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Fans Can Dress to the Canines

September 09, 2002|RAY HOGAN | STAMFORD ADVOCATE

People are used to seeing Janet Winston with her two Old English sheepdogs. So much so, when she stopped into a local Dunkin' Donuts recently for a morning cup of joe, another customer wanted to know why the dogs weren't in tow. Bella and Boswell are hard to miss when Winston runs with them at or allows them to play along the river.

"People love these dogs," she says. "They're a big hit wherever we go because there's two of them."

But when it comes to business, Boswell stands alone. He is the logo for Winston's Kennel Club Collection for her company, Chipp 2. The line is a designer collection of neckwear, watches, belts, suspenders, wallets and other items. Each piece can be emblazoned with one of more than 100 dog breeds. So whether you've got an Afghan hound, Yorkshire terrier or just about any breed between, chances are Winston has it covered.

She sells her line through Chipp custom-clothing line, owned by her husband, Paul.

Chipp has been a New York City fixture for 47 years, perched on 44th Street between 5th and Madison avenues.

At an age when most people are thinking about retirement, Winston, 60, is gearing up for the line to take off. Besides starting the company this year, Winston's a peace activist and recently ran her ninth marathon in Rockland County, N.Y. (She began jogging at 50.)

"The important point is that life sometimes begins when your children are grown," Winston says. "It's a way for me to spend more time with my husband, it keeps me busy and I'm doing something that I really love. It's amazing to see the amount of people that really love their dogs and the unconditional love [dogs] give to people."

"I have a love of animals," she says. "My love of dogs is from childhood. I would often bring home stray animals. Fortunately, I married a man who shares my love. With my children gone, these are my pride and joy."

Winston shows her wares at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the International Kennel Club Dog Show in Chicago. She allows others to represent her line at other dog shows.

The ties ($24), are her biggest sellers. Belts are priced at $40, hip wallets and pillows at $85.

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For information on Chipp 2 and the Kennel Club Collection, call (203) 329-9158 or visit www.chipp2.com.

Ray Hogan writes for the Stamford Advocate, a Tribune company.

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