Designs fit for a queen

HARD AT WORK: Wagga’s Jen Grant has got her work down to a fine art, able to complete an entire dog coat in about an hour. Picture: Les Smith



Saturday 10 April, 2021


WHEN asked to make coats for corgis to be sent overseas for a “very important person”, Wagga woman Jan Grant did not connect the dots.

It wasn’t until she handed over the completed set of jackets to be sent off that she realised just how special the delivery was.

“It completely went over my head, but then I was told they were going to Buckingham Palace, to the Queen, and I was speechless,” Ms Grant said.

Owner of Stylish Dogs in Wagga, Ms Grant has been designing and making dog coats for about five years, growing “organically” from one client to now serving larger corporate clients like Integra Service Dogs.

“[Integra Service Dogs] supply them to the air force, so I was put in touch with the RAAF then for their centenary event in March and made the special gold trimmed coats for their dogs,” she said.

While a special honour on its own, the RAAF’s decision to gift another batch of the coats to the Queen was the icing on the cake.

Ms Grant said she treated all her creations as if they were worthy of royalty, taking pride in her work.

“A lot of the coats I make are for people with therapy or assistance dogs, so it’s a very personal service,” she said. “One coat I’m making at the moment is for a little girl with autism, so it will have all of the relevant badges on it to make the public aware of the situation, and I’ve also made a little waist-type leash for her as she has seizures often and that way, if she lets go of the dog’s leash, it will still be safe with her.

“I’ve actually learnt a lot about the service dog industry too through my work, I know in the past I’ve always wanted to go straight up and give a dog a pat, but now I know you mustn’t interact with a dog on duty and things like that.”

A dog-lover herself, Ms Grant said her work was her “passion”.

“The biggest thing to come of this is realising that, wow, I am good enough, my product is good enough to send to the Queen, but I like to think every vest I make is good enough to go to the Queen because all my clients deserve top quality.”