When you think of a dog breed with one of the worst reputations, what is the first that comes to mind? Pit bulls are often the first breed people will think of due to the generalization they are mean, aggressive, fighting dogs that do not make good family dogs. Pit bulls have such a bad reputation to where in some major cities, they’re not allowed to live in rental properties with their owners.
These generalizations about pit bulls are far from the truth. The breed, in actuality, is one of the most loyal and family-oriented dogs in the world. Yet, a majority choose to believe a myth, except for people like Ally Concannon.
Ally always grew up as a dog lover, especially a pit bull lover, asking her parents at 13 years old to adopt a pit bull pup. They refused because of the stereotype, but Ally always knew not to believe it. Once she was grown, Ally and her husband adopted a pit bull named Bela, and she quickly realized people were treating her differently.
She was determined to make Bela appear as sweet and soft as her personality, so she set out to buy her some dog clothes. The issue she ran into – no one was making cute dog clothes for large dog breeds like pit bulls.
Rather than losing hope, she began sewing her adorable pajamas. Not only did this help with Bella’s image, but it also helped relieve some of her allergy symptoms. People were constantly asking Ally where they could find the outfits for their dogs because they too were running into the same issues.
What started as a winter hobby turned into a much bigger mission.
“I decided to go all in because I just have this burning fire of, ‘you can do more,’” said Ally.
Not only did Ally want to make dog clothes for these larger breeds, but she had a bigger goal of helping others along the way. Whether that be encouraging female entrepreneurs, donating to shelters and rescues, funding spay and neuter clinics, providing lifetime care for senior dogs, or just helping as a whole, Ally was on a ‘do good’ mission.
Like many start-up businesses, it was an emotionally, personally, and physically tough start for Ally, but the fire continued to burn. She knew at an early age that she always wanted to be an entrepreneur, beginning her own little business at 13 years old on eBay flipping things around the house online. She was determined to show others, especially women and young girls, that they have what it takes to start their own business.
“I knew I had a vision and I was not going to stop, because I know that I can create something that can have a positive impact and do good. If you have a vision and desire inside of you, you have it for a reason.”
In 2015, Ally quit her job and Tooth & Honey was officially born. Ally worked day and night, 365 days of the year to where she had cuts and cracks in her hands from constantly sewing and packaging everything.
“I held that vision of what it was going to feel like for me to hand a $15,000 check to an animal organization that can take that and do such good with it. To me, that’s the ultimate flex. I see people with fancy cars and their stuff, and I’m like, I just want to fund spay and neuter clinics and give large checks to my rescue partners. That’s what lights me up.”
What started as a small Facebook group, has now grown into a very successful women-owned small business, selling direct to consumers and helping animals in a multitude of ways all across the country.
More often than not, dogs do not want to wear a cone post-surgery. These clothes will cover almost any surgery scar, preventing the dog from re-opening the wound and also preventing them from needing to wear the cone of shame. Plus the clothes help dogs feel safe and secure as clothes often help calm anxious dogs by feeling snugness against them.
In the winter months, the clothes act as warm blankets, so rather than your dog laying on top of you for warmth, they will remain comfortable lying on their own bed. Most importantly, they change the perception of big dogs from scary to adorable when they walk down the street in their rubber ducky pajamas.
“There’s so many stories from people saying that others’ perception of their dog changed when they would take them to outdoor restaurants and they would be in our clothes. It gave them the opportunity to advocate for the breed and open up conversation about how pit bulls are awesome and amazing.”
Pit bulls are the epitome of Tooth & Honey – a tooth, a hard exterior shell and honey, sweet and soft. You put those two together and it represents any type of bulldog people see, a tough looking exterior, but a sweet soul within.
Ally remains inspired by the emails from people sharing personal stories whether it be medical related or myth busting experiences.
“People have told me stories about spending thousands of dollars at the vet because they had a wound they couldn’t heal, and then they bought my pajamas, and their dog healed. Crazy things like that and again, the stories of people sparking conversations with others about dogs.”
“I feel like there’s so many legs of what Tooth & Honey is and how it injects positivity and fun into the world. I think that’s pretty rad.”
Most importantly, Ally remains motivated by sticking with her mission of having a business that can support other organizations that are doing amazing things. In the future, she hopes to expand and grow the mission of Tooth & Honey.
She’s also starting her own private, non-profit foundation that will be a horse rescue. She wants to be able to provide care and support for horses that faced abuse and neglect in their earlier life. There will also be a second leg to this foundation providing grants to organizations to continue their spay and neuter efforts.
Ally is a positive light in the animal welfare community who remains laser focused on doing all that she can to save every single animal. To find these adorable outfits, visit toothandhoney.com and don’t forget to check out their hilarious Instagram posts @toothandhoney.
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