Cat Banjo: Local Fashion with a Philanthropic Mission

Cat Banjo started in 1994 in Southern Pines, NC.  Owner/Designer, Debbi Cochran opened a small boutique on the main street to supplement her wholesale jewelry business.  Cat Banjo was known for its unique one-of-a-kind jewelry and quirky gifts.  Alot of local artisans were represented as well.  In 2000, Cat Banjo expanded to Raleigh and opened a boutique in Cameron Village.

Cat Banjo is still locally owned and operated.  Debbi makes and sells her jewelry, painted glassware, and art alongside area artists and designers as part of an eclectic mix of accessories, clothing, and giftwares.  The boutique has a huge selection of one of a kind designs and caters to people looking for unique gifts.

A second year supporter of Redress Raleigh, the Cameron Village boutique features both PamOr Designs - represented in this year's Redress show - as well as Revamp, the clothing line by Redress co-producer Jamie Powell.  Other local artists are represented as well, and the shop uses local printer shop Seventh Dagger for all it's screenprinting needs.    

Local fashion is just part of Cat Banjo's mission.  About 4 years ago the store befriended several dog rescue groups.  One had a puppy named Macy (a young pitbull) that had been looking for a home.  Owner Debbi fostered Macy and brought her to work everyday.  This was a pre-Facebook era, so literally depended on word of mouth to find this girl a home.  After a week or so, a customer came in and instantly connected to Macy...the rest is a happy rescue history!  Soon after, Debbi inadvertently came upon 4 dogs that were supposed to be rescued but their foster situation fell through.  Again, the store stepped in...though this situation proved more challenging.  One of these pups had Parvo and had to be hospitalized.  She was nearly lost to this illness, but luckily she was in the care of Dr Wages at Care First Animal Hospial and pulled through.  Cat Banjo suddenly had an enormous vet bill and the need for 4 forever homes.  Slowly, over a period of 2 weeks... they collected donations, paid off the bill and found homes for all 4 pups!  This was their "aha" moment...

Sammy...found in a shelter, burned, abused and shot in the foot...yet, he never met a stranger and opened his heart to all...Cat Banjo had 5 happy dogs under their belt and a community of people willing to support their efforts. The store went full steam ahead... Debbi started with her focus on a shelter in Reidsville.  This was an 'open air' shelter and their adoption rate was practically zero.  If a dog ended up behind those bars...its days were numbered.   Cat Banjo rescued 13 dogs from Reidsville in 4 months. 

Almost 100 dogs later, Cat Banjo has accidentally found a successful formula...today, they are purposefull in their efforts and are dedicated to saving as many dogs as they can.  The store also hosts other rescue groups with meet and greets on the weekends! 

So, that is how the store slogan is "We make jewelry and rescue dogs".  Cat Banjo has certain merchandise that takes a portion straight to their rescue fund, such as the "Rescue Dogs Rock" t-shirts and hoodies, and fundraiser bracelets made in the store.  However, any money spent at this local boutique keeps their doors open to other local rescue groups and helps them spread their message of the vast benefits of adopting the next 4 legged member of your family.  photo by Tara Lynn

www.catbanjo.com

www.facebook.com/catbanjo

2043 Cameron St. Raleigh, NC 27605

(919) 833 6711