Lucy McCauslandLucy McCausland remembers her first pet, Muffy, a small dog her family loved when she and her sisters were children. Years later her love of animals led her to take up horseback riding, and raising dogs and cats of her own. As Lucy developed her career, managing large retail stores, serving as CFO for a large retail chain, and as VP of Finance for a major catalogue retailer, she also developed a strong desire to combine her business talents with her love of animals. And in 2003, she opened a.k.a. spot, in the Clarendon section of Arlington, the hottest neighborhood in the DC metropolitan area.
Pet boutique, doggy grocery, and doggy self-wash, a.k.a. spot has outgrown its original location, and now has a new home just a few blocks away in a larger, more comfortable space. The Bark magazine has called a.k.a. spot "The Ralph Lauren of pet boutiques," and the shop is widely known as one of the very finest retailers of unique, premium pet supplies in the United States. In addition to its retail offerings, a.k.a. spot also serves the community, hosting regular adoption days, sponsoring local animal welfare organizations, scheduling annual portrait sessions for customers with acclaimed photographer Amanda Jones, and coordinating the annual Howl-o-ween doggy parade and costume contest through Clarendon.
Hosting this annual event has provided Lucy with a great education on costume planning and preparation, with a strong emphasis on safety, creativity, and finding the right costume for each and every pet. Each year the event grows bigger and better, and, while it's hard work pulling it all together, it's also very rewarding to see people and pets bonding and interacting, making new friends and coming up with dazzling new costumes.
Lucy McCausland: Hi, I am Lucy McCausland from AKA Spot. We are a dog store in Arlington, Virginia. I had the dog store for the last four years and had dogs for most of my life and I currently have two adorable Jack Russells and they have been known to do a parade or two in their day. We sell everything from the essentials like food and collars to the crazy like the dog costumes we are about to talk about. We are going to go through a range. We are going to go through how to dress your big or small dogs, we are going to talk about how to make your own costumes, we are going to talk about a group or Ensemble costumes where you can get together with a bunch of your friends and come as a one big group. I will also talk about a minimalist approach, if your dog is a one that will tolerate costumes and then we are also going to touch base on safety and parade etiquette, so that everybody can be sure to enjoy the festivities. So here we go.