How we got here.
My name is Hannah and I am the owner and operator of But First, West. From the day I was born, my parents ensured dogs were always an integral member of our family. So naturally when I was married in 2019, my husband and I knew a dog was our next step. When we first met Phyllis, I purchased everything on the market in preparation to take her home. I scoured so many different websites to meet our needs and find our aesthetic but just never quite found the soft goods I was looking for. I unpacked my sewing machine, cut a mock bandana pattern out of a grocery bag and started a vision. Phyllis wore her first bandana on December 26th, 2020 and BFW has been outfitting her ever since. This whole adventure is because of you Phyllis P. Phelps.
I am originally from Minnesota, just north of the Twin Cities. I went to College and Graduate School in Wisconsin, lived in Boulder, Colorado and eventually followed a dream, took a leap and moved further West to San Diego, California in 2012. As a full time sports medicine nerd I was always exercising the left side of my brain and craved creativity. I dabbled in leather, natural dyeing of textiles with plants and even mapping out the next California swap meet for what I called 'tiquing. When I started a little crafted Etsy shop the name 'But First, West' transpired. Since moving West in 2012 I have really expanded outside my comfort zone. To me, 'West' is that place/person/idea/thing/vision that pushes and motivates you to keep adventuring. To keep pursuing. To keep growing. Keep your 'West' on the forefront of your mind and always lead with this, first.
But First, West operates out of Los Angeles, California.
Durable, high quality products
Minimalistic, androgynous designs
Multi-use || Multi-function
Low environmental impact
Classiest mother pupper in town
Designs to be worn year round
Look good, feel good.
Adventure on, Mother Puppers.
Pro Tip: If you have a lot of fluff, its never a bad idea to size up. Give your mane some breathing room and don't let those bandanas get lost in the jungle.
Phyllis' Specs: 75 pounds of solid gold, wears size L when fluff is trimmed, XL when she is shag master fluff.
And don't forget to add on that knotted hair bow at checkout if you rock a signature top knot like Phyllis.
WE BELIEVE IN KINDNESS.
WE BELIEVE IN CONNECTION.
WE BELIEVE WE ARE EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE INTENDED TO BE.
WE BELIEVE IN TAKING RISKS. CALCULATED RISKS ...
WE BELIEVE IN STAYING CLASSY.
WE INTEND TO CREATE IN A SLOW PACE WITH PURPOSE.
WE KNOW TO BE TRUE THAT ALL THINGS FAMILIAR WERE ONCE UNFAMILIAR.
LEAVE IT, IF IT DOESNT SPARK JOY (OR IF YOUR MAMA SAYS SO).
ABOVE ALL ELSE: DOGS ARE GOOD FOR OUR HEARTS.
But First, west primarily sources their materials through shopping small, utilizing dead-stock and minimizing waste through eco-friendly packaging.
Our Packaging Bags: Our accessories are packaged in PLA bags (Poly Lactic Acid obtained from plants) .
Our Packaging Stickers and Stamps: We use acid-free, FSC-certified compostable paper packaging stickers printed using soy-based inks. Our packaging stamps are water based, non-toxic, biodegradable ink that are compost friendly!
Our Shipment Bags: Our soft goods are shipped in Eco Enclose Poly mailers. These mailers are made in the USA from 100% recycled content and incorporate a resealable adhesive strip to reuse this bag for another shipment!
Be sure to check out our "Seconds Shop" and learn how we use our scrap fabric!