If you’re thinking of your pet’s ID tags as a basic safety necessity, you’re doing it wrong. That’s the idea behind Trill Paws, a company that has elevated the simple pet tag into a bona fide fashion accessory.
Founder Rachel Jones has made it her mission to create tags that do way more than just carry pet parents’ contact info—they offer a glimpse into pets’ and their parents’ personalities. From emojis and food to fun pop-culture sayings and celebrities, Trill Paws has endless designs that are sure to be conversation starters at your next fur-family outing.
We chatted with the Los Angeles-based designer about her creative process, her dog-centric upbringing, and how her own pet inspires her designs.
BeChewy:As the founder of a pet company, we know you’ve gotta be an animal lover. Tell us about your pets and how animals played a role in your life growing up.
Jones:Our dog’s name is Kevin. He’s a French Bulldog, and he’s my first—or furst—born. He’s about 4 years old. I’m obsessed with him, and he’s the light of our lives. He comes to the office with me, he travels with us, he’s been everywhere. He’s everything to us, and that’s how I was raised. My parents were dog lovers, and my family had dogs growing up. We adopted animals, helped others who needed it, and were overall just a very dog-friendly family.
So how did that love for animals evolve into Trill Paws?
I always knew entrepreneurship was something I was interested in. And when I took a step back to reflect on what it is that I really love, and I kept going back to dogs. I knew there was something there.
So, I began to explore every avenue of what it’s like when you bring home a dog or pet—the things you need in order to make sure the dog is good to go. I looked at pet ID tags and felt like the market needed a bit of updating. I'm a millennial, and back in the day we would put enamel pins on our backpacks. I thought, “How cool would it be to bring that sort of nostalgic feeling of the enamel pin into something as needed as the pet ID tag?” And the idea of Trill Paws was born.
You clearly tapped into something—Trill Paws has made such a big impact in a short period of time.
The company will be five years old soon, which is wild. We've been growing and have received just a lot of love and recognition from people and brands that I could only dream of. I’ll never forget being featured in Pharrell and Jay-Z's "Entrepreneur" music video. The video was a celebration of black entrepreneurs that featured people like Tyler the Creator and Issa Rae along with several small business owners like myself. This moment was so monumental because I have been a huge Jay-Z fan for many years. I have always been drawn to him as an artist due to his messages of financial wisdom, entrepreneurship and overcoming adversity. It was truly a full-circle moment.
How do you come up with all the creative Trill Paws designs? What inspires you?
For the first several years of the company, I was doing most of the engraving myself, so I was literally writing the names and contact info onto the tags by hand. I got to see so many hilarious and unique dog names like Sushi or Rocket. I thought that if I were a dog owner and saw a tag that looked like sushi or a space rocket, I would feel like I hit the jackpot. So, I initially found ideas in really organic ways and the collections have just expanded from there.
Catchphrases and cultural references are also a big part of the Trill Paws designs. A lot of it is just watching the behavior of my own dog. Hence, why we have a tag that says “Cute, but psycho, but cute.” That’s Kevin’s persona through and through. I also love rap music, so we nod to that culture in many of our designs too, like the “Straight Outta Rescue” tag.
What do you think makes Trill Paws stand out in the market— besides its fun style, of course!
The base of our tags is either silver or gold, and I personally love how the gold looks. I just feel like it adds this element of luxury. Growing up, when I would go into the big box pet stores and purchase ID tags, I was never seeing gold. So, I feel like this is unique and adds this level of quality that I haven't been able to find.
I also love vibrant colors, so Trill Paws ID tags add that extra pop of color to a dog’s coat. Our customers typically look at their dogs as children, so they enjoy pampering and accessorizing their pets. Plus, it’s a nice accessory but also serves an important purpose—helping lost dogs get back to their families.
What’ve been some of the most rewarding moments since starting Trill Paws?
Looking at the reviews on our website that come in brings me joy because people are happy. They talk about how the tags are conversation pieces when their dog is around friends, and that’s so rewarding.
Whenever I’m in New York City, I’ll walk around and see Trill Paws tags everywhere. I’ll go up to pet parents and freak out, asking them where they got the tags. It’s just so rewarding to see your work out there!
Five Fast Questions with Rachel Jones
Favorite album or artist you’re listening to right now? Kendrick Lamar. He released his last album last year, but it’s still my favorite.
Pop-culture phrase you find yourself repeating again and again? ‘It’s giving’—as in, “Our Money Bag Tag is giving luxury.” It just adds a bit of humor to everything.
One celebrity or celebrity dog you’d love to see wearing your designs? Megan Thee Stallion. She has multiple dogs, but there’s one Frenchie who, I mean, I would do anything to put Trill Paws tags on him.
The coolest thing about your dog Kevin? When you speak, he listens; like really listens. I’m convinced he’s got this whole vocabulary. Our bond is so special because he just understands me. I feel like I can truly communicate with him.
What tag is Kevin wearing? Cuddly AF. He’s curled up against me right now.
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