My name is Ellen. I'm a blogger, pattern designer, wife and mother with a background in engineering.
I've always enjoyed crafting. I dabble in a lot of different art forms but my passion is knitting and crochet. I almost always have at least one, likely more than one, project on my hooks and/or needles.
In 2011, I was working at a high stress, low pay job and I needed some sort of change in my life. The Chilly Dog was created as my personal balance between "do what you love" and "don't quit your day job". My hope was to share my general crafting knowledge and inspire others to create something wonderful with their own two hands. At that time I began writing my craft blog and opened a shop on Etsy to sell my handmade items.
With a lot of encouragement from my friends, family, and readers from around the world, The Chilly Dog has grown. The positive response to my blogged tutorials gave me the confidence to start designing and selling knit and crochet patterns. (And yes, I was able to leave that aforementioned job.)
My business is pretty much a one woman show, although my husband does occasionally help me with photos. I design the patterns and tutorials. I write the content. I manage the shop and website. I create the social media posts. I do the accounting. If you send an email or leave a comment on my social media pages, I'm the one that's responding.
Many thanks to my customers, readers, followers and family for your ongoing support of The Chilly Dog.
And If you're wondering where my brand name came from...
Many years ago, I set out on a quest. It was a quest to find an interesting, unique and fun addition to our household in the form of a dog. I spent months researching the traits and characteristics of just about every breed of dog known to man.
I was intrigued when I finally came across a curious breed known as the xoloitzcuintle (pronounced show-low-eats-queent-lay). They are a type of hairless, or mostly hairless, dog with origins in Mexico. The more I read, the more I was convinced that a xolo would be the perfect fit for our home.
Then I tried to locate an actual hairless dog. I found breeders in Washington, Texas,California and as far away as Finland. But nothing in Arizona. For a short while I contemplated making the trip to visit a breeder so I could see one of these animals with my own eyes. Finally, practicality got the best of me and I came to terms with the idea that a hairless dog was not in my future.
Surprisingly, one Sunday morning my husband found an ad in our local paper for Mexican Hairless puppies. It seemed too good to be true. By this point everyone in our home longed to see the mythical creature I had been describing for months. So, we called the number and set up a time to visit.When we arrived, we were greeted by Pogo, an adult xolo and possibly the strangest animal I have ever seen. There was only one puppy left. She was a friendly, bouncy and wrinkly little thing with a few wisps of hair on the top of her head. It was love at first sight.
A few days later we welcomed our unique new friend into our home where she provided lots of companionship, smiles, and the topic for some great conversations.
My chilly dog was a wonderful reminder that being a little different can be fun. That's why she was the namesake for my crafty and creative business endeavor!