The Dharf story begins with a simple needle and thread: adjusting hemlines and waistlines, attaching buttons and ribbon. As a gawky teenager, Isabelle learnt how to sew by readjusting outfits to fit her awkward growing frame, and so grew a love of creating beautiful clothes with interesting fabrics. Becoming more adventurous, Isabelle repurposed scrap fabric left over from her own outfits and designed clothes for her dog. Isabelle didn’t know it yet, but this experimentation would become the beginnings for a unique fashion/pet combination label.
Isabelle went on to study design and fashion and complete a Bachelor of Business degree in Canada and in 2010 she moved to Australia. While working fulltime as a marketing professional, Isabelle continued to keep the creative juices flowing and spent her spare time creating bandannas and bow ties for dogs and selling them at craft markets. Two years later, Isabelle left her marketing position to embark on her own journey to officially launch Dharf with her loyal poodle cross Luigi by her side. The inseparable pair created enough bows ties and bandannas to host their very first craft market stall in March 2012.
Following the huge success of the markets and selling through friends and by word-of-mouth Dharf officially became an online retailer in April 2012. After launching the e-boutique word quickly spread around the dog lover community of a unique Australian designer label design for pets providing an alternative to diamantes. In 2013, Isabelle was invited by Racheal Finch (Miss Universe runner-up and TV presenter) to design the outfits of her cocker spaniel ring bearers, Simba and Bagheera, for her wedding to Michael Miziner.
During the next year, demand continued to grow as the community embraced Dharf, Isabelle realised that this was no longer a one woman (and one dog) show. The pair set out to hire a talented sewing team that helped produce quality Dharf products that would keep up with high demand.
In July 2013, Charles joined Dharf part time as a Sales Manager with a mission to expand the business and label even further and during that time Dharf launched new products, attended bigger events and innovated new ways to deliver our products to pet owners. His contribution was greatly appreciated and he came on board full time in April 2014.
Francois was the next to join the Dharf team in September 2014, initially as an investor and business coach to Isabelle then to full-time Managing Director. Combining a love for animals and business expertise, he is leading Dharf forward, helping it grow into the label it is today and beyond.
Today, Dharf is still answering the growing demands in Australia and worldwide. We now have a team of dedicated dog and cat lovers who are equally passionate about providing quality, innovative product to our customers and their pets. As a team we strive to provide outstanding customer service and pass on our passion to all our amazing customers who support and believe in what we do.