What happens when you combine the skills of a qualified dressmaker and pattern maker with a former vet nurse who has a passion for doxies and retro-style? A most distinct and unique label that applies design and technical principles to even the most basic of items.
We asked Ashleigh Brook, the designer behind label Brookleigh to tell us a little more about herself, her love for fashion, for doxies and how this all comes together in her products.
Hi! My name is Ash, and I am a doxie-holic.
I rescued my first dachshund eight years ago, through the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, where I was working as a Veterinary Nurse. “Maggie” the dachshund was approximately five years old at the time (exact age unknown as she was a stray), and had been in quarantine with kennel cough. This had made her feel isolated, anxious and overwhelmed.
Over the month or so that I was assisting in caring for her, we developed an undeniable bond. She was mine, and I was hers, so I adopted her as soon as she was well. Now 13 years old, with a grey muzzle and fatty lumps over her body, she is my muse and still my baby. My partner and I adopted a second dachshund along the line, and together they have captured our hearts and are the centre of our lives.
The inspiration behind my label, Brookleigh, comes from my life journey and celebrates the challenges that we face along the way. I have faced many challenges in my career working with animals, both physical and emotional. However, my love of fashion design and creation has helped me to heal, mend and develop a renewed sense of self. I try to incorporate animal images and themes wherever possible (obviously the dachshund silhouette as much as possible!); especially into my newly added range of Surgical Scrub Caps. Before adding them to my Etsy store, my scrub caps were a must-have accessory in the theatre of the large Veterinary Hospital that I was working for. I realised that I could make a difference to the lives of these very hard-working, special people; by allowing them a sense of warmth and individuality, in a cold and sterile environment.
Despite the warmth that fashion brings to my life, my dachshunds will always be the fire at the centre of my heart.