New York City Dog Trainer
Notorious Pooch has been your go-to for hip hop fashion for your own Notorious dog for over a year, so we figured it was about time we formally introduced ourselves. We got the deep dive with our founder and entrepreneur Ari about her journey with the brand.
Founder Ari and her partner JB, both having Brooklyn NYC family roots, met at their insurance agency company in 2009. They were friendly, but a spark truly formed when they began talking all things hip hop and music. Both Ari and JB shared a favorite artist, Biggie Smalls, and even have a painting of Bart Simpson dressed as him hanging in their living room to this day! Having a shared passion for the culture of hip hop and their home stomping grounds, they realized they also both loved dogs and NYC fashion.
Ari and JB’s “Biggie Smalls Simpson” custom painting
Ariana’s childhood dog Babie passed away in 2017, and she was absolutely crushed. A few months later, she decided to give another rescue dog their forever home to help her healing process and to help a shelter dog in need. In 2018, she adopted a rescue purebred toy poodle who she characteristically dubbed “Biggie,” after her favorite artist.
Ariana’s custom portrait of late Babie, who they call their “Babie Jesus”
Biggie was a healing sign for her. Although her spirituality has her believing things happen for a reason, she was still upset when she found after she applied to adopt Biggie, someone else got accepted first, and he was gone. However, a few days later, she was scrolling through PetFinder (a website for animals in search of their forever homes), she found a new listing for the poodle. Strange, she thought, so she reached out to the rescue, Paws Crossed, and found that he was returned due to humping the new family’s other dog. The family didn’t even give him a full day to adjust and sent him back, and Ari knew then that things really do happen for a reason. She drove up the next day to get him, and Biggie has been hers ever since. He did keep some of that bad boy energy, though, which Ari and JB knew would happen after naming him after the Notorious B.I.G. His name fit him well, and after learning to appreciate the naughty nature he had, Ari and JB began talking about starting the brand and their small business.
Babie never really had an affinity for dog clothing, despite hating the cold weather. Biggie, on the other hand, was a born fashionista. When searching for dog clothes and bandanas, Ari found a sea of pastels, neons, and patterns for dog attire. Biggie just simply wasn’t made for the “cutesy” look. He had his notorious side, and his parents wanted to show it, and it was there that Notorious Pooch was born.
After launching the brand, Ari and JB wanted to add a second dog to their fashion-forward household, and rescued a second poodle they named Brooklyn. Brooklyn was a purebred miniature poodle, who was given up when a breeder didn’t want to keep her after growing slightly outside of the “breed standard” size. Just because she was a little bit bigger than a mini didn’t mean she didn’t deserve a loving home! Brooklyn was adopted and became part of the pack and has been a Notorious girl ever since.
Biggie, left, with new sister Brooklyn, right wearing their Style & Grace scarves
The small business believes that dogs should express all sides of themselves, and shouldn’t feel ashamed to show that they’re not perfect. The Notorious line shows that with their attire with phrases like “girls pee pee when they see me” and “doggy style only.”
The line includes mainly black and white, because those are the classic NYC style colors. Take a look outside and you’ll see black on black, neutrals, and more black on black fashion on the humans. Notorious Pooch was created because of a lack of clothes for the “bad boys.” Ari says all dogs have their notorious side, and it shouldn’t be something we feel the need to hide with florals and bow ties. Notorious Pooch is a niche within a niche; a certain “look” within the large scope of dog apparel.
Another reason Ari started Notorious is because of the stigma behind the color black in the animal world. Black cats and dogs are statistically proven to have lower adoption rates than other dogs, likely due to superstition and because they “don’t photograph well.” Biggie and Brooklyn disagree. Notorious uses their own dogs as models to show that black dogs DO photograph well, and that even superstitious people can have good luck with a black dog!
Both Biggie and Brooklyn are toy and miniature poodles, respectively, from a rescue, and that goes to show two things. One, you can find your ideal breed from a rescue, and two, poodles aren’t necessarily the “froo froo” breed that people make them out to be. Biggie and Brooklyn are definitely not the prissy type.
Notorious Pooch is an inclusive brand. Noticing there were SO much Christmas themed apparel, they wanted to focus on including all holidays for all different religions. JB is Jewish, and they celebrate “Chrismukkah” in their home. Notorious designs not only badass clothing, but all-inclusive clothing!
Biggie repping as a “Jewdle” with this bandana for Passover
So while Notorious Pooch may be your go-to shop for expressive and distinctive hip hop fashion for the notorious pup in your life, there is so much more to their origin than just clothes!