MoonDog Embroidery serves people, pets

  • By Kimberly Hilden SCBJ Assistant Editor
  • Tuesday, February 5, 2008 2:41pm

It has been more than a year since Pamela Hanes moved her business, MoonDog Embroidery, out of her home and into a retail location in Bothell’s Country Village, where she offers business and personal embroidery and photo engraving services as well as clothing and gifts for people and pets.

“We cover two-legged and four-legged family members,” said Hanes, a former bookkeeper whose lifelong experience with sewing coupled with a desire “to be creative on a daily basis” led her to start MoonDog Embroidery three years ago.

At the time, it was solely an Internet-based business, with many of her leads coming from her brother, Derek Gold, a graphic designer. When sending customers their design packages, he would include a piece of embroidery supplied by Hanes. Impressed with her work, these customers would contact her for orders.

“That really was a great help, and he still does that,” Hanes said.

Since adding a bricks-and-mortar presence to her online one (, Hanes has enjoyed the face-to-face collaboration and camaraderie with her customers. She has seen expectant mothers come in for baby blankets and clothes, later returning with their new babies to buy Father’s Day mugs engraved with tiny handprints. She has worked with new business owners on the design of their workplace attire and seen their faces light up when their new logos appear, as if by magic, on a shirt or hat.

“It’s really fun to get to celebrate with people,” she said.

Throwing pets into the mix only adds to the joy, said Hanes, whose two whippets, Mysty and Marco, often can be found sleeping in the back of the store.

“People here love their pets. … Dogs are no longer out in the yard. They’re family members,” said Hanes, whose store carries an array of pet clothes and accessories as well as pet-related gifts for the people who love them.

When she’s not in the front of the store greeting customers and helping them with their purchases, she can be found in the rear of the establishment running state-of-the-art equipment, including Tajima embroidery machines, a photo printer with textile dye and dye sublimation capabilities and two heat presses.

“When you have industrial machines, you have to maintain them daily,” she said. “Technology is a big piece to the business. It’s really been fun.”

Hanes recently sat down with the SCBJ to discuss making the big move from home-based business to retail outlet as well as her decision to add pet embroidery services and products to her business plan.

SCBJ: Where did the initial funding for MoonDog Embroidery come from?

Hanes: My husband and my savings helped me to get started. He works and has a good job, and he’s always been really supportive.

SCBJ: How did pet embroidery and products enter the product mix?

Hanes: My dog Mysty is a whippet, and she freezes. When she was a tiny baby, I started to make clothes for her, and people would see her and say, “Where can I get them?” When I was starting to embroider, I embroidered her name on everything and people would say, “There’s Mysty!” It was just another joyful part of my day. I have another Web site, mymoondog, that’s for animals.

SCBJ: Who else is involved with the business?

Hanes: We are a family company. My husband is a software engineer, so he works on the Web site. My brother is a graphic designer, so he helps. My mom loaned us money for the move. She is our biggest supporter and our biggest advertiser. She’s at the chamber of commerce (talking about the business). She’s that rock in my life that makes sure everything runs smoothly.

SCBJ: What was the catalyst for moving your business out of your home and into a retail location?

Hanes: It was a number of reasons. Number one, my husband was getting frustrated with me taking over the house. Second, it was an opportunity to talk face-to-face and work collaboratively (with clients). … It truly is a joy. People come in and are just tickled. I see all of them come in and see those little moments of joy.

SCBJ: Why did you decide to locate your shop at Country Village?

Hanes: I actually have been a shopper of Country Village. I took my boys to Toys That Teach (growing up). There are always so many things for kids to do here. It’s a mile from home. I can walk my dogs to work. There are always so many activities going on. … It’s nice to be part of the community.

SCBJ: Who makes up your customer base?

Hanes: My brother has people from all over (the country). I have a customer from Pennsylvania who calls up and says, “It’s time to buy gifts for my family once again.” These relationships are really nice. In the village, you see a lot of young families, and we also have a lot of people from out of town come in. Because we have a Web site, they can get our card while they’re here and they can order something online when they get home.

SCBJ: Along with being able to collaborate closely with customers and meet clients face to face, what has been a big change in making the move from a home-based business to a retail location?

Hanes: When I’m here, I’m working, and when I’m home, I’m not. That’s a big change from before.

For more information on MoonDog Embroidery, go online to or call 425-605-0425.

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