BABes! We are SO excited to introduce you to Parker of Ruff Ties. This company makes the cutest ties for pups and we just can’t resist. Check out her story and go buy some ties!
P: Ruff’s Up!
Jen Parker here, AKA Parker. Creator of Ruff Ties. I am passionate about exploring the whole planet encountering Puppies, Fashion & Human Interaction. I am Child of God who is ruled by the Sun and driven by the heart of a Lion. I attend Mariners Church and listen to weekly Books on Tape, whether its Ekhart Tolle, Anthony Robins or Dave Ramsey to name a few. I believe in living everyday like its your last. I love to love my family & friends and make them smile and have more fun daily. People may consider me a galvanizer. I grew up in Southern California at the beach. From my childhood I remember carpooling to gymnastics every day, lots of outings with friends & family, traveling a bunch and my mom told me I would smile and say hi to everyone we passed. I was a competitive gymnast for 13 years & throughout my childhood would attend motivational seminars with my Dad encountering lots of different people, places and experiences all over the world. This one time my family and I did a retreat in Club Med Eleuthera and they turned me into a human jump rope! At age 15 Cirque Du Soleil offered me a position in Montreal, I had to decide between being a “normal” kid or joining the circus, I decided to stay local transitioning from Gymnastics to Dance & Song Leading in high school. We had so many fun slumber parties watching early 90’s movies, camping out on the trampoline and prank calling radio stations. Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy & Chris Farley were my idols. I managed to remain on the President’s Honor Roll throughout High School & College even if I did not understand History I made sure to build relationships with all my teachers :). Moving to the LBC for college at 17 and living on my own was like being delivered to another country! I went crazy at the grocery store because my parents had me eat so healthy, like Lucky Charms & Krispy Kreme were my favorite. Luckily I was on the competition dance team at CSULB! I received my Bachelor of Arts in Family & Consumer Sciences, however I decided I still wanted to learn more! The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising energy pulled me in! I was in my element with like minded weird creative people. What an irreplaceable education. My professors all worked in the industry and still are vastly inspiring. I studied Apparel Manufacturing Management and that is the reason I was able to start Ruff Ties, to this day I have support from my professors as business questions arise, it is an incredible resource for us. I forgot to tell you that I danced for the NBA as a Los Angeles Clippers Pro Dancer! Performing in the middle of the Staples Center is an adrenaline rush. Through my education I worked side jobs such as coaching gymnastics, Brand Ambassador, Golf Course Beverage Cart & Restaurant jobs. I believe restaurant jobs are good for everyone. You learn customer service at its finest. During my senior year of college I had an incredible opportunity to race around the world on CBS’s television show the Amazing Race! We traveled through places like Africa, parts of Europe & Asia. This experience changed my life forever. My partner Nate and I(college boyfriend) grew as humans and learned that the mind & body is capable of so much more than we think when put to the limit of not eating, sleeping, solving riddles & obstacles in foreign countries. I came back renewed and restored with a new life philosophy. However was not sure what I wanted to do. I interned with TOMS Shoes in their first year of business! After that I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I got a Substitute teaching credential and spent a year teaching and loving it, however I wanted to utilize my specialty degree so I went to work for amazing companies such as private wholesale manufacturer Independent Trading Co. & Oakley. Then a fork came in the road right around my quarter life crisis as I call it, I was offered a job in the Grocery business making double the Salary. I chased the money and ended up leaving my passion for fashion behind. I spent three years in a tiresome unhealthy industry learning a lot about Corporate Sales & Corruption. I became a number and my creative side lay dormant. However I learned a great deal of business management, sales & analytics. I felt in my heart that God was leading me down the career path to become an Entrepreneur and wanted me to get a taste of each field I needed to become a business owner. In April of 2014 I had the opportunity to go to Haiti with Mariners church for a Faith/Business conference. I took a risk and left my job to pursue Ruff Ties and teaching again. The last year has been one of the most colorful years of my life as I have experienced heartache, failure, reward, success, being broke however there has been one common theme freedom and happiness by making people smile everyday when they see a tie on a dog. I currently reside in Newport Beach, CA. Teach in the Fountain Valley & Huntington Beach School Districts and Ruff Ties Office is located inside Vestal Watch Group & Locale Magazines headquarters in Costa Mesa. My life consists of Daily Prayer, Gratitude practices, Live Music, Puppies, Parties & the Beach or being outdoors in the Sun. I would not have gotten where I am today without the unconditional support of My Mom, the ambition from my Dad, the faith God gives me daily and my beautiful network of friendships.
BA: And how about a little about your pup(s)?
P: Meet Rusty! An impish rabble-rouser!
He is an 8 year old Yorkie Poodle & heralds from Newport Beach, CA. A bit self-inflicted in his mannerisms….his favorite activities include male modeling for Ruff Ties, dish tasting a.k.a “Begging”, French Kissing and chasing babes & birds at the beach. Rusty never leaves the house with out his latest Ruff Tie. He is bathed every 2 weeks, wears coconut oil, prefers mahi mahi, his “I Woke Up Like This” Ruff Tie and his leather bed lined with Fur. Rusty is the reason Ruff Ties came to life.
BA: We love the idea, so how did Ruff Ties come to be?
P: Inspired by the lil man Rusty.
Rusty, who may be recognized as the face of the Orange County based pet Fashion Company Ruff Ties was constantly getting confused for a girl. “I felt bad for the lil’ guy, people would always comment ‘She’s so cute’…and I wanted them to know he was a dude!” said Parker. So I went shopping everywhere and I mean everywhere…Online, LA, NY Japan and could not find TIES FOR DOGS. So I started creating Neck Ties so Rusty could look like the gentleman he is. “Without making it 5 steps from the house on the yet so lively Newport Beach Peninsula, I was stopped several times and asked where they could purchase HIS Tie — mission accomplished!”
BA: Describe your vision for Ruff Ties.
P: Ruff Ties marks its territory in the world of Philanthropic Fashion for pets. Our goal is to sell ties to help Save Animals. When you purchase a Ruff Tie one of our signature “Adopt Me” Neck ties are donated to an animal in need. The line includes Neck & Bow Ties for Pets. Ruff Ties partner’s with rescues to enhance their adoption events. Our Ruff Squad sets up shop to draw people in, volunteers extra hands and style the puppies so they look extra cute and facilitate adoption. Ruff Ties intention is to draw as much exposure from our network and find these puppies homes! We LOVE spreading happiness, because people crack up when they see ties on dogs! Ruff Tie’s collection is available for dudes & dudettes of all sizes.
BA: When did your love for pups start? Any cute stories?
P: I didn’t grow up with close in age siblings so Puppies, Friends & Fashion were my life. I could always get Dogs to make deep passionate eye contact with me
BA: How do you keep yourself motivated to work hard towards your dreams?
P: Watching Shark Tank, attending seminars and competition!!!!!
BA: What’s a memorable moment from your journey thus far?
P: Definitely the Fashion Show that Fox Sports San Diego, Barking Beast & 4 shelters and Ruff Ties put together in the Gas Lamp District to help raise awareness. We had Human models walk 20 adoptable dogs down the Runway wearing Ruff Ties & 13 were adopted that night. Or a tie between Daymond John putting Ruff Ties on his weiner dogs Blake & Spartan.
BA: Clipper girl to boss lady…How do you like that transition?
P: Seeing as though Clippers has you interview with NBA panel executives before you are chosen……and we were fortunate to attend regular Galas & fundraisers, I felt that this was a huge stepping stone from girl to Boss Lady. Lots of public speaking & appearances involved with high profile people.
BA: What were your biggest hardships on your journey to where you are now?
How did you overcome them?
P: Trying to please my amazing parents that were Ruff on me, “Go to college & get a high paying job!” Working for large Corporations being recognized as a number, Top Seller however always in trouble for something I was wearing, being late or communicating wrong. “That Quarter Life crisis got me like…!” People Laughing & making fun of ties on animals, family was very hard on me when I left my “real job” with benefits and a salary!
I over came all of this through God and the Power of Now.
BA: Tell us more about Ruff Ties contribution efforts!
P: Ruff Ties Hosts Fashion Shows & our street team Visits Adoption events. We are currently partnered with Barking Beast, RUFF Rescue, Love Bugs Rescue, Barks for Life, Paw Prints in the Sand, Barks of Love etc Rather than cutting a percentage we donate “Adopt Me” Neck ties and will physically volunteer to enhance adoption events by placing ties on the dogs and offering help.
BA: What does a day in the life of Jennifer Parker entail?
P: During the School year, I substitute Teach. It is a passion of mine to influence younger generations about the power of now, how beautiful life is, how much more there is after school and how important it is to network and get good grades!!! So I could teach anywhere from 1-5 days a week ending my day around 2:30pm where I get excited about what I am going to eat and read 10 pages. Next I pick up Rusty and head into my cute office in Costa Mesa inside Vestal & Locale Magazines Headquarters. There is a very eclectic hard working vibe in the office, when you walk in the music is jamming and there is young creative energy everywhere. Then I get on the computer and catch up, I am always catching up because I’m not a fan of being inside on emails. I like calling and meeting people in person to take care of business. SO I am usually just in the office to set up the next meeting or event that I have coming up & organize inventory. Then I go for a dip in the Ocean and either meet up with some friends for Happy Hour or go home and watch movies, I love movies. Especially 90’s movies.
BA: Favorite way to stay active with your dog(s)?
P: Traveling! Beach, Hiking & Buying Fabric
BA: Best tip for boosting self-confidence?
P: Pray. Let it Be. Live in the Now. Friends & Puppies. Traveling!
BA: What is your favorite way to relax?
P: The beach or Movies or browsing Pinterest & Tumblr
BA: And how about your favorite way to pump yourself up?
P: Music. I love Music. I have loud music playing 90% of the time. Music is Life, that’s why our hearts have beats.
BA: If you could pick one song to describe yourself, what would it be?
P: Way too hard of a question…
The Beatles “Here comes the Sun”
BA: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
P: A “Tie” between Gandhi’s words “If you don’t ask, then you don’t get!” & Ekhart Tolles philosophy to live in the present moment because the past is gone & the future doesn’t exist yet, all we have is NOW!
BA: What does empowering women mean to you?
P: Empowering woman to me means believing in one another and recognizing progression. This launches us to become the greatest we can be! I am not a big woman’s rights person, I believe that all beings are created equally with a spirit that enables the divine. Unfortunately the Ego which is false and man-made is what has tricked humans into believing misperception and false judgments. Empowering woman in other countries now is very important because they have been suppressed with no opportunity for so long un like America, in fact I am on the Haiti Outreach leadership team at Mariners Church and we developed a business plan to open up a small sewing manufacturer in Carrefour, Haiti. I am so eager to see what this will do for the woman in Haiti, Ruff Ties will be the first American project they will work on! I am super stoked on the progression woman have made in this ego driven mans world though!
BA: If you could tell all women everywhere one thing, what would it be?
P: Live in the Now,. I live my life by Don Miguel Ruiz’s 4 agreements. 1. Be Impeccable with your word 2. Don’t take anything personally 3. Don’t Make assumptions 4. Always do your best!
You know those false feelings you receive when someones outfit is cuter, or when you think people are talking about you? Yah thats all fake. Its you and God babe and that’s rad!!
BA: What’s next for you and Ruff Ties?
P: Ruff Ties would like to make people smile everyday when they see Ties on Dogs and we will continue to facilitate as many adoptions as we can. Our Goal is to expand distribution to Unleashed by PetCo, Pet Supply, Pussy & Pooch, Fred Segal & Kitson this year.
To the babes of Bowed Arrows, thank you for recognizing Ruff Ties and spotlighting me. It means a lot and I am grateful for this experience and how it will shape your company, the lives of many woman and Ruff Ties!
Peace, Love & RUFF!
If you would like to know more about Parker and where you can get these adorable ties, check out her social media below: