The Style & Travel Bloggers With Their Rescue, Sofia
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
We hear it all the time, I want a dog but I’m just not ready. For jet-setting style bloggers Alexander and Justine, their perfect furry companion came in the form of a tiny rescue Schnoodle from Mexico. When they met her, it was fate, and she’s become an important part of their busy lives. Sofia even poses effortlessly in dog accessories during our shoot, proving she’s learned a thing or two from her successful parents. Read below to get to know this pair and their mini fashionista as we peek into their closets and lives.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
Alexander: Every day is different but I guess it starts the same. Sofia is always the last to get up!
Justine: Alexander and Sofia sleep in. I’ll wake up and prep coffee and our assistant Vivian will come over and we’ll start to get to work. Depending on what’s on the go, we may have a shoot, events, some computer work to do at home or filming – it’s whatever the day’s task is! We spend a lot of time with Sofia during the day, but I love the evenings where I have nothing going on at night and can just sit on the couch and snuggle with her, watching cooking shows or Real Housewives.
Alexander: We are both style and travel bloggers professionally. Sometimes one of us will be travelling, but always one or both of us will take Sofia out for a walk in the afternoon.
Please tell us a bit about your Sofia. How did she come into your life? Is there a story behind her name or breed?
Justine – Sofia is originally from Mexico. She was found tied to a tree with no food or water and was being used for breeding. When she was too old to breed, her owner just left her there. The woman who rescued her had several dogs, so she took her to an organization and they found a flight parent to bring her to Toronto. Save Our Scruff fostered her through a friend of ours, and when she told us about her, we didn’t think we were ready for a dog.
Rewind a month before, Alex was on set in Montreal with someone with a mini Schnoodle and we thought the breed was so cute. He sent me a photo of the dog and we though this would be the kind of dog we would one day want.
When our friend told us Sofia’s breed, it was kind of like fate. We met her and she was the sweetest thing. A lot of people wanted her but we were lucky to get to adopt her!
Alex – She was named Tiny Tina when we got her and I thought that name has got to go! Once we knew we were adopting her, we wanted to name her something Spanish. We chose Sofia but call her by a lot of nick names. Sofia Kala, Princess or Countess Sofia, the list goes on.
How would you describe your personal style?
Justine – my style is really eclectic, a bit sporty, a little bit chic, and elegant. Alex describes it as chic, elegant, and classy, but it always has to have something a little bit weird. So, I’m always having fun and dressing by my moods. I play around and plan what I wear based on my day, and the settings and contexts and the ambiance I’ll be creating. The way I think about things is always through aesthetics and it’s more than just how it looks; it’s the way that something makes you feel and the vibe it gives off. You can feel connected to something based on a color or a silhouette. I’m very spatially aware and try to dress accordingly.
Alexander – I would say my style is pretty classic and causal. I like to mix high and low, like luxury pieces with H&M jeans and a t shirt. I get excited about trends, but I don’t follow them too heavily. I like to try new things and keep mixing.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
Alexander: It’s not as good as our clothes!
Justine: We have expensive taste and furniture is extremely expensive! Our apartment is quite big, so it takes a lot to fill it on a budget. We work from home, so there’s always packages, and we have way more stuff than the average person based on our jobs. The space needs to be functional for clothing, beauty products, and all the items we receive. Storage is our challenge, to be reflective of our style but still functional. We also each have a different style so we have to compromise with each other.
Alexander: Home decor requires more commitment than fashion. We keep adding pieces we love and building the space slowly.
What about Sofia’s style? Do you have any favorite dog brands?
Alexander: We love HOUND collection, it’s like Sofia’s exclusive outfitter for collars and harnesses!
Justine: We love Moroccan Pooch for her bathing stuff, she has a Canada Pooch parka for winter, and we take her to SPAW boutique for her grooming. We also go to Home Sense a lot for her, and always come home with another dog bed – she has one in almost every room.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
Alexander: I love brunch, that’s definitely my favorite meal to do with friends or family. We like to do activities that involve Sofia, like take her to Toronto Island, the beach, or the park. I also like to do home projects on the weekend.
Justine: We go yachting around Lake Ontario and Sofia comes with us. She loves the sun. I love to do yoga and I love to cook. Having a dinner party for my friends with Sofia here is a perfect night. The reality is we still usually work 12 hour days on the weekends. It’s when I do all my writing, and on Sunday mornings we like to do early shoots, and make videos for the week.
What inspires you?
Alexander: I always say inspiration is everywhere. I feel like my eyes can be a camera and my mind stores things that I see. I can be standing on a street corner and see someone’s pant leg tucked into their boot a certain way, and I’ll remember it, or a color of someone’s jacket. I love capturing moments and their mood.
Justine: I think for me I’m a very sensitive and perceptive person. I let things in for good and bad. I love to connect with other people and they inspire me a lot. Being able to connect with someone and make myself vulnerable to my readers is important. I think of life on a big scale and am aware of the meaning of our lives here. If you have an opportunity to change someone’s day, that’s inspiring. A reader will write me and say, your blog got me through some difficult times, like being deployed by the army, and it’s really special. I try to maximize my impact and what I can put out there for other people to connect with.
Alexander – making a difference to someone’s mood, no matter how big or small, it helps us to keep doing what we do.
Putting your life out there online and sharing your world every day, do you ever face negativity?
Justine – They say if you’ve had haters, then you’ve made it (laughs)!
Alex – I knew before I really started blogging that I had to be prepared. When you put yourself out there, not everyone is going to like what you do. We’ve encountered envy, people who just don’t like us, but also fans who meet me and remember something I’ve done or posted. They know my life better than I do sometimes!
Justine – For me, it doesn’t bother me. I do crazy beauty videos and I’m a very silly person. I don’t take myself seriously. Some of the comments are so awful, but it doesn’t hurt me. I feel like it’s a person who’s not awake yet to the world, who is writing something negative. I just leave it and really, I make fun of myself the most! People will say ‘you look awful!’, but then they keep on following me. Most people are super happy and so positive towards us.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about Sofia?
Sofia is a bit of an actress. It was one of her first outings with us and we brought her to a friend’s BBQ. They have a big 80 pound dog but she’s a super gentle one. We wanted Sofia to socialize, so the dogs meet, and Sofia decides to bite the other dog’s face! Of course, she got a loud bark in the face and swatted, so she proceeded to somersault dramatically and start screaming. We were so worried because we had just gotten her. She had her paw up like she was hurt, and everyone at the party was fawning over her, and the other dog was banished to the upstairs. When we got home, we placed Sofia down to see if she could walk, and she happily ran to the elevator. When we got in the apartment, she was running circles and we realized, we just got played! We knew we were dealing with a diva.