We recently spoke with Erin Breig, brand management for Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique—a division of Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc., about pet fashion and how the company got its start.
Michelle: Tell me a little about Rubie’s.
Erin: Rubie’s is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of Halloween costumes and accessories. A family-run business for 63 years, Rubie’s offers an extensive line of products for infants, children, teens, adults and, of course, pets.
Rubie’s may now be an internationally-recognized brand, but we truly had modest beginnings. The first location, which opened in 1951, was a small candy shop in Queens, N.Y. Opened by Tillie and Rubin Beige, the parents of the current owners, Howard and Marc Beige, the candy shop sold basic items like candy and newspapers.
Eventually, the Beige’s got into selling Halloween items, but at that time, this consisted of inexpensive masks and very basic characters. Since then, Marc and Howard have expanded on their parents’ vision of creating a true Halloween industry. Rubie’s is now the leader in an industry that expands beyond Halloween to other holidays (such as St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Easter and Christmas). Two of our fastest growing categories are every day dress up (aka role play) and pet dress up.
Michelle: How did the company expand in to pets?
Erin: Having secured over 150 licenses, including DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, Nickelodeon and more, over time we have always offered costumes for the whole family, which undoubtedly included our pets.
In 2013, we expanded the line by adding over 100 styles for cats and dogs. This year, we could not disappoint our loyal customers, and in true Rubie’s fashion we added another 100 styles. Our selection includes more than just licensed costumes; we have a full offering of non-licensed costumes and hilarious accessories to cover the entire year.
It has been a natural progression for Rubie’s to expand our line as pets have become even more of an important part of the family dynamic. We’ve noticed that people are paying more attention to the style, comfort, and fit of pet clothing—so these factors are reflected in the “Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique” line.
Michelle: With so many costumes and products that span holidays and more, do you have a personal favorite?
Erin: My personal favorite is the Mexican Serape ensemble, which includes an adorable sombrero.
I have two Chihuahuas in my family (Lola and Pixie), so this look really suits them. I honestly don’t get tired of pet costumes and found absolute enjoyment in posting pictures of them wearing this look on Cinco De Mayo this year.
Michelle: What’s a typical day like for you?
Erin: There is no typical day for me. As the brand manager of Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique, I am constantly working with our designers and licensing team to develop new products and to stay on top of the trends. On the sales side, I work hard along with the rest of the Rubie’s staff to keep good customer relationships, as this is very important to us. No two days are the same, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.