What inspired us to craft luxurious, handmade dog beds?
Fireside Hound began with a dog. His name is Abraham, a rescued coonhound from the hills of Tennessee with a penchant for destroying anything with stuffing. After chewing through a dozen dog beds that advertised themselves for the aggressive chewer, it became clear what we needed didn’t yet exist. We were inspired to craft handmade dog beds that would provide a true solution to our problem.
Ruth and Hannah brainstormed about what type of fabric might be the most difficult for him to chew through, but was also easily to clean. Thick waxed canvas, the kind used for centuries in boating, did the trick. But it wasn’t just the fabric that mattered, it was the design. Corners, ribbing, zippers, or raised seams are too tempting for a bored canine. They eliminated them all and settled on a clean-lined design that kept the heavy duty fabric taut.
It seemed sinful to fill such a high quality cover with synthetic foam. Using all-natural, sustainable materials became the priority. Wool is in its Renaissance, being rediscovered as the incredible and versatile textile that it is. For a softer cushion, we gave the beds a goose feather top and to neutralize odor, a cedar shaving base.
Abraham comfortably modeling one of our handmade dog beds.
But Ruth and Hannah could not have realized their new bed dreams without Stephanie, a brilliant and talented Amish seamstress. Stephanie is the unsung hero here at Fireside Hound. She and her mother still make every bed by hand, at foot pedaled sewing machines. Hannah has spent hours at the beautiful farmhouse, sitting at an enormous sewing table, watching a true master of her craft.
In the heart of Maryland’s Amish country, there is a old-world culture of quality and pride in craftsmanship, with honest labor and genuine people. Here, the handshake deal still means something. Reputation and integrity aren’t just words, they are your business’s lifeblood.
We endeavor to keep the spirit of this culture alive within the company. We believe investing in community, building up local business and helping our neighbors should be a priority. We source locally, and work closely with skilled Amish craftsmen and women to deliver quality products that are made to last. With this spirit in mind, we offer a lifetime guarantee on all of our products, ensuring we will stand by our customers and the quality of our product.
Ruth’s dog, Abraham, is the inspiration behind Fireside Hound. He is a rescue, like all of her dogs. In addition to being a rescue parent, she has also spent the last 15 years working locally as a volunteer foster parent for the Well Pet Clinic in Maryland.
Her professional career consists of twenty years of aerospace development and acquisitions, systems engineering and program management for the Department of Defense. Ruth is an expert in taking a project from conception to completion and she brings this experience to Fireside Hound, even though dog beds are a little less complicated than F-18s!
When she isn’t working, Ruth likes to garden and sing in the small country church choir. She jokes that it’s a good thing God specified we should make a “joyful noise” unto the Lord and not an “on-key noise.” Ruth and her husband raised seven children – all boys, except for Hannah – and they now live on the water in a small farming community in Maryland.
Hannah and her dog Emi are full-time travelers, attending expositions and trade shows across the country and networking with other industry professionals.
Hannah’s background is in risk management and logistics in the insurance industry and coordination of national and international trade shows and expositions. Hannah thrives on finding creative solutions and implementing business systems. She believes the key to positive customer experience is creating consistent quality through the implementation of business systems. Design the system to do it right, set the customer’s expectation high, and then exceed their expectations every time.