By Nealie E. Sanchez | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cole and Kelly Watkins are real estate agents from Houston, Texas with a passion for bodybuilding, fitness and dogs — they are also the founders of Fitbull Clothing.
Fitbull Clothing is a non-profit business, that launched in 2015, dedicated to helping local rescue organizations by contributing all of the proceeds from the sale of their Pit Bull themed fitness apparel. After noticing the parallels between their 6-year-old Pit Bull, Midas, and athletes the couple decided that they could mesh the two to benefit dogs of all breeds by selling merchandise online and at booths at fitness shows.
“The tenacity, the drive, their character, their personality, a lot of energy really meshes with the fitness lifestyle and I thought those were really good characteristics to put with a clothing company that could benefit the dog itself and rescuing them,” Cole says.
After utilizing valuable connections and generating brand awareness around the Fitbull Clothing name, it became known within the industry that all of the proceeds go towards saving the dogs via donations of funds and goods. The company primarily makes donations to a Houston area dog rescue, but when the Pit Bull ban took place in Montreal, Canada the Watkins duo stepped up to help at-risk Pit Bulls in shelters.
“Now we’re 100 percent non-profit and all the proceeds go to K-9 Angels, or this last time we had a big donation to Montreal SPCA,” Cole says. “All the Pit Bulls just being killed for no reason in the shelter [in Montreal] can’t just be put down anymore which is a big deal for us.”
Because the couple live and work in Houston the majority of their donations go to K-9 Angels Rescue — the largest beneficiary of Fitbull Clothing. Kelly says they found the rescue online and thought it was a good fit because of its work with Harris County Dog Shelter.
“[K-9 Angels Rescue] work[s] primarily with Harris County Dog Shelter which unfortunately is a high kill dog shelter– only because they have to be. They get so many dogs and they don’t have enough room to take care of them,” Cole says. “Typically, pit bulls are the first up to be euthanized. Harris County dog shelter will actually not allow pit bulls to be adopted out or bought by someone that walks in off the street. You can only get a pit bull from Harris County Dog Shelter if you’re a legitimate dog rescue. So, K-9 Angels goes in there and adopts all kinds of breeds, but they are pit bull heavy.”
Kelly says Fitbull Clothing has been a blessing to her, not only because of the people she’s met, but because of the impact the Watkins’ have been able to make on the lives of all the Pit Bulls looking for someone to love.
“What we’ve enjoyed the most about it is getting to meet people of all walks of life and how dogs bring everyone together, no matter what their background or profession. People really join together for the love of their animals,” Kelly says. “We have a great product and people love to wear it when they’re working out or during their everyday, not only because it looks really cool but because they know that they’re supporting a cause. We’ve just been really blessed with all the support we’ve received over the past two years.”