There is no shortage of whimsical t-shirt companies clamoring for the attention of dog lovers. But rarely do we find such a company with original artwork and inspired designs. Phebe-n-Me stands out amongst the t-shirt clutter. Founder and designer Lorena Proia says without a doubt, the inspiration behind her designs is her beloved dog Phebe.
“She introduced me to the world of dogs as a puppy and I’ve never looked back,” says Proia. “I laughed every day with her and found out things that I never knew as a non-dog owner. I didn’t know that the stinkier the smell, the better, or that that “the dog ate my homework” was actually a very plausible excuse. I also learned that that coming home to a dog that is thrilled to see you is one of the best feelings ever and that they are there for you no matter what life throws at you.”
Proia doodled her first drawings of Phebe when she was a pup but never did anything with them. Then one day something told her to turn those drawings into gifts for her friends so she ordered some t-shirts. Little did she know that by the time they were delivered, she would lose her sweet Phebe to congestive heart failure at age 13.
“Giving her shirts out as gifts helped with the pain,” says Proia. “While bitter sweet, it brought back memories and a smile to everyone’s face. I began drawing more of my memories with her. It brought me laughter to think of all of those things that only a dog owner could understand and it let me spend time with her again in my imagination. People loved them, and it made me happy to think of my girl out there making people smile.”
Phebe-n-Me is a socially and environmentally conscious company. The t-shirts are offered in organic cottons and each purchase helps fund animal rescue. Proia says it’s really important that she gives back.
“I decided to give to dog rescue because I felt that Phebe had a great life and that all dogs should have an opportunity to have a great life,” she explains. “I’ve always supported Aussie Rescue from the sidelines with donations or free graphic design work. I watched them struggle to save one more dog and the dogs that couldn’t be saved haunted me. I felt that if I was sending Phebe out as an ambassador of good will, I should return that good will to dogs who really needed it most. I keep trying to do more if I can. I’ve recently launched a new shirt for Bully Breed Rescue so that they will receive 100% of the money and now that I am finally a home owner, I have been approved to foster a rescue dog myself. I guess I just I want every dog to have what Phebe had. A loving home and all of their needs met. I can’t do much, but I try to do what I can.”
To learn more and to order your own shirt, visit www.phebe-n-me.com.