Sabyloo And It's Founder, Sabrina Avila
Artisan gifts from the heart for Pet Moms and Dads. One of the nicest things about living in New York is, surprisingly enough, the change of seasons.
From the blooming flowers of springtime and the lush greenery of summer to Autumns' multi-hued leaves and the soft, powdery snow of winter, each season brings forth its' very own personality and picture-perfect backdrop that is guaranteed to enliven the city's often drab and grey urban landscape.
When the calendars' pages, though, turn to winter, seasoned New Yorkers and tourists alike, all look forward to the grand opening of the fabulous Winter Village, located at iconic Bryant Park!
The crown jewel of Mid-Town Manhattan, Bryant Park is, for a few months anyway, transformed into a veritable winter wonderland that would give Santa Claus' North Pole headquarters a run for its' money. It is amazing! And so much fun!
The Winter Village truly has something for everyone, especially children of all ages.
In addition to a magnificent open-air ice-skating rink where admission is always free, the Winter Village also offers The Lodge, a stylish bar, lounge and food hall as well as the much-anticipated Holiday Shops.
A European-inspired market, the Holiday Shops consist of row upon row of beautifully designed booths and kiosks that house an amazing variety of artisan craft-makers, chefs, bakers and entrepreneurs.
Just make sure to bring along your list of who's been naughty and who's been nice.
Certain to be a popular stop along the picturesque allees' and terraces of the Winter Village is the cute little kiosk that houses Sabyloo and its' founder the charming Sabrina Avila.
Located at Booth W21 on the Village's south side, Sabyloo will be open for business from November 1st through January 5th, 2020.
You can visit Sabyloo Monday through Friday, from 11 AM to 8 PM and on the weekend, from 10 in the morning until 8 PM.
A proud mom of two adorable rescue pups and a talented designer, Sabrina created Sabyloo as a way to express herself and her love of dogs without any limits.
If you're a pet mom or dad or know someone who is, you will find the purrfect gift for them at Sabyloo's Bryant Park kiosk or online at Sabrina's website www.sabyloo.com.
Just about every breed of dog and cat is represented on Sabyloo's signature Woof and Meow sock collection.
From Beagles and Collies to Bulldogs, Corgis and Dachshunds, you can show off the breed that's dear to your heart with a pair of socks whose design and colors totally pop!
And, if you are a friend to the feline community, there's no need to feel left out at all. Sabrina's cool socks rock your favorite furballs including Orange Tabbies, Siamese and Maine Coon cats.
Made out of 80% quality Egyptian cotton, Sabyloo's socks are as warm and cuddly on a cold winters' night as is your four-legged friends' soft fur. It doesn't get any better than that.
In addition to her incomparable socks, Sabrina offers a wealth of other gifts that are sure to get your attention.
You can choose from a variety of items such as pet portraits that are sublimated onto ceramic tiles as well as handcrafted needlepoint key rings.
Take your pet with you, everywhere you go with these sturdy and stylish keyrings that come with leather and brass findings. When you and your canine companion are at the park or the dog run, other pet parents will want to know just where you got them.
A short while prior to Sabyloo's grand opening at the Winter Village Holiday Shops, Aplez.com sat down with the brand's founder for a quick chat over coffee.
The passion that Sabrina feels for all animals, but dogs, in particular, is evident when she talks about Sabyloo's mission.
"We just want to bring a smile to our customer's faces when they find their beloved pet represented one of our creations. And, "added the designer, "hopefully that grin gets even bigger when they learn that Sabyloo gives back to our most vulnerable fur babies."
From the company's inception, Sabrina has donated a portion of Sabyloo's sales to various rescue groups, both here in the USA and abroad.
"Last year we donated 100% of the sales from our rescue/adopt sock design. 'explained Sabrina. "This meant that we ended up having five thousand dollars to work with, so we selected five different rescue organizations to receive $1,000 each. In addition, I often donate custom pet portrait vouchers, which can be raffled off at various fundraisers".
The proud mom of Lucy and Hope, Sabrina's eyes lit up when asked to describe her dogs.
"Lucy is, like Hope, very, very affectionate. She was born to be loved. Lucy has a calm, gentle nature but she can get into all kinds of mischief. She's quite agile, always running around my apartment. As for Hope; she is a bit pushy and rebellious but in a very nice way. Hope is a rascal. She can be very comical at times, lifting my spirits no end."
When you look at Sabrina's gorgeous paintings, ceramics, socks and keyrings you'll find it hard to believe that she is completely self-taught with no real formal training as an artist.
"As a child, I always loved to do pencil drawings and sketches", said Sabrina as she reminisced, wondering how fast the time went by from being a young girl with big dreams to become an entrepreneur.
"I found myself drawing mostly human faces and was especially intrigued by getting the eyes just right. They are, after all, the window to the soul".
Eventually, though, Sabrina's passion for dogs would lead her to try to capture their faces and expressions in her artwork. But Sabrina felt that drawing was more of a hobby than something that could end up as a career. It was a way for her to relax and chase the stress away.
Through the years, Sabrina worked at a variety of jobs including a lengthy stint in the airline industry. But, all roads led back to art and design.
The process of launching Sabyloo, though, was not easy. As is the case with most start-ups, there was a ton of trial and error involved. But, even during the roughest of days, Sabrina's commitment never wavered.
Deep in her heart, this was something that Sabrina felt she HAD to do.
Sabrina's first sock designs were rough sketches that she sent over to a small artisan manufacturer. Once they received Sabrina's artwork, the manufacturer would formulate a file for the sock machine to knit.
But, ever the perfectionist, Sabrina was far from satisfied with the finished product. Yes, the socks were good. But, NOT good enough.
"The entire process was much too slow so, by pure grace," explained Sabrina, "I figured out how to create a file in Photoshop that the sock knitting machine could read precisely."
A just in the nick of time game-changer, this discovery eliminated the need for the factory to "translate" the design, as it were. A whole new world of design possibilities opened up for Sabrina.
"I know that there are special apps for textile design, but, to this day, I still use Photoshop." Hey, if it ain't broke why mess with it, right?
When she was finally ready to launch her brand in early 2013, Sabrina did not have any qualms about stepping into the spotlight on the biggest stage in the canine world, the Westminster Dog Show.
And, if that wasn't daring enough, she followed that up with an appearance at the American Kennel Club's Meet The Breeds signature event.
Fearless and determined are two of the words that immediately come to mind when describing Sabyloo's founder.
Nevertheless, Sabrina readily admits to having been just a wee bit nervous on the eve of Sabyloo's debut.
"Frankly, I was wondering as to how the dog show elite would react to my designs, which were far from staid and conservative."
As things turned out, Sabrina had nothing at all to worry about.
"Sabyloo's socks and gifts were totally different from the type of products that people were used to seeing at Westminster and Meet The Breeds."
" Most vendors sold very expensive items such as bronze sculptures, jewelry and fancy collars. But, when I showed up with my little collection, the attendees were delighted. Many of them thanked me for bringing gifts that were, not only affordable but had a very personal, cozy touch to them."
And that's the thing with gifts from Sabyloo. They touch your emotions in so many ways.
Every time that she is at a craft market or trade show, Sabrina enjoys interacting with the pet parents who come up to her booth or table.
"We exchange anecdotes about our dogs and what they mean to us. However, it can be heart-wrenching at times," added Sabrina.
"On occasion, people have come up to me and, while we conversed, just started crying over the loss of a pet. There was one woman in particular. I gave that person a small gift to commemorate her dog. Sometime later, she reached out and told me how much the gift meant to her; that she had adopted a new pet and was on the road to recovery, emotionally speaking."
When we asked Sabyloo's founder where she saw her business going in, say, five year's time, Sabrina did not hesitate more than a second or two before answering.
"I want to make Sabyloo a global brand, one that is not only THE place to shop for pet-related gifts, but also raises awareness about the plight of shelter dogs."
"I've had the pleasure of rescuing quite a few pups in my time and I must say that, without a doubt, it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done." firmly stated Sabrina.
"To see these creatures go from being so scared and lost to stepping on grass for the first time, frolicking in the snow or gazing up with wonder at the blue sky fills my heart with joy! It's an incredible feeling, knowing that you played a small part in offering a doomed soul a chance at life."
Aplez.com has more than it's a fair share of pet moms and dads among its' readers throughout NYC and the Hudson Valley.
We asked Sabrina how they can do their bit to help at-risk dogs and cats.
"Promote adoption !" passionately replied Sabrina. " Spay and neuter your pets. But, above all, show compassion to our less fortunate animals on the street, especially with the colder winter months on the horizon."
When she's not busy running her brand, (which is almost a 24/7 labor of love), Sabrina, like so many of her fellow New Yorkers, is a confirmed foodie.
Whenever I have some down-time, I enjoy trying new restaurants all over town. But some of my standbys include Bare Burger in Long Island City for their beyond delicious plant-based Impossible Burger; Kouzan on the Upper West Side for sushi and Rancho Tequileria in Manhattan for their unbelievable fish tacos. They're always fresh and tasty."
As far as tips on pet-friendly restaurants and cafes; Sabrina loves Telio on Broadway and 92nd street. They have plenty of outdoor seating, love dogs and offer the BEST grilled salmon and lemon potatoes.
You can also check out Aplez.com's recently posted article on pet-friendly Manhattan restaurants!
With the holidays here before you know it, you'll want to save yourself some valuable time as far as searching the internet for that very special gift for the dog or cat lover in your life.
Sabyloo has everything you're looking for as well as more than a few creative gifts that you could not even imagine!
One quick click on www.sabyloo.com and you'll find stocking-stuffers and more!
Nowadays, most of us tend to do our shopping online. But, don't deny yourself the pleasure of taking a little bit of your time to actually visit Sabrina at Bryant Park's Holiday shops.
If you're not already in the Holiday mode, you will be after spending five minutes at the amazing Winter Village. You'll be grinning from ear to ear.
Why not take your doggie with you and let him, or her, help to pick out a key chain, pet portrait or a couple of pairs of Woof socks.
Get your PAWS UP and shop with Sabyloo!
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan