Niki Geroni-Lajoie

The adventures of the Peachy Keen Pets founder & her hilarious pugs

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

Niki Geroni-Lajoie

If you’re a pop culture enthusiast with a dog, Niki Geroni has something that’s right up your alley. We first covered Peachy Keen Pets last year, when Star Trek, Minions and Nintendo collars and leads started popping up everywhere and we had to let our readers know where they were coming from. Since we posted about her company, we’ve been keeping tabs on Niki and we were thrilled to finally connect for a Doggy Style feature!

Niki’s story is an awesome one of reinvention and a successful do-it-yourself business. She’s perfectly set up to cater to die-hard Comic-Con fans with pets, or pet lovers with a slight affinity to a nerdy passion. But when it comes to her personal style, Niki lives right at the top of both spectrums: Huge pop culture, fantasy, comic fan AND massive dog lover. Her two, more-than-rarely dressed up pugs would likely agree, Niki is one fun lady to know.

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Please tell us about yourself:

Being self-employed is exactly what I’ve always wanted —  but I didn’t know that until I did it! It’s harder than any job I’ve had, but it’s so rewarding and it really makes me happier than I thought I could be! The pugs follow me to my office and their snores and goofy pug noises are the soundtrack to my day of sewing, which can be delightfully distracting. They provide a much-needed break to my very long days. I work from about 9:30 am until dinner, then continue working after dinner until I sleep. On the flip side, I do a lot of events on weekends, like Comic-Con, where I’m not buried in fabric and glued to my machine, and at those I get to meet so many other awesome people and their pets. It’s almost impossible to have a bad day when you’re at a pet event and you’re getting body-checked by Boxers and little Boston Terriers are trying desperately to kiss you!

A bit about your pets:

My pug duo, Miso and Leia, are the mascots for Peachy Keen Pets. Miso and I have been together for 12 years and he is my heart; like if you did a scan to see what shape my heart is now, it would be Miso-shaped. I brought him home a few months after getting in a bad accident and being stuck at home with wheelchairs and walkers, so we’ve been through a lot together. He likes: snuggling, his giant broccoli toy, sneezing in your face, and stealing my pillow while we sleep at night. He dislikes: when I work too long without taking pug-breaks, babies crying on tv.

We adopted Leia and her brother Luke last year. They were a 12 year-old bonded pair looking for a home together. We had to say goodbye to Miso’s best friend, Hummus, and wanted to find a new friend for him. We saw the twins’ old, grey faces and couldn’t resist! Luke passed away 7 months after coming home with us, which was difficult. But Leia is a feisty little weirdo and has started to bond with Miso in her strange little ways. If she were a human, she’d wave her cane at you and tell you to get off of her lawn. She’s a bit of a curmudgeon sometimes, but she’s also hilarious. She makes raptor noises, has a personal beef with our Beetlejuice head replica, and would do pretty much anything in her physical power to get head pats. These two could not be more different in personality, and I love seeing their little quirks shine through!  I’m a crazy pug lady through and through.

Miso

What does your ideal weekend look like?

My ideal weekend would include sleeping in past 9 am with warm, snoring puglets and my husband Matt,  finding a new place to eat, because I love trying new places in the city, seeing a movie or two at the theatre, and in a perfect world I would have the energy to go dancing. I love dancing to old 60’s stuff like motown, but don’t get to go out as much as I used to. Boardgames with friends and with pugs on laps would fit in there somewhere as well!

Describe your personal style:

My personal style is pretty simple most of the time. Pretty much everything I own is black or leopard print, or it has a movie/tv character or logo on it. My collection of Star Wars, Doctor Who, and other geeky themed clothing is extensive!

What inspires you?

I thought about this for a long time. I really have too many interests to just have one quote or book that sums up what inspires me. I love animals; I’m a vegetarian and try to lead a compassionate lifestyle. People who work hard for what they love inspire me — my dad was always a huge influence because he started his own company when he was very young and has grown it into something great. I want to make people happy, learn more everyday, and be better than yesterday. I can be hard on myself and forget to enjoy the little successes along the way, but I have good people around to remind me to notice them!

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How would you describe the look and feel of your home?

Our home is getting more weird by the day! The first thing you see when you walk in is a Beetlejuice head and a vampire hunting kit beside a record player and a raygun prop…so I’m not sure what style you’d call that! I have so many loves that I just try to put everything together and make it work! We’ve got some cool retro stuff mixed in, but my favorite things in our place are the massive bookshelf and dvd wall, my signed Buffy print over my sewing machine, and my ET collection!

A story about Miso & Leia:

Pugs are very strange creatures, and make you laugh pretty much every waking minute. Miso and Leia do it in different ways, but being hilarious is in both of them. Miso likes to cart around this giant broccoli toy that is as large as he is and show it off to everyone that comes over. He thinks he’s very macho and is very proud; he really wants you to notice he’s brought it for you and to praise him for besting this fluffy vegetable. Leia, on the other hand, barks at her water bowl from across the room because she’d like it to come to her please, and has had fiery altercations with the Beetlejuice head when it was too close to the floor one day, and will smack you with her paw when you fail to pet her head until she’s finished with you (which is never, ever). They are both snuggle champions, they love to sleep on my limbs so that they go numb, they make crazy sounds and have faces that can guilt you into almost anything. Pug life!

If you like the image of Darth Pug (first pic below), it’s based on a picture of Miso that Niki has wearing a Darth Vader costume. Her assistant Chelsea is a fantastic artist and painted it for them. It’s also printed on tees, tanks, hoodies and tote bags, and profits are going to Pugalug Pug Rescue for each item sold.
Buy it here!