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East Village vintage store gives your pet the gift of style

(L-R) Sara Ann Rutherford, Snacks, Maegan Hayward.
Photo by Bob Krasner

BY BOB KRASNER

So you’ve finished your holiday shopping but you just wish that you’d gotten something funky but useful for the most special member of the family: your dog.  You want something unique, cute, eye-catching, environmentally conscious, maybe even with a vintage flair.  Might be a good idea to get in touch with Maegan Hayward and Sara Ann Rutherford, whose newly launched business Snacks Attack! is creating handmade coats for dogs from repurposed apparel and fabrics. The concept is simple, but the name takes a little explaining. 

Recently Hayward and her partner, Alex Carpenter, got their chihuahua as a rescue, named her Snacks and never looked back. Sometime earlier (1989 -1993, to be exact), a show named “Saved By The Bell” was running that featured a character named Zack Morris whose onscreen band was called “Zack Attack”.  Hayward, who deals with a vintage 80’s vibe daily in the shop she runs with Carpenter – the East Vintage Village Collective –  simply inserted Snacks, who is a muse more than a performer (but is definitely a character).

Making dog coats was also Hayward’s idea, but the person who made it a reality was Rutherford. At the beginning of the pandemic she found herself without her bartending job, but what she did have was a sewing machine that had been given to her by a friend and a lot of time. Although her grandmother was a master seamstress who had made all her daughters’ wedding dresses, Rutherford had never learned to sew. 

“So I learned how to sew and began making masks,” she recalls. ” I ended up making 500 masks which I donated to charity.” That was the start of Greenwell Goods, which is her outlet for creating masks out of vintage fabrics. Hayward suggested that she expand to dog clothing, and here we are.

The raw materials come from unsold vintage children’s garments and unused fabrics, sourced from Etsy and eBay but also from local vendors whenever possible. The coats, which start at $30, can be custom made and accessorized with vintage patches. Matching masks are generally available as well.

“Everybody wants to know where it came from !” enthuses Vanessa Monsalve, whose dog Brooklyn sports a snazzy plaid number with a “Beastie Boys” patch.  ” I can never find anything that fits him and this fits perfectly,” she adds. For the record, Brooklyn silently agreed. 

Hayward enjoys finding the raw materials and doing the marketing and has a simple explanation for the division of labor. “She can sew and I can’t,” she explains, with a shrug. For her part, Rutherford very much enjoys ” making really cool stuff for dogs.” Although to be fair, Hayward mentions that their “first sale was to a hairless cat!”

No matter whose back the coat is going on, Rutherford has some advice for the potential customer. “They are all one of a kind, so if you like it, buy it. You won’t see another one.”

Info about Snacks Attack! garments are available at www.eastvillagevintagecollective.com/snacksattack.

Brooklyn, with mom Vanessa Monsalve, showing a preference for vintage fabric and old school rap.
The “Snacks Attack! ” logo (center) is an hommage to late 80’s aesthetics.
Snacks in seasonal attire, at the feet of her dad Alex Carpenter.

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