Ollie, a local three-month-old rescue Dapple Chiweenie, has stolen the hearts of dog lovers online. Now his owner has partnered up with two dog companies to make bow ties and bandanas based on his cute face.
It’s not every day that a dog gets to start his own fashion line, but that’s exactly what one local dog on Instagram is about to do. Meet Ollie, a three-month-old rescue Dapple Chiweenie with his very own Instagram account that has surpassed over three thousand followers in the span of a few months. Cassandra Wildberger, Ollie’s owner and an account executive at a local Richmond TV station who moved from San Diego, says that Ollie’s taste of fame came from the various groups she shared her photos of him with.
“After sharing photos of him in various Dachshund and Chihuahua groups online, people instantly fell in love with him, and wanted to follow his journey,” Wildberger said. “It encouraged me to create his Instagram, @bygollymisterollie. Little did I know the amount of support and love he’d receive through social media!”
Although the account has only been active since June, as of writing this, Ollie’s Instagram currently has about 3,200 followers. “He’s acquired followers via various dog groups online, and by dog Instagram page shout-outs, etc.,” Wildberger said. “People always comment on how unique his ears and markings are. If we post somewhere new, at least a handful of people recognize him by those two features. He has followers from all over the globe.”
Wildberger describes some of Ollie’s favorite things to do when he’s out and about, including trips to Barnes & Noble and Michael’s. She’s excited to visit other shops with him in the future, like Bass Pro Shops and more. Ollie also enjoys playing with his sister, Daisy Mae (a two-year-old Pekingese), sunbathing, taking walks in Libby Hill Park, and of course, many trips to PetCo.
Most of Ollie’s content involves him posing at various places he visits around Richmond, and he loves posing for the camera. “Ollie is very treat-motivated,” Wildberger said. “He responds to the words ‘treat’ and ‘hungry,’ which makes it easy to capture photos for Instagram with him posing for the camera.”
Some of the other fun things Ollie gets to do is hosting various contests to celebrate each Instagram milestone the account reaches. “This past week, we hosted a giveaway for reaching 3,000 followers,” Wildberger said. “We partnered with five different companies for it, and had tons of participation with it.”
Wildberger loves taking Ollie on the road, sharing his trips and fun activities with his followers — but sometimes managing his Instagram isn’t as easy as it seems. “The only challenge is making sure to generate enough content for his followers when it’s an especially busy week at home,” Wildberger said. During the current pandemic, finding public places to visit can sometimes pose unique challenges for keeping Ollie’s content fresh.
Ollie’s owner enjoys the connections she’s made with other dog owners in the process. “It’s been so fun managing Ollie’s Instagram account. I love connecting with other dog owners, especially anyone who also owns a Dapple Chiweenie, since each pup is so unique,” Wildberger said.
Between trips to the local park or shopping mall, Ollie’s growing fame has not only gained him a larger following, but the chance to be the face of different dog brands. “Ollie currently has around 30 modeling and brand ambassador partnerships with dog accessories, dog treats, and dog food companies through Instagram,” Wildberger said. “[Those] now also contribute to how his new followers find him. We are really interested in partnering with more local RVA businesses, too!”
Wildberger was happy to share the news of Ollie’s newest endeavor — starting his own fashion line. Wildberger has paired up with two dog companies to collaborate on a fashion line for dogs that will include bow ties and bandanas.
Ollie and Wildberger’s adventures and brand deals have been an opportunity that she never saw coming, and it all started with photos. Now, Ollie has grown a brand all his own, which allows him to be the face of the new accessories. Wildberger says it’s all about the connection with other dog owners that make it worthwhile.
“I love connecting with people who also own and love dogs, and business owners,” Wildberger said. “Ollie is so unique, and has the personality to match it. We love sharing him with the world.”
Follow Ollie’s adventures on Instagram at @bygollymisterollie for his local adventures around Richmond, and updates on the new fashion line.