By Princess, I mean the coming year, 2017. We have big plans for you. Your nasty sister, 2016, has left the building. That’s all we will say about her.

The world has changed in ways people don’t even realize. A new generation holds the reins, and it’s a beautiful generation. A generation that loves dogs… that loves sharing their lives through pictures with virtual friends… that loves giving back.  They’re the millennials.

topher brody and rosenberg
Topher Brody & Rosenberg are my favorite Instagram account.

The millennial’s pet industry statistics rock.

Millennials own more pet clothing and toys than any other demographic. They see pets as a form of social currency, sharing pet photos and stories, enjoying the validation of likes and shares from their peers. Millennials love to express themselves and they love to do good. They are all the things that thoughtful, caring people have always been, and they soon will control the world.

Millennials grew up in a computerized and  dangerous world.

They had Aids instead of free love. They had playdates instead of riding their bikes in the street until the sun went down. They played video games instead of playing with jingle jump, clacker balls and chinese jump rope. Cellphones connected them to the world at a very young age. Their moms were friends that reasoned with them instead of dictators that controlled. They got time-outs instead of spankings. I guess you could say they were raised to empathize instead of to control. And when they came of age, they entered (with massive student loan debt) a jobless job market, making them the entrepreneurial generation.

Because of all that technology has given us, we now live in a world with millions of channels to everything, with nearly everything new at least touching the internet and with new ways of doing just about everything either already here or coming soon. What a perfect time for me to pull all of my seemingly disjointed accomplishments and skills into a single purpose.

Let me tell you about Lola & Pooch’s 2017 plans. Our goal is mass engagement, combining social media and pet memes with live events, always with a charitable partner, because this is true: you move forward by giving back.

I had this course in college (I went to Drexel U, majoring in art & design), called “Multimedia”. It felt bizarre at the time, combining visuals, sound, dimension and movement into an installation that produced feeling for those experiencing it.  How funny, that’s what I’ve grown up to do. It’s going to be a fun year.

We’re kicking it off with America’s Best Top (dog) Model.

It’s a web series, a series of social media photo contests, and a really fun way to expand the pet fashion market. Click here to sign up for the series to be delivered straight to your inbox. January 30 the first show airs. There will be photo challenges, and everyone can play along. We will be filming in West Hollywood Park, announcing the winners of each challenge and introducing the new challenge. Anyone is welcome to come and watch and there will be lots of press and prizes. Our charitable partner is an org that trains rescues for Vets with PTSD and other war related needs, so of course one of our challenges will involve honoring our soldiers, and some will involve our sponsors.

The series runs through the summer. Midway through it we will start talking about our next big event, “Girl Power.” 

Since 2011 I have been focused on rescuing dogs. I’ve done it by humanizing them, so people will see them as the sentient beings they are and not as disposable property, and as potential family members instead of mistreated sorrowful creatures. Because dogs are not that. They have the ability to move beyond a bad situation as soon as they are cleaned up and showered with love. Humans could learn a lot from that quality.  Our humanizing efforts have been so successful, we’ve decided to take them to the next level. In 2017 our social media celebrity dogs and scouting pups will promote causes that help people, first the vets, then girls with big dreams.

We’ve joined forces with many organizations like Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean in” organization, and “I am This Girl”. “Girl Power” will engage young woman and girls to live their dreams; to celebrate their heroes, their vision and their voices.  I’ve found 20 young women between the age 0f 9 and 17 who are changing the world with their vision, their imagination and their philanthropic activities. It culminates in a multimedia girl and trick dog fashion event where we will share their stories a celebrate the power that comes with living your dream.

We’re traveling the nation with the Dog Film Festival, bringing our people / matching pet extravaganza to Pooch Parties in Austin, Nashville, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles. Details to follow…

In addition we will be filming a film for the 2018 festival, and filming the filming of the film in a playful web series.  Stay tuned for more info!