Episode 27: Katie Sturino, mom to @ToastMeetsWorld, on Instadog stardom

katie sturino and her dogs by annie grossman

Katie Sturino, “dogager” of the late dogs Toast and Underpants (on phones). She currently is mom to (left to right) Cheese, Sock and Muppet.

Meet Katie Sturino

If you’re into following dogs on Instagram — and really, why wouldn’t you be — you probably have come across Toast Meets World. Toast who, sadly, passed away last year, was one of the first megastars of Instagram. She had over 350000 followers, and appeared in Vogue and on Good Morning America and Harper’s Bazaar. She even married Ramona Singer’s dog on an episode of Real House Wives of New York.

It’s tempting to say Toast just brought this all upon herself because she was adorable — she was indeed quite cute, and particularly memorable looking because she had a tongue that was always sticking out. But I’d say the real reason for her success was the powerhouse publicist who rescued her, Katie Sturino, who I was fortunate enough to interview for this episode.
Katie now manages several Instagram accounts for her dogs — she continues to manage to manage Toast’s account, her dog Muppet’s account, and also her late dog Underpant’s account. When she isn’t managing dogs on Instagram, she is managing them in real life: She currently has three dogs, the aforementioned, Muppet; Cheese, who, like Toast, were rescued from puppy mills; and Sock, a 16-year-old gray furry lump who moved in when Katie’s fiance moved in with her.
There are so many amazing things about Katie — I mean beyond the fact that she is one of the only people I have ever met who has lived in a Manhattan apartment with five dogs (scouring my brain, the only person who tops that is a local client who has seven dogs, three cats and a 55-gallon fish tank, in addition to several rodents and a bird). The thing that I think is coolest about Katie is the way her career has kind of evolved and thrived in unusual directions because of her love of dogs. She started out in fashion PR, and ended up promoting her dogs’ Instagram accounts as a personal project — kind of a challenge, to see how far she could take them. Sponsorships from the likes of Barney’s — sponsorships for her dogs — ended up leading her to get attention for the The12ishStyle, a blog and Instagram account she started for herself. With the The12ishStyle, she has basically created a brand that is all about how to look awesome in celebrity-worth clothes even if you’re not a tiny person. She uses the term “body neutral” which I really like as an alternative to the whole “body positivity” movement. As someone who is a pretty solid size medium, I really like that term. Like can’t I just be a normal sized, healthy woman and not have to label myself as part of some, like, movement?
megababe bustdustBut there’s more — She went from dog publicist to I guess what you might call a plus sized fashionista to product developer. She recently launched  MegaBabe, which is a line of personal care products that tackles lady problems that I don’t think anyone else has ever tried to touch. Two of the most popular products in the line are Bust Dust which is a lotion meant to tackle boob sweat, and then this stuff called Thigh Rescue. (I traded Katie for a stick of it in exchange for a few rolls of my Donald Trump Poop Bags, and I love it).
I went to Katie’s apartment to hear how she managed to parlay her passion for rescue dogs into all these other interesting areas. Here are some of the products and other things we mentioned:

Woof Shout Out:

Terry our School For The Dogs studentGoldendoodle Terry, who can be found on Instagram at TerryTheDood, has been a regular at our Day School program for the last two years, but he’s moving to Brooklyn, so we are preparing ourselves to see him a lot less. Gosh we’re going to miss this sweet, teddy bear of a dog!

Music:
Thanks to Pabrizzer for his ukulele cover of the one-hundred-year-old song “K-K-K-Katy.”

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