejeweled collars that would drape the necks of all the feline fashionistas on her street.
But that was all long ago, before Yoshi and the Unique Bowtique came to town and dared the dogs and cats of the county to dream of a bright new day.
Yoshi, a young and debonair Maltese-Yorkie cross, is the genius behind the Unique Bowtique and the final word on important business decisions, like whether his silk doggie smoking jacket sends the wrong message to the impressionable pooches who look up to him.
Yoshi got his start in the fashion world two years ago when, as a proud young pup, he dazzled his soon-to-be human business partner, Kathy Luis, with his urbane nonchalance and keen sense of style. The two took the fashion world by storm, or at least the North County area.
Kathy, up until meeting Yoshi, had never considered herself an animal lover. She was content living in Santa Maria, spending her days working as a Project Manager for Diablo Canyon and raising her daughter and three step-children.
But shortly after retiring and finding herself with a little more time on her hands, she fell in love with a dog named Yoshi who, as his name suggests when translated from Japanese, would bring much luck to Kathy in the form of a new business venture.
“I had the hardest time locating some of the more specialized pet accessories in town so I got this wild idea,” Kathy recalls.
“I figured that if we carried unique boutique items that couldn’t be found elsewhere, people and their pets would find us, even if we were a little off the beaten path.”
The Unique Bowtique does not sell pet foods and items that would place them in direct competition with long- established local dog and cat supply stores, but rather features upscale boutique items, eye and footwear, health supplements and spa bath products for deserving pets from names like Bo Derek and John Paul Mitchell.
Sophisticated yet fun squeak toys from the Haute Diggity Dog line include the popular “Vera Wag, “Chewy Vuitton,” and “Poochi.”
And what pet armoire is complete without custom jewelry, designer sweaters, jean jackets, tank tops, hats, raincoats and, for when a pet wants to slip into something more comfortable, robes?
Unique Bowtique has everything a pet needs to put his or her best paw forward. For those who don’t have pets but have room in their lives and in their hearts, Unique Bowtique just may inspire visitors to high tail it to the nearest Humane Society or shelter to adopt a homeless dog or cat who, like Yoshi, might change a human life in unexpected ways.