Surfdog Australia Story

Surfdog Australia

I started Surfdog Australia in 2010 when I made a towelling coat for my beach loving boy, 'Captain'. We went to the beach so often and he came back in the car soggy and sandy... I wanted to dry him and save our car.

I found some towelling fabric.  I cut it to fit his shape so I could wrap it around him. I wanted it to cover him but not to smother him! I also wanted it tie it up easily and I knew velcro would be a disaster so I made a long belt which covered his tummy.

Here's Captain back in 2010 wearing my first ever drying coat this had SURF DOG stitched on in patchwork.

Back then I could not afford an embroidery machine.

My friends really liked my idea and I made them 'Drying Coats' too. They all smiled a lot …and  loved them too. I saw an opportunity. 

But if I was going to sell them they had to be good. Very good. A wise man once told me "there is no more room in the world for stuff, products should be good and long lasting, good looking,  but have a purpose" this is very important to me. A long time before anyone started talking about sustainability.

It took months to find the best fabric (I thought they would have to be beautiful cotton but this got so heavy when wet). I learnt about weaves, threads  and absorbency. How Micro Fibre quality is estimated according to weight. Most are 150 gsm so I chose 350gsm. Captain started to stand still whenever I appeared in the room with a piece of fabric and he would patiently stand whilst I pinned fabric around him.

I played with with the shape and added the tail hole as I knew dogs were not happy if they could not display their tails.  This also helped it stay in place. They had to fit and be comfortable and not too fiddly as I had a bad back and couldn't bend over for long! 

And so Surfdog was created. I started manufacturing in Yellow Large. (13 years later I have 8 sizes and 9 colours.)

I started before the days of Instagram so getting your products out there needed a different approach. No sitting at the computer 'posting' back then! No such thing as influencers. I set out to make the best quality product, and provided the service I would like to receive. Customers started talking. To this day I still do not use influencers. I just have happy customers.

I invested in a really cool Chevy Ute which drew a lot of attention.  Id drive around the beaches of Perth to show off my Drying Coats and Captain was a fabulous ambassador. I also did local markets and met a lot of dog owners. I enjoyed seeing how they loved my coats and listened to their suggestions and ideas and also had an opportunity to try them on dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Here is Captain in my Ute parked at Port Beach in Fremantle where he received lots of compliments. Wearing my now famous Yellow Large, which continues to be my top seller.

Surfdog Australia is a bit old fashioned. 

I am passionate about quality.  I am also obsessive about service. My customers must be happy. I do not like chat bots! Im contactable 😁

Here's me at work with little dog ‘Mouse’.

I am grateful to all my customers for sending me photos, not just to use on my website but to help me to continue to improve. I use these images to check the shape, size and design of everything I make. I am humbled by the wonderful messages and time they take to send me photos of their dogs and feel like I know all of the dogs that wear my coats personally.

Sadly my beautiful boy Captain left me in 2018 at the age of 17.

I still have little 'Mouse' who is the face on my logo. One ear up and one ear down. She came into our lives to mend a broken heart and ended up staying. She is a beach lover too and full of attitude so she became our logo.

I was fortunate to find a new chief Surfdog, and soul mate in my Groodle girl 'India' who is now my chief model at Surfdog. She too stands to attention when I approach her with fabric and she is our house model if I need to show or explain a product to a customer. She too loves the beach and her coat is even more high maintenance. I dont know how I could cope without my Drying Coats.

I take great pleasure in making you and your dogs happy.

Captain is always with me. Every time I sell a robe it is great way of celebrating his life. I include a secret hug in each robe... and the dogs seem to know it.

Sara, Mouse, India xx