The WWW's — A chat with Denise Crombag from Pawness

Have you heard of The WWW’s? Through this section on our website, you’ll be able to get to know our clients a little better, as we’ll dive deep into the WHO, WHAT and WHY of their brands. Intrigued? Then read on to discover more!

Meet Denise Crombag, the founder of Pawness. The Dutch label offers a collection of consciously designed dog essentials. Big in style, small in paw print - that's the Pawness motto. The brand creates and selects quality dog accessories, such as food bowls, poop bags, care products, all with respect for our nature and our animals., @pawness_dog_essentials, #sharethepawness

Hi Denise! Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background and education?

Hi, my name is Denise. I am 35 years old and was born in a small village in the south of Limburg. I studied 3D design and Styling in Boxtel. After graduation, I moved to Amsterdam, where I got another degree in Fashion & Branding.

How did you come up with the idea for your brand? Where does the name come from?

After completing my studies, I spent some time working for various fashion brands. When the time was right, I made the decision to become a designer myself and start my own agency. Because I spent most of my time working from home, I was finally able to adopt a dog, which was a long cherished wish. After a lengthy search, we found Bo (real name Bonitao). He was living in Portugal and was looking for a forever home. We adopted him in May 2018. I then spent hours searching the internet and visiting stores looking for beautiful and durable dog products. Unfortunately, these proved hard to find. This realization made me come up with the idea for Pawness: I was going to design and sell consciously designed dog essentials.
I came up with the name Pawness together with a copywriter. I wanted a name that was not specifically aimed at dogs. This way the brand can also expand to other products, e.g. for cats or other animals with paws.

Could you tell us a bit more about the sustainable angle of your brand and products?

It is very important to me that all Pawness goods are beneficial to humans, animals and the planet, and so we pay special attention to this during the design and production process. We made the conscious decision to only work with producers who share our vision and mission. Where possible, these producers are European as this not only simplifies the cooperation, but also reduces delivery times and ensures there is a lesser impact on the environment due to transportation.
Let me offer an example: The material for our walk collection was developed especially for Pawness. This way, we not only offer an alternative for leather but create a sustainable alternative for traditional artificial leather as well.

Could you guide us through your design process? Where does your inspiration come from?

Because I have two dogs myself, I know what a dog owner needs and incorporate these products into the Pawness collection. My background in fashion ensures that I stay up to date on trends and what’s going on in the field of design. I collect and utilize this knowledge for my own creations. As soon as I have an idea, I start sketching and set-up moodboards. Together with the producers, I look at how we can bring the product to life. We start with a sample and keep refining it until we are satisfied. Some projects take up no time, while others need some more time to mature. As it is important to me that Pawness products last a "dog's life", they are not trend-sensitive. The design should fit into a contemporary interior and appeal to style-conscious consumers, but should not be outdated within a year.

What does the future hold for your brand? Do you have any dreams?

I would love for Pawness to become a household name for consumers looking for consciously designed dog essentials. As I firmly believe in giving back to society —we currently donate 10% of our profit to a good dog charity— I would also like to create my own foundation for neglected dogs. And if I’m really dreaming big, then I’d say I would want to take Pawness to the US and set up an office overseas. To be able to sell our products in the beautiful dog boutiques all over the US would be absolutely wonderful as their clientele suits our brand to a tee.

Female entrepreneurs are still a minority. What’s your ultimate advice for women who are considering starting their own business?

Just start somewhere and get the ball rolling. Take the necessary steps, even if they are small, but keep going. There will always be bumps in the road, that is part of doing business. What is important is how you deal with these, because eventually these bumps will take you further. Another tip is to not try to do everything yourself, but ask for help with things you are less skilled in. The most important thing is not to give up. There may be days when you think, why did I set out to do this? And it is precisely on these days that you have to commit yourself fully. Believe in yourself and the product you offer! When you stay close to who you are, you will always come out on top.

Thank you Denise, for the inspirational talk! We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors!
Intrigued and want to know more? Check out Pawness and get inspired.

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