Cottage Grover's online apparel business supports animal non-profits

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When the family dog Honeys changed their lives, Jessica Dixon decided to change their hats.

Just under a year ago, Dixon launched Honeys Hats online, selling winter hats, headbands and now bags with an animal advocacy mission.

Dixon, who has "always had a passion for design," she said, found her way into the accessory business by stumbling across a pattern for her business's now-signature "messy bun hat."

The knit hat has a hole up top that allows women to have an up-do while still keeping her head warm. Dixon liked the pattern, and, brainstorming some of her own changes to it, found a vendor to begin the journey.

Not long after, the fitness buff added workout headbands to the online store.

Her family's love of Minnesota sports is feeding into her latest products: a stadium bag and Twins and Vikings-inspired hats.

Dixon and her daughter developed the stadium bag as their solution to the new regulation on bag sizes at stadiums. The bag is the regulation size allowed in most stadiums.

She remembers having to carry cards and cash in pockets or holding them, and coming up with her own solution.

"We're a huge sports family ... we (like to) catch the Minnesota Twins at different stadiums," she said.

Dixon said she's always had a passion for giving back, and decided to give up to 25 percent of proceeds from Honeys Hats to animal advocacy organizations.

Dixon gave one of the first donations last week, in a partnership with Hy-Vee, to Secondhand Hounds in Eden Prairie.

Honeys' home

Honeys isn't just for alliteration in the name — she's also the inspiration for it all.

Honeys came to the Dixons' Cottage Grove home from a shelter after being placed in three previous homes.

Beyond the family just loving their pet, Dixon said having Honeys in their home has changed it. The kids are more active since they have to play and walk their pet, and have learned a great deal of responsibility too.

For now Dixon's designs lie on the human side, but Honeys is causing her to consider designing something for others' pets, such as dog toys or pet gear.

For more information, visit www.honeyshats.com.