This Insta-Famous Dog Has More Bags Than Carrie Bradshaw
Welcome to "Interview with an InstaPet," where we chat with a different pet on the glitz and glam of being Internet famous. From dapper dogs to pampered cats, we'll get all the good dirt on the life of the rich and famous in Pawllywood.
We all love a good rags-to-riches story, but this pup has raised the bar on comebacks.
Ella Bean is a tiny, four-pound Yorkie mix that was literally knocking at death's door. She started her life as a puppy mill dog, living in horrible conditions before being sent to a Florida shelter. Looking for a safe haven at the shelter, Ella Bean found the exact opposite when her time had nearly run out and she was on a short-list to being put-down.
Ella Bean's adoptive human, Hilary Sloan, rescued the pint-sized pup just two days before her euthanasia date, and the rest is (very fashionable) history. Ella Bean is now living a luxurious life in Williamsburg with a robust closet full of clothes and accessories, a vacation schedule to rival the most well-traveled bloggers, and over 92K followers on Instagram.
VIDEO: Celebrities Who Adopted Their Adorable Pups
We sat down with the glamour girl and got the full scoop on her inspiring story, as well as found out all about her incredible sense of fashion.
InStyle: Ella Bean! Thank you for chatting with us! You have a pretty crazy background—tell us your story.
Ella Bean: I had been rescued from a puppy mill (a commercial breeding facility that breeds dogs for profit) and landed in a shelter. Due to numerous health issues, I was on the euthanasia list. Lady Human happened to pop into the shelter and saw me in a cage and I wiggled my ears at her. I've always been quite charming and strategic in that way. Lady Human understood this message and adopted me from the shelter. We’ve been together since 2008 traveling the world, shopping, and educating humans about puppy mills and pet adoption.
IS: Let’s talk about puppy mills. Why are they so horrible? How can humans help the cause to end puppy mills?
Ella Bean: A puppy mill is an inhumane commercial dog breeding facility where there is an emphasis on profits over the welfare of the dogs. Typically, dogs are kept in small wire cages for their entire lives, usually with very little food, water, or veterinary care. They are bred continuously to produce puppies for the pet trade and when they can no longer breed they are discarded or killed. An estimated 99-percent of all dogs you see in pet stores originate from puppy mills.
If you want to help, adopting your pet from from a shelter or rescue group makes a huge difference. Stopping the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet shops and online will not only close off markets for inhumane puppy mills, it will also encourage the public to acquire dogs from shelters, rescues, and responsible breeders who treat their animals with the care and love they deserve.
Typically you can find ANY kind of dog through shelters and rescue groups, so even if you love a specific breed or desire a certain size dog, or have allergies, you can (and should!) still adopt your next pet. You save a life and get a new BFF! Everyone wins.
P.S.—Lady human’s favorite extracurricular activity is working with The HSUS’s Humane Generation program. If you want to help even more, you can donate online and join in the fight to stop this cruel industry.
IS: Your fashion is unparalleled. Where are some of your favorite places to shop for your clothes?
Ella Bean: Thank you! Well, I’m very big into international shopping. Some of my fave items I found in Milan and Florence. My ILoveMyDog snowsuit is basically the chicest thing you could wear during the winter (shop it here). ILoveMyDog is an Italian brand based in Florence. I’ve met the owner and he’s fab.
I love MaxBone for casual chic vibes, RubyRufus for cashmere and Korean brands Barker and Huts & Bay for street wear. My leather moto jacket is bespoke, made by Lady Human per my exact specifications. My styling tip: layers and customization. On my denim jacket, I added embroidery of my name (Bean!) and tons of enamel pins. I love to layer pieces from multiple brands to create my own looks.
IS: And what’s the BEST outfit you’ve ever worn?
Ella Bean: Oh this is hard. Maybe the time I was draped in diamonds? My foray into bikini modeling? While I love being home in a robe and slippers, my leather jacket and aviators look is when I feel most like myself. But I literally will never say no to anything made of gray cashmere. It is my absolute favorite.
IS: You live a fabulous life in New York City. Where are some of your favorite places to hang out in the Big Apple?
Ella Bean: I mean, I obviously love Barneys. All the chic shoppers love to pet me and really, is there anything better? I love dining out too! I live in Williamsburg, so you can find me lounging at Cafe Colette, Rosarito, Cafe Mogador, and really any chic places with outdoor seating.
IS: You are four pounds and approximately the size of a wine glass. Is it tough being so tiny?
Ella Bean: I think of my size as an asset. Because I’m small, I get to travel the world and hang out with Lady Human in situations that aren’t typically dog friendly. For instance, we just got back from a biz trip to San Francisco. I snoozed through all the meetings, but it was great to be included and chime in when my opinion was needed. Being tiny has no bearing on my ability to command a room or control larger dogs/humans. I get what I want when I want it.
IS: For such a tiny little bean, you’ve traveled quite a bit. Fav place you’ve traveled?
Ella Bean: Vacation last fall in Italy was definitely a highlight. I LOVE pasta! We went shopping in Milan, boating on Lake Como, sightseeing in Venice, and lounged by the pool in Portofino. It was an incredible trip. I also got recognized by a fan in the Milan train station! That was so fun!
IS: You have a handbag collection that could compare to Carrie Bradshaw's. Where do you get your tiny bags?
Ella Bean: I do love my bags! My friend Phillip Nuveen is an incredible artist who customizes handbags and shopping bags for me. He’s made me amazing customized travel duffle and made sure I had the most MAJOR bag at Fashion Week. I have a few more that he’s made that I haven’t even revealed yet!
IS: When you’re not traveling the world or making public appearances around the city, how do you like to relax?
Ella Bean: At the end of the day, celebrity dogs are just like every other dog. I like to kick back on a faux fur blanket with some Netflix and enjoy some long belly rubs.
For more of Ella Bean's adventures, follow her on Instagram @ellabeanthedog!