Dog-centric home décor and canine food and accessories have come a long way — just step into Batch SF to see how they’ve evolved.
Dog beds, for instance, have gone beyond bagel shapes and mere plush pillows to become fashion-forward furniture statements, as evidenced by Barkiture’s line of high-end, sleek, elegant architectural works of art that are crafted from fine wood and eye-popping fabrics. Meanwhile, more pet parents apparently are choosing fresh, individually portioned human-grade food for their dogs like the line NomNomNow of Oakland produces. And the Revol crate by Diggs is trying to turn dog kennels on their head, replacing them with a pop-up baby stroller-like crate with round edges, multiple doors and access points, and built in-wheels.
In mid-January, Batch introduced the Canine Collection at its Pacific Avenue “shoppable showroom,” highlighting those products and many more — ceramics, art, leashes, toys, and treats — that any dog or dog-lover would welcome. Batch partners with online-only and direct-to-consumer home décor and lifestyle brands, putting products together in a homey setting so customers can get a sense of how a couch, chair, or lighting fixture would look in a real home-like environment. To stave off any post-holiday shopping blues, Batch founder Lindsay Meyer decided to debut an installation with a dog theme in San Francisco, the city purportedly with more dogs than kids. The dog-friendly den that Batch created was impressive.
Bay Woof attended a pre-release “Paw-ty” with canine “Ambassadogs” — aka media influences and Instagram stars and Batch brand ambassadors — on Jan. 13, the highlight of which was a NomNomNow chow down for the 10 dogs who waited patiently until cued to dig into the meal on the china before them. The spread was artistically placed on a low-slung blue wooden table — designed to fit the smallest ambassadog, Locke — complete with dog nameplates and dog bone cutout placemats. Cute. Very cute. The humans were treated to a tasty grouping of light bites and wine.
In an effort to rev up retail, Batch mixes up the décor and home products often to create “contextual commerce, the new practice of creating retail environments where products are placed in non-store spaces for more intimate interactions.” Customers can buy items at the showroom and/or Batch will facilitate and/or coordinate purchasing products from its brand partners. Each unveiling is designated as a “batch,” and the Canine Collection marked the eighth for Batch, Meyer explained to Bay Woof, her dog, Ralph, lovingly looking upward at her. The Canine Collection opened to the public Jan. 14 and will span four weeks, closing Feb. 10.
Paw-ty guests, including people and the pups, were able to sit on, try on, and test out many of the goods and products. The Batch folks were on hand to offer advice and point out features and virtues — and to talk dog. One visitor lingered over a rainbow of beautiful flannel bandanas by The Foggy Doggy and picked out one she thought would compliment her pooch’s coat. When she pondered aloud whether it looked feminine enough for her female dog — who is often mistaken to be a male — an assistant assured her the selection was appropriate and also drew her attention to a few frillier patterns. Plush toys at the event came in many assorted shapes, ranging from cute animals like cats and horses to food items like carrots and pretzels. The canine snacks and treats ran the gamut, too, from freeze dried to grain-free versions.
One wall was plastered with extremely adorable dog wallpaper, and a bed was outfitted with chic dog-print sheets. Dog beds were artfully arranged more like throw pillows throughout the space. The event felt more like a get-together at someone’s home rather than a shopping experience.
In addition to Barkiture, Diggs, and NomNomNow, brand partners include DNA dog tester Embark, canine potty system creator Fresh Patch, canine camera company Furbo, dog clothier and accessorizer Lucy & Co., edibles by Open Farm, canvas art by Petsy, toys by P.L.A.Y., a union suit by Shed Defender, dog beds and accessories by The Foggy Dog, snacks by Wet Noses, ceramics by rnsCeramics, and collage art by Dora Pina Joffroy. Home items — a bed, sofas, chairs, tables — were from H.D. Buttercup.
Batch scheduled several events to highlight the canine set-up and goods, including the aforementioned Paw-ty and a Yappy Hour. Interested parties can still catch an SF Animal Care & Control adoption event noon-3 p.m. on Jan. 26, an Embark dog genetics panel 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 31, and a Puppy Bowl watch party noon-1:30 p.m. on Feb. 3.
Find out more about Batch, the Canine Collection, and the AmbassaDogs at VisitBatch.com, Instagram, or Facebook. Better yet, stop in at 1648 Pacific Ave., a posh Nob Hill address, to see what you and your dog have been missing and can’t live without.
Main article photo by: Photos courtesy Batch