This Pittsburgh Pet and People Apparel Company Reaches New Highs Partnering with Snoop Dogg
Little Earth Productions' partnership with the platinum recording artist, mogul and media personality is the latest installment in their 30-year rise to the big leagues.
Did you catch Snoop Dogg’s Super Bowl LVII Sketchers commercial? The chain-adorned poodle that the rapper is pampering was outfitted by the South Side’s very own Little Earth Productions.
“If my dogs ain’t fresh I ain’t fresh” Snoop Dogg, the septuple platinum recording artist, mogul and media personality, said in a press release. “These dogs and their apparel are a reflection of Tha Dogg himself, so they gotta look the role of a Top Dog, ya dig?!?!”
Snoop Dogg’s team worked with Little Earth, a pet and people clothing brand, to create the Snoop Doggie Doggs line, which boasts a chewable boom box that says “bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay”, a chain-linked dog bowl and a dread-ended baseball cap for dogs, among other items.
Ava DeMarco, co-founder and CEO of Little Earth, says the goal behind the line is to have your dog looking “like rap royalty.”
“People really like that it’s fun and people love to spoil their dogs, and [Snoop Dogg’s] whole idea is, you know, ‘your dog should live like rap royalty, just like me,’” DeMarco says. “So it’s just an opportunity to have fun. Who wouldn’t want to feed their dog out of that little chain-linked bowl?”
The partners launched the first installment of Snoop Doggie Doggs, which also includes a chew toy joint, latticed football jerseys and bandanas, last fall. Next year, DeMarco says they’re looking into a matching set of PJs for pups and their owners.
Snoop Dogg, who will be sharing the stage with Wiz Khalifa on July 18 at the Pavilion at Star Lake, reached out to Little Earth more than a year ago with a petwear line in mind. This marked the first time the local company — which touts partnerships with the NFL, NHL and MLB — would have partnered with a major celebrity. DeMarco says it was a perfect fit. Among his other ventures, Snoop Dogg also has his face on wine bottles and owns a marijuana brand.
Previously based in the Hill District, Little Earth has been catering to Pittsburgh’s hunger for local merch for more than 30 years. The company got its start making recycled bottle cap belts and license plate handbags with a soft heart for the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.
For a period in 2008, DeMarco says each player on the Steelers had a personalized handbag in their lockers. When a representative for the NFL saw one of the player’s girlfriends sporting the black and gold, DeMarco says that’s when Little Earth “really got into this whole thing.”
“We started switching over to licensed products,” DeMarco says. “We got a license with the NFL and then eventually with Major League Baseball, about 60 colleges and the National Hockey League. So now we primarily make licensed products for sports fans and their pets.”
The company also licenses to NASCAR and Major League Soccer and has more recently picked up contracts with the NCAA to outfit college football fans and their pets with the colors of their favorite teams
The all-in-one office space, warehouse and factory sees thousands of products coming through where they’re decorated, packaged and sold.
With the entire staff working out of the South Side, covering everything from product design to production, DeMarco humbly says “we’re a vertically integrated, tiny company.” A tiny company that holds brand deals across the entire continental United States with sales between $10 million and $50 million.
Turning to Pittsburgh’s homegrown talent, DeMarco said if she were to immortalize any local artist on the pleated back of a dog harness, it would be Andy Warhol. Though no future partners have been identified, DeMarco says the work with Snoop Dogg opens up the gate and they’re “looking at” various options.
“We haven’t identified anyone specifically because you really need somebody that has a very broad-base wide appeal,” DeMarco says. “And they’re not going to be like, next year, after their big hits are over, everybody’s forgotten about them.”