Meet a Dog-Loving LA Designer Who's Transforming Pet Décor
The world of pet décor has long been in need of something new. You have over-the-top Swarovski-encrusted dog bowls and cutesy collars, but we rarely do we see anything fresh in between. So we were thrilled to discover Kari White, a Los Angeles-based creative who is totally changing the decorating game for dog lovers with her brand Mayor B.
Growing up in San Diego with adventurous parents and two brothers (including pro snowboard champion Shaun White), the artist traveled and explored often. “I feel like my childhood was one big road trip,” she says. “Every chance we had my family would pack up our van and drive to Yellowstone or Mt. Hood; looking back it was such an amazing time.”
Keep scrolling to see how traveling inspired her stylish, Fido-friendly creations.
This sense of wanderlust and appreciation for travel is in part what inspired White to create one of her signature products, the Tour Bed, a 100-percent handmade steamer-trunk-style dog bed, which retails for $1500. “Growing up on the road, I was always inspired by how glamorous traveling used to be. Nothing is more exclusive than the steamer trunk,” she says. “I have a small collection and I love the way they look around my house, so I wanted to capture that feel for Mayor B.” The bed is fabricated entirely by local Los Angeles craftsmen: “I handpicked the leather from an exclusive tannery, and even sourced brass nails and rivets right here in downtown LA,” says White. “I kept everything local so I could build a team that works together and builds each trunk with care and precision with me.”
While the Tour Bed has become a hallmark of White’s brand, the artist’s photography of her bulldog Rambo dressed up in culturally-inspired ensembles—think John Lennon and Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—is actually what got her started. “I had a camera and started taking photos of him as a fun project, and giving them out as presents,” she says. “But then people started to take notice and wanted them for their homes. The demand grew, so I made large prints with custom frames and resin and began to sell them here in Los Angeles.”
When asked where the inspiration for her pet’s outfits came from, she says, “When Rambo was a puppy, I tried dressing him up just to see what would happen. He would sit there with an air of confidence. He was so human like… he looked good and he knew it!” She experimented with her styling and eventually enough struck gold. “Pet photography can be so campy, and I was hoping to make photos that would put you in a good mood without being silly.”
Soon enough, White began making custom leather and brass collars, modified vintage pieces, and handmade leather harnesses. “People started to take notice and I realized that I wasn't alone in thinking my dog was more than just a pet,” she says.
So what’s next for Mayor B? In addition to retail partnerships and plans to expand to New York City and Minneapolis, White says, “New products like dog bowls, food storage, collars and leashes are around the corner. Overall, I love creating Mayor B; it makes me happy and inspired, and I love being able to share that with others.”
Do you have a pet in your life who would love White's designs? Tell us below!