The Stray Dog Story

In the picturesque village of San Miguel de Allende, nestled amidst the rugged terrain of central Mexico, stray dogs roam the cobblestone streets, weaving through colorful doorways adorned with trailing vines, in search of sustenance. These resilient street dogs, often overlooked and underappreciated, carve out their existence with independence and survival instincts.

Among them, one dog stood out from the rest. La Princessa, a nondescript black mutt with peculiar tan markings over her eyes and ears that seemed to defy gravity, captured the attention of two expats, Bill Pritchard and Jane Gray, in 1994.

Freshly wed and embarking on a journey of discovery in Mexico, Bill and Jane welcomed La Princessa into their lives as their first shared project. As they nurtured her back to health and explored the hillsides together, they found a synergy that inspired them to pursue their next venture: importing Mexican pottery.

Right: Newlyweds Jane & Billy in San Miguel

However, it wasn't long before Jane's innate design talent and Bill's tireless energy led them to a new path. Encouraged by their faithful companion La Princessa, they stumbled upon Guadalupe Alvarez's tin workshop, where Jane's whimsical sketches were transformed into the first Stray Dog original creation.

With La Princessa faithfully by their side, Jane and Bill's red pickup truck became laden with an eclectic array of lamps, mirrors, and urns, showcasing Jane's vibrant color palette and imaginative designs.

In 1995, fueled by their burgeoning success, they took a leap of faith and returned to the United States, with La Princessa in tow, to debut their creations at the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market. It was there that Stray Dog's distinctive tin and iron pieces, adorned with eye-catching colors, captivated a loyal following.

Many decades later, Stray Dog Designs' core design principles remain unchanged: all items are handmade with meticulous craftsmanship from quality and recycled materials, melding quirky charm and true artistry while providing fair wages for local workers. This commitment to ethical practices has set Stray Dog apart in an industry where substance often takes a backseat to style.

Despite La Princessa's absence, her legacy lives on in the vibrant house shared by Bill and Jane on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, where former stray dog Mamie join a colorful cast of characters, embodying the spirit of resilience, creativity, and companionship that defines Stray Dog Designs.