Hi, I'm Tessa.
I'm the founder, owner, and artist at Hattie Rex.
We have many artists at Hattie Rex, but I'm the one who designs and creates the in-house brand of personalized metal accessories for people and pets.
You may wonder why my name isn't Hattie, but that would be a question for my parents.
Who is Hattie Rex, then?
The truth is, it's a made up name.
See, I started this business in 2007 when I was a new mom to the cutest little yellow lab puppy named Pablo.
I was so enamored with him, as new moms tend to be, and I wanted him to have the best of everything. Including his tag.
But all of the dog tags on the market were terrible. Machine-engraved, blue fire hydrants made of aluminum? No thanks. My dog wasn't going to wear the canine equivalent of a toilet and put my number on it.
So, I set out to make my own tag. And I did.
A few years later, I started getting requests for my dog tags as "human jewelry." "Instead of a dog's name and number", they asked, "could you put my daughter's name and birthday on it, and I'll put it on a chain to wear as a necklace?"
I thought these requests were crazy, but I was a public school teacher (read: underpaid) and had no business turning down business.
That's when I changed my business name from Good Dog to Hattie Rex.
Why Hattie Rex?
Because it's human and canine. It's masculine and feminine. It's old fashioned.
And because I was perplexed that I was now a maker of human jewelry and knew that there would be other curveballs in this business. And if a business name means nothing, you don't have to change it when your business evolves.
If I had known then how much I'd be called "Hattie" over the years, I might have given it more thought.
But, I've certainly been called worse.
And, Hattie has taken on a life of her own over her 13 year lifespan. From personalized accessories to people and pets to unique gifts from independent makers, it's a good thing I didn't box her in.
Dog tags are still my favorite products to create. It's a meditative process for me, of sorts. Having the same hammer in your hand for 13 years gets you into a groove and a flow that clears your head and offers an escape from the realities of the world.
In fact, that creative headspace is the reason I created the new Hattie Rex.
When our store was shut down due to covid, sitting at that bench, hammering out dog tags was the best mental health self care I could have imagined. I wanted to amplify it, and share it, and create a community of makers who, together, could create more impact than one person can make alone.
I know I love making handmade things as much as I love buying, using, and gifting handmade things. And it's these items that help us feel connected even when we are apart.
And as such, the new Hattie is one big lovefest. We are artists and makers on an independent path, united with a common goal: To help you find the perfect gift.
And yes, to us, the perfect gift is not a new Tesla or a name-brand handbag. It's a product that brings sheer delight to everyone involved.
From the person who created it, to the person who bought it, to the person who receives it and will treasure it forever: Love is at the heart of who we are and what we do here at Hattie Rex.