At Dogster we love stories where people meet dogs, then the dog changes people’s life, so people quit their jobs to start a dog-oriented company. Happie Dog Apparel Company is one of those stories. It wasn’t just a smile at first sight, however. Derek Beisel adopted Shooter at a low point in his life. After moving to Myrtle Beach from Pennsylvania, he was involved in a painful car accident. “I was emotionally and mentally depressed,” he says. Then Derek adopted the black Lab / Pittie mix shooter and “from that day on he saved me and brought joy to my life and gave me a new meaning.” The Sagittarius personality instantly brightens a room and he loves scratching his head and abdominal rubbing to be the focus.
When the pandemic broke out, Derek quit his corporate job to set up Happie Dog Apparel and create t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tank tops, all in blues and yellows as these colors are best seen in a dog’s eyes. “Everything that was designed for Happie Dog is in these two colors,” he says. “So if you wear a Happie Dog, your dogs can see it.”
Meanwhile, Derek’s private life expanded. “For a little over three and a half years it was just me, Shooter, and my fiancé Jodi,” says Derek. You recently adopted another dog, Mack. “He’s the first brother of Shooter, and they hit it off as if they’d been brothers for years. It is really an amazing sight! “
Happie Dog apparel can be found online (shophappiedog.com), on social media (@HappieDogApparel), at local events, and in the company’s storefront at Hudson’s Surfside Flea Market in South Carolina.
Derek plans to add blue and yellow dog leads, collars, toys, vests, and matching dog and me shirts to his inventory. Because his dogs give him so much, Derek believes in giving back. Every month, Happie Dog selects a humane society to donate to.
In five years time, Derek hopes that Happie Dog will be represented in many retail stores across the country, attending dog events, and sponsoring and hosting events. He wants to reach out to others interested in rescuing a dog and be a little inspiration for the enterprising people with a strong passion for life who want to create their own trip. “This was one of the most rewarding and fun things to do,” says Derek, “and it can happen to anyone, as long as they put their full potential into it.”