I’ve been a dog lover as far back as I can remember and was lucky enough to be around many family dogs growing up. I’ve also been really into the mechanics of things and loved building and tinkering with my hands.
I studied industrial design at RISD and built experience crafting custom furniture for private clients and designing retail environments for Apple for many years. But when I adopted my pup Shelby from the San Francisco SPCA in 2010, nothing felt more right than to continue my journey as a designer in pet products.
Disappointed with the ubiquitous aesthetic and limited options in dog beds, I decided to take on the challenge of making the 'ideal dog bed' for Shelby that was both comfy and attractive. What emerged was the first version of the Meadow Bed -- a shaggy, super plush fleece lounger that looked cool in my home and hit the right spot with Shelby. As Shelby fluffed and dug around in her new bed, I watched a happy wild beast coming out of her shell for the first time.
That was the moment that sparked inspiration to embark on a bigger journey -- a journey where I would use my passion, talent and experience as a designer to deliver better products that are created from the heart, that help us bond with our beests, that make the small moments in life more enjoyable.
From there Wildebeest was born, launching in 2011 with the Meadow Bed in 4 colorways. I left my long time job at a design firm shortly thereafter and haven’t looked back. Today, I continue to draw inspiration from my own experience as a dog lover, family woman, and passionate maker living in San Francisco. Shelby still owns her role as Top Dog and #1 product tester at Wildebeest. Our journey continues! - Jane, Founder & Product Designer