Cheengoo means "friend" in Korean. Cheengoo are the patrons who support us. Cheengoo are the people whom I am lucky enough to work with creating our lovely products; and Cheengoo are the furry and not so furry little ones who will ultimately use them.
We began by designing and making collars and leashes by hand made right here in San Francisco. As our range of products have grown we continue to take great pride in doing everything we can to ensure that nothing leaves Cheengoo unless it is of the highest quality. Quality maintenance alone though is not enough, a Cheengoo product also needs to be fun, stylish, practical and eco-friendly to boot.
Our crochet toys are all designed with the cuteness ratio at maximum by our founder and head designer, Liz. They are then crafted ethically and environmentally by a team of artisan women - a happy band of mostly mothers and farmers in rural China. By providing free training, flexible working hours and monthly compensation in hand craft industry where workers are usually only paid bi-annually we are improving working conditions in China by example. The result is a friendly working environment that also doubles as a support network allowing these women to earn a fair wage while satisfying their obligations at home.
I was born in South Korea. I have lived in England, Hong Kong, New York most recently San Francisco. With a well-developed fondness for cucumber sandwiches, fish ball noodles and sunsets with a Manhattan backdrop I do consider myself a bona fide citizen of the world. With a background in graphic design and marketing, I felt that I had both the tools and the motivation to build an online boutique that catered for today's most savvy pet owners. After six months of countless late nights, long days, long nights and late days everything came together so that in December 2005, Cheengoo.com was launched. The perfectionist that I am, I set out to create a destination where the entire collection was of a consistently of high quality. I wanted beautifully designed accessories where the onus was in equal parts on style and the pragmatic. When shopping Cheengoo products I wanted people to have their fun cake and eat it too. There was in my mind absolutely no reason to sacrifice the sensible for the sensational.
Managing Cheengoo Boutique on San Francisco's Union Street for 5 years gave me some unique insights into both the challenges of being a store owner and into what really resonates with the end consumer. It afforded me an invaluable understanding of the logistics involved in both stocking shelves as well as knowing what kind of items will fly off of them.
As Cheengoo's first range of products gained popularity in boutiques across the nation; it was followed up almost immediately with arange of toys that were both fun and a joy to design. At this point, my inspiration and muse is now very much my son, Oliver the new and all eclipsing love in my life. Spending time with Oliver brought with it a desire to dramatically expand Cheengoo's offerings. Now, fate along with Yellow Label is now making that wish a reality.