Elly, with her partner Harry, run the Form Lifestyle Store which showcases a carefully selected range of products with a focus on design, function and simplicity. They actively choose and encourage others to shop independent, allowing artisans the opportunity to grow and flourish. They aim to make this more accessible by collating quality products that have been made with care, that you won’t find readily available on the high street. Their store is truly beautiful and one of a kind. If you are in the Manchester area, you really must visit them (and Rudy)!
We spoke to Elly about running the Form Lifestyle store and how Rudy has settled into life as a shop dog.
Tell us about Rudy and how he came into your life.
Harry had been obsessed with Italian greyhounds for a while, and we’d talked about getting a dog at some point after we’d moved to here from London, but it got to a point where he was constantly showing me pictures and videos of dogs that we decided to start looking for one for ourselves. Rudy was the last of a litter in Leeds, so we went over to see him and instantly fell in love!
How does Rudy fit into a general working day at The Form Lifestyle Store?
Generally Rudy stays at home, as he’s very good at settling on his own and sleeps for most of the day – no exaggeration, he is always sleeping! He also has our cat there to keep him company. On the weekends (and some other days), when the two of us are in the shop, we take Rudy with us and he sits on the mezzanine level on his wicker chair looking down at everyone coming in. He loves cuddles and attention, so will often want to come down to see the customers, and they love it when he does. We even get people coming in especially to see him!
When you’re not working, where do you and Rudy like to hang out?
We’re so lucky in Manchester that we can easily drive to places like the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Heaton Park and a new favourite of ours is Formby beach in Liverpool, so when we’re both off we love to go and visit one of these with Rudy. Although we live in the city centre, we’re close to lots of canals and there’s a little marina near our flat, so we walk him around there every day. There’s also a playing field where we can let him run around off-lead. There’s so many dog-friendly places in the Northern Quarter too, so we also take him with us if we go for coffee, drinks, or just to sit in a café and work.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out with Rudy, and what do you carry them in?
Being an Italian greyhound, Rudy loves to be cosy and will only settle for a long time if he is on or inside a blanket/cover...so we take his blanket if we know we’re going to be somewhere for a while. He’s recently got a wooly jumper which he settles in really well, so we tend to take that out with us too or put him in it before we head out. And treats – he may be skinny, but he loves to eat! We haven’t gone as far as getting him his own bag yet, so we’ll just put his bits in a tote, or they end up in my handbag. We use his Fetch & Follow lead if he’s coming to the shop or if we’re heading into town with him.
What adventures do you and Rudy have planned for the rest of the year?
We’ll definitely be taking him to the beach a few more times – he hates water though so there’ll be no swimming! We’ve just discovered one of our makers has an Italian greyhound too, so we’re hoping to take them both to run around in the sand together. We’ll also be taking him with us when we go down to visit my family in Bedford next month, he’s really good in the car and loves to play with my young niece and nephew when we’re there. We’d also love to go and stay in a little cottage in the countryside at some point if we can find somewhere that’s dog-friendly.
Check out the Form Lifestyle Store online, or visit them:
6 Bradley Street
Manchester M1 1EH
Follow Rudy and Elly on Instagram.