Christine Chang’s Sassy Woof Empire and the Latest Trends in the Pet Industry

by Tom Lavecchia

There is little question that we love animals. According to a recent May 2024 report, 66 percent of households in the U.S. own a pet, and we do everything with them! We exercise, travel, and enjoy our lives with them. Suffice it to say, most pet owners would even consider their pets to be family! Not only do pet parents feel responsible for their pets, but they also want them to look great and wear comfortable items.

Christine Chang has two dachshunds Maya (@mayathedox) and Winston (@winstonthedox) that mean the world to her, and she wanted them to find products that matched their personalities. Yet, despite her continued efforts to find the style of pet products, she could only find basic, rustic, and unappealing harnesses, collars, and leashes. This challenge gave her the idea to start her own line of products.


Sassy Woof

Sassy Woof founder, Christine Chang, and her dogs, Maya and Winston

Christine Chang founded Sassy Woof in April 2018 with the goal to create high-quality dog accessories that were stylish yet affordable. She started by searching for freelance artists to create pattern designs and requesting samples from manufacturers. Just six months after its founding, Sassy Woof opened shop in October—the launch was met with overwhelmingly positive results. This market reaction encouraged Christine to invest in more patterns and stock. Maya, her dachshund, had a following on social media, which contributed to the early interest in Sassy Woof.

Like most small business household operations, Christine packed orders in her basement with the help of her mom and niece in the beginning. Her husband, Art (hails from East Brunswick and is a graduate of Middlesex County College) delivered the packages to the post office daily. She handled product design, photography, order fulfillment and social media management while working full-time in the healthcare industry. As a result, Sassy Woof quickly became a demanding endeavor.

Christine and Art attended trade shows in 2019 to showcase the brand and gain exposure. People were excited about the brand at all the trade shows and very supportive. What started as a word-of-mouth operation quickly gained traction and grew. Overtime, Christine began offering wholesale products to other small businesses and retailers.

As momentum continued to grow each month, Christine left her job in healthcare in August 2019 and focused on Sassy Woof full-time, but no one could predict the looming Covid-19 crisis that was about to come. Yet, although Christine initially thought that Sassy Woof would be adversely affected as many other businesses were, the reality was entirely different: many families adopted a pet or added another one to their families during the pandemic. As a result, Sassy Woof experienced a significant increase in orders, and with that, came multiplying growth.

Moving forward to 2024, Sassy Woof continues to be a driver of innovation and quality pet products trusted by parents everywhere.  You can now find Sassy Woof products not only in over 2,000 small boutiques in the U.S., but also in major retailers including PetSmart, Walmart, Chewy and many more. Equally noteworthy, Sassy Woof has secured licensing deals with major partners including Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Mattel, Peanuts, and many more ahead propelling the brand to the next level. 

Learn more about Christine and Sassy Woof here.

Chloe in her Sassy Woof gear

About the Author/s

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Tom is a lifelong New Jersey resident, Rutgers and FDU alumni and the publisher of The Digest.

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