Behind the Brand
Behind the Brand: Outback Tails Australian Dog Accessories
Celebrating dogs and Indigenous art is all in a day's work for this proudly Australian brand.
They say running a small business isn’t easy. Well, try running two!
But that’s just what you do when you have passion, drive, industry smarts…and a unique vision inspired by a stunning indigenous artwork.
Co-founder of outdoor dog gear brand DOOG, Jessica Knight started a second Australian dog accessories label, Outback Tails, as a fun and stylish way for dog lovers to celebrate Indigenous art and Australian culture.
Vibrant, creative and playful, the Outback Tails collection combines contemporary style and beautiful eco-friendly craftsmanship with authentic Australian design. In an industry where it’s not always easy to stand out – you know an Outback Tails design when you see one.
We sat down with Jessica to learn more about her Outback Tails journey, the indigenous artists she works with, and what’s to come for this uniquely Australian dog-loving brand.
Behind the Brand: Outback Tails
Who: Jessica Knight Title & Company: Founder of Outback Tails Location: Sydney, Australia
Who: Jessica Knight
Title & Company: Founder of Outback Tails
Location: Sydney, Australia
As the founder of leading outdoor dog accessories brand DOOG, how did your journey with Outback Tails begin?
Outback Tails was really a passion project of mine that I initially started as a side business to DOOG. I wanted to create an Australian dog accessories brand that meshed some of my interests together: Indigenous art, native wildlife and Australian design and culture.
It all came about while I was admiring one of Pauline Napangardi’s work on my wall and thinking how beautiful it would look printed onto a dog bed. I picked up the phone and called Pauline’s agent to see if she would be interested in working with me, and the whole brand just started coming together from there.
We started as a small online store, but now offer our products wholesale and also distribute around the world to retailers in the USA, Asia and Europe.
Who are the indigenous artists behind your designs?
We are signing up more artists every month, but the current artists we work with are from both the Warlukurlangu and Ikuntji Arts centres, both of which are in the Northern Territory. 10% of the sale from every product that features their work goes directly back to each artist.
Our most popular prints are by award-winning artist Pauline Napangardi Gallagher, who was the first artist I worked with and who’s painting I had purchased from my own home before I started the brand.
There is something so mesmerising about aboriginal artwork. Why do you think people are so drawn to the designs in your range?
I think they offer something totally unique and beautiful, and make owning a piece of Indigenous art something attainable to everyone.
What products are featured in your collection? What is your best-seller and why do you think it’s a favourite?
The Outback Animal dog toys are hugely popular! I think our customers come back and keep buying them because they not only look beautiful, but they are really durable as well.
We also give a percentage of sales from our native animal toys back to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, which our customers love.
What do you love most about running Outback Tails?
It makes me so happy creating Australian dog accessories and products that promote our Indigenous artists to new markets both here and abroad.
Nothing makes me more excited than seeing a customer in New York or London sharing pics of their dogs enjoying our beautiful products on the other side of the world!
What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?
Managing growth in a sustainable way always presents challenges, as it can be scary placing and funding big orders for new markets.
What would be your no. #1 tip as a pet business owner?
Push your suppliers to be more sustainable with their production and packaging practices even if they say it’s too hard. There are so many great options now that we can all be using as brands to create less plastic waste, and practise running our businesses more sustainably.
Are you able to give Pretty Fluffy readers the inside scoop on any upcoming new releases?
I’ve just signed up four new Indigenous artists and will be launching their lines at the start of summer. I’m super excited about this collection as the work is quite different to anything you have seen in our product range before. It’s more of a neutral collection, but also beautifully contemporary in its simplicity.
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Pretty Fluffy is the ultimate lifestyle destination for dog lovers.
Thank you for being part of our dog-loving community!