Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, we on the Beachwaver squad like to take advantage of any excuse to hang out with puppies. So when we heard National Puppy Day was not only a thing, but was right around the corner, we immediately reached out to the founder of the blog Rescue in Style, Christine Nendick (@rescueinstyle).
Christine’s blog pairs adoptable pets with fashion, aiming to bring awareness to animals looking for their forever homes. Christine shares her “approachable, girl-next-door" style with her Instagram followers, hoping to introduce a new audience to the world of adoption.
We wanted to learn more about Christine and help her on her mission to raise awareness about adoptable pets in the Chicagoland area, so last week, we met up with Christine and her two cats, Roni and Cheese. After Beachwaving Christine’s hair, we sat down to learn more about her blog, then headed out to meet up with local Chicago shelter Alive Rescue.
Check out our Q&A with Christine and all the ADORABLE photos of actual puppies up for adoption below. Then be sure to visit Alive’s website for a list of animals who still need forever homes!
Beachwaver: How did the idea for Rescue in Style come about?
Christine: I was scrolling through my Instagram one night, and I saw all these fashion bloggers with their puppies and I thought to myself, ‘This would be a great platform for adoptable pets.’ I had worked in shelters and veterinary clinics for a long time, so I knew there was a need for it. My goal is to provide a new kind of marketing for rescue organizations by bringing awareness to all the animals in need out there.
Beachwaver: Were you always into fashion? How did you integrate clothing and animals?
Christine: I consider myself a dog blogger with a fashion twist versus the other way around. I’ve always liked fashion and putting together cute outfits, but I don’t claim to know a ton about fashion—there are plenty of bloggers who do that better than me! I try to stay in my sweet spot of approachable clothing with an emphasis on dogs and cats.
Beachwaver: When you first started the blog, what steps did you take to get it off the ground?
Christine: I went to work on it right away. I started researching how to write a blog and figured out which platform I would use and who would take the pictures.
For my first post, I brought my husband to a local shelter and said, ‘Hey, this is going to be weird, but I need you to take some photos of me.’ He was a really good sport. And then I built it from there. I put together a couple of posts, pitched the idea to a few of my friends who were photographers, and they were all into it. I learned a lot as I went along.
Beachwaver: I’m sure adding animals into the mix takes photo shoots to a whole other (challenging!) level—what have you learned about “pet photography” since starting your blog? Any tips on how to make it a success?
Christine: It’s funny because puppies are definitely the cutest, but they’re the hardest to photograph because they’re so wiggly! My suggestion would be to find dogs that are highly treat-motivated, and then it’s really just a matter of finding a photographer who’s able to snap those really quick moments—because they’re fleeting. For every 200 photos I take, either I look ridiculous, or the dog’s not looking at the camera, so it’s a lot of trial and error, but it’s a lot of fun, too. I like it because it takes the pressure off me—and the outtakes end up being some of my favorites. It’s a lot of face licking and paw prints on shirts.
Beachwaver: What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since you started Rescue in Style?
Christine: I would say it’s been awesome to partner with companies that have a similar vision—companies that want to make an impact beyond just the beauty and the fashion. So it’s been really cool partnering with companies like The Beachwaver who think, yeah, puppies are great, but rescue puppies are also great.
Also the people I’ve met through blogging! The blogging community is extremely supportive, and I’ve been lucky to meet some great friends. Plus it’s a lot of women, which is awesome because I work in finance 9 to 5, which is a very male-dominated field. Now I’m surrounded by so many extremely talented and creative women, and that’s been really cool to be a part of.
Beachwaver: What has been your favorite event you’ve done through Rescue in Style?
Christine: I put together a ‘bring your dog to yoga’ event, which was really fun. And I recently did a ‘dog spa day’ at a dog-friendly spa in Chicago where all the proceeds benefitted a shelter in the area. Coming up, I’m doing a ‘crafts for dogs’ event—everyone will make some sort of dog toy, and all the toys will be donated to local shelters.
Beachwaver: What are some of your favorite brands you’ve worked with and why?
Christine: I have to give a shout-out to my first-ever collaboration with Kovet Boutique in Glenview, IL. They took a chance on me when I was just starting out, and it’s a partnership I continue to respect and nurture. I also have a campaign coming up with EVEREVE, who reached out after seeing a photo I tagged them in. I’m really excited for that!
Beachwaver: How difficult is it not to adopt every animal you feature?
Christine: Luckily (and unluckily) my husband would kill me if I came home with like, nine dogs. About eight months ago, we fostered two kittens. We were supposed to give them back so we could adopt a dog…but that didn’t happen. And I know once I adopt one dog, the floodgates will open—I can’t have just one! So, stay tuned. I can’t say I won’t adopt them all after I adopt my first one.
Beachwaver: Do you know what kind of dog it will be?
Christine: I would love a greyhound—they’re like big couch potatoes! People think because they’re fast and used in racing that they’re really active dogs, but they’re actually called the ’40 mph couch potato.’ They’re really chill, they love to sleep and they’re just really great dogs from everything I’ve learned.
Beachwaver: What advice would you give to other people with an idea for a blog who aren’t sure how to get it started?
Christine: Go for it. I feel like a lot of times people think, ‘I have to have this plan—I have to know steps A, B and C to get there.’ And I think you hold yourself back when you say, ‘I’m not ready for this.’ Well, you’ll never be ‘ready’—I was never ‘ready.' But I learned a lot along the way. So don’t wait any longer. Follow your dream, and enjoy it!