In 2015, we launched Dog Park wallpaper, designed by Julia Rothman. All proceeds from that pattern, along with Cat's Meow which launched several years later, have been donated to locally based rescue organizations in communities that we have a connection to: Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS) in Minneapolis, Copper's Dream Rescue in Northern California, and Watermelon Mountain Ranch in Albuquerque. Over the years, we’ve been able to donate over $140,000 to help dogs and cats find the loving homes they deserve.
Giving back has always been an important part of our personal lives, so it was important that our business reflect the same values. We’ve been very fortunate, and it’s our responsibility to share that good fortune with our communities. Animal rescue is near and dear to both our hearts, so we started there and are really excited to see our giving program expand to support more amazing organizations! With our newest collection designed by Vikki Chu, we will now be donating 25% of sales proceeds to 826 MSP. We have formalized the program into "H&W Gives Back," and look forward to adding new patterns that support causes that are meaningful to us. Read on to learn more about these amazing organizations.
About: Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS) was founded in 2006 to help two puppy mill dogs and blossomed into a passion for helping pets and their parents. MARS is committed to serving both pet and parent, finding homes for animals that were once lost, left behind and forgotten, while bringing harmony and enhancing education in our community. MARS is funded by adoption fees and donations. Donations can be private, personal or corporate from a business or an employee's matching donation from their place of employment. They also offer veterinary and training services. Since 2006 MARS has rescued over 20,000 animals.
Q&A WITH AMANDA SWENSON, MARS DIRECTOR
"That is a great question! We believe that without both ends of the leash you cannot get animals home. In order to continue with our mission we try to understand today's world and how we can help people keep their animals whenever possible, and helping those in bringing a new animal in, that keeps us focused. We all have our moments and bad days of course but at the end of the day we are all here to help pets and their people."
"We feel education is one of the most important factors of owning a pet. We try to match the lifestyle of the adopter with the pet that will fit in the best. It may not always be who they think it is, but as we have conversations and get to know them we can help them find the right fit. We also have services to help them transition a pet into their home as well as services after they are adopted, like training and vetting. Be sure you and/or your family are ready for the commitment. Financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Finally do your research; choose a credible organization and become knowledgeable in the breeds you are considering."
Copper's Dream Rescue
About: Copper's Dream Rescue officially began in the fall of 2008, after the founder graduated from Harvard Law School and returned to the Bay Area. At that time, her sister was in high school, and they decided to try to implement their shared vision that all shelters in California would be no-kill with the support of rescue groups and to create a rescue network that supports CA shelters to achieve a no-kill status. In 2021, they rescued over 650 dogs and had 513 adoptions. Since its founding, they have adopted out over 7,011 dogs.
Q&A WITH JENNIFER WANG, CO-FOUNDER
Watermelon Mountain Ranch
About: Watermelon Mountain Ranch was founded in 1996 by Lee and Sophia DiClemente whose love for animals continues to flow through the day-to-day operations at the Ranch. What began as a grassroots effort with a small dedicated group of volunteers has grown into New Mexico's largest no kill animal shelter, encompassing a ten acre main campus facility, two resale stores, offsite adoption centers and various humane programs serving the community. Since the inception of Watermelon Mountain Ranch, they have helped to save the lives of over 150,000 animals.
About: Based in South Minneapolis, 826 MSP’s mission is to amplify the voices, stories, and power of K-12 BIPOC students through writing, publishing, and leadership programs. They envision a just and joyful future where young authors create art and make change in a community that values and respects their voices. As one of nine chapters in the largest network of youth writing centers in the country, 826 National, they reach readers and collaborate with communities nation-wide. 826 MSP offers free student-centered programming in schools, out of schools, and (when necessary) through distance learning. With the help of trained volunteers, local teaching artists, and educators, they provide individualized support to approximately 2,000 students per year. 826 MSP's focus on writing and self-expression leads to gains in many areas, including academic progress, personal growth, creative potential, and leadership skills.
H&W co-founder, Aimee Lagos, has served on the Board of Directors since May of 2019 after being introduced to the organization by friends. "I attended an event and was just blown away by the talent of the students who read their work. Educational equity is important to me, and I’ve always been an avid reader, so 826 MSP’s mission resonated with me. Shortly after the event, I connected to volunteer and joined the board. I serve on the Development Committee, so I am well-aware of the importance of individual and corporate financial support of 826 MSP. When we decided to expand H&W Gives Back, 826 MSP immediately came to mind. We’re honored to bring these pieces of student writing to life visually and we hope our Vikki Chu collection will inspire kiddos to imagine, dream and WRITE!"
Q&A WITH ASHLEY LUSTIG, DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
"Without a doubt, our students keep us energized and hopeful. Especially amidst the challenges of the last few years, we have seen our students use writing as a tool to process, play, connect with others, demand change, and so much more. We will leave you with some words from Sabrin in grade 10, “I write for my rights. / I write for peace and freedom. / My writing matters to everyone because it has meaning.”
Aimee: "Wade is our oldest dog (15!) and he was adopted at an animal rescue event when he was a puppy. They thought that he’s a corgi-pug mix and that seemed to suit him so we’ve rolled with it. He’s got quite the personality. Margot is our middle dog and she is an Australian Shepard mix. She’s just a gorgeous dog, and when she was younger she was so fast and athletic. She barks like it’s her job (to be fair, it sort of is), but she’s the sweetest and we love her to pieces. Mikko is our cat extraordinaire. We adopted him when he was a teeny tiny kitten, so he’s always been around dogs and they all get along surprisingly well. I’ve wanted a cat my entire life, and Mikko has exceeded every expectation. I think he’s just the best cat ever."
Christiana: "I offered to help out the family that was fostering Otis through Copper's Dream Rescue for a long weekend. It only took those three days to fall in love with this chunky potato, so I decided to keep him. I couldn't think of a more perfect name for him, so he stayed Otis, and he's added so much to my life. I can't believe I waited so long to adopt a dog - it's the best thing!"