Hi, my name is Melissa and I'd like to pet your dog and tell you about my horse. I founded Mythic Familiar and run all operations out of my home workshop in Bothell in beautiful Washington State, a place I've been proud to call home for almost eighteen years. I have always loved dogs and horses, and although I have not always been fortunate enough to have either in my life consistently, I have no qualms about loving on the ones who pass into it briefly with my whole heart, because they are good and wonderful and lovely and should always be told so. 

 I was a hobbyist leatherworker, learning the craft for costuming and horse tack, when first inspired to create what became Mythic Familiar. A friend's dog, Teddy Bear, stayed at my home for an extended period while his home underwent repairs and renovations. His waste bag dispenser was holding together by the barest of threads, and I wanted to design and craft one that was special for her and featured him out of gratitude for the joy he'd brought into my life. I knew I was on to something when my friend texted to tell me Teddy Bear's groomer noticed his custom bag and wanted to know if she could buy one for her dog!

At the time, I wasn't ready to sell. I needed some time to refine the designs, source quality components and drill down into fine leatherworking techniques to ensure beauty, consistency, and longevity. 

I have always loved creating art. I learned to paint at a young age from my paternal grandfather, a former WWII Navy man and tilesetter by trade, a Joy-of-Painting-taught artist who spent many hours painting nature scenes onto saw blades and slices of wood. He made it clear that a potential canvas is anywhere, brush care is fundamental, and that I shouldn't rely so heavily on black. I inherited his brushes and I still paint with them to this day.

I find joy in things that are beautiful and purposeful. Items that are made to be used and experienced and appreciated. I don't want to contribute to a culture of throwaway things, made and sold cheaply at people's and the planet's expense. I founded Mythic Familiar to create quality, beautiful, unique, purposeful products. And if that means someone is incidentally paying me to stare intently at their dog for a few hours while recreating their likeness, well, that's simply a bonus.

I can say I'm a self-taught leatherworker and while that's technically true, I would not have advanced my skills and techniques so quickly without the amazing generosity of the online leatherworking community for whom I am deeply grateful.

The Mythic Familiar logo was designed, to my perpetual delight, by the talented Ben McSweeney, whose work I became familiar with while reading the Stormlight Archive, a book series that helped to give me the strength to get up again after my beloved dog, Napoleon, passed in 2017.

The exterior art on our shipping boxes, including an absolutely amazing dog flocked wallpaper pattern, was designed and created by Alexandra Mac of Wild Hunt Design.

The paintings featured on the shipping box and the main page are:

White Poodle in a Punt by George Stubbs (25 August 1724 – 10 July 1806, England)


Siberian Greyhound by Jan Dasveldt (August 1770 - Feb 11, 1855, Netherlands)

Portrait of Edwin Vom Rath's Pug by Conradijn Cunaeus (Nov 1, 1828 - Sep 5th, 1895, Netherlands)



Head of a Dog by Nicolas Toissant Charlet (20 December 1792 – 30 October 1845, France)


Spitz Dog by Thomas Gainsborough (14 May 1727 – 2 August 1788, England)



Head of a Dog by Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919, France)



A King Charles Spaniel by Edouard Manet (January 23, 1832 - April 30, 1883, France)



Portrait of a Puppy by Guillaume Anne Van Der Brugghen (November 2, 1811- July 18, 1891, Netherlands)



A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Old Dog Haven of Western Washington for the important work they do, ensuring that abandoned senior dogs end their lives in loving homes rather than alone in shelters.

If you're still here, I'm assuming you're still waiting for me to tell you about my horse. Her name is Navani, and she is the queen of every pasture. Clicker training is helping her move through her fears so she can one day live her dream: taking herself to the grocery store and absolutely laying waste to the produce aisle.