Read on to find out how we started crafting what we believe are the best dog collars in the UK.
To tell you how Petiquette Collars became a supplier of designer dog collars to dogs all over the globe, I’d like to take you back to the summer of 2005. A tiny West Highland puppy named Harry joined our family. This small dog made it quite clear that he was coming home with us; while I was crouched down trying to get the attention of his big brother, Harry scaled up my legs onto my knees, head butted my stomach to let me know he was there, then curled up for a nap. We knew straight away, that this little man had chosen us.
As many new puppy owners do, we bought a huge number of puppy collars and dog accessories for the newest member of our family. Like many terriers, he adored a squeaky toy, but a well made leather dog collar and lead was always something that I struggled to find in pet shops. They were either made of flimsy PU leather, or were nylon, which I was never fond of as they would fray and look untidy in a relatively short space of time.
More and more frequently, I found people would stop me while walking the dog to ask where I bought his diamante dog collar, and I would happily smile and let them know that I made it myself. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I had inadvertently stumbled upon something which could become a small, home based business.
Not one to shy away from a risk, I decided to plunge head first and set up my own business making bling dog collars with crystal rhinestones, and classic leather dog collars in an array of colours and sizes.
Initially, I worked in a dingy garage with no heating and barely any light. In the winter I would have to shovel snow to get into my “workshop”, and I would hammer rivets into place while sat on a cold, concrete floor.
Despite the working conditions, the leather dog collars and dog leads I was making were proving to be a hit with dog owners from all over the world. It did not take too long before it became crystal clear that I’d need more suitable working conditions, so the garage was converted into a gleaming workshop, which I stacked high with leathers sourced from the finest tanneries of Italy and sparkling Swarovski crystal rhinestones from Austria.
A Luxury dog brand that cares
I always had a clear vision in my head when setting up Petiquette Collars. I wanted my customers to be able to buy the best dog collar whether they bought a rhinestone dog collar or a “plain” leather collar and lead. By using top quality, soft leathers, I could ensure that my luxury dog collars were the most comfortable collar that a dog could wear, and Harry was there with me every step of the way, modelling a new collar every month.
I’m extremely proud to say that every single Petiquette Collar that has been sent out from the Petiquette workshop has been made by my own hands. There is no outsourcing. Every piece of leather is cut by hand. Every single genuine crystal rhinestone is set in place by hand.
Admittedly, it’s now two of us in the workshop, as our designer dog collars have proven to be so popular that I can no longer keep up alone, but it’s all still in the family, and we’re still home based, for better or worse, which means I can work long into the night making bling dog collars for new and existing customers, or pack members as I like to call them.
Our story does take a sad turn though, as sadly, Harry crossed the rainbow bridge in August 2017 after a sudden illness. As any one who has been graced with the presence of one of these amazing animals will know, the loss of Harry was immense, and it’s something I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from, but I take solace in the fact that Petiquette Collars is his legacy. The business wouldn’t exist without him, and it has changed our lives forever. I like to think that every single dog collar and lead that is made and sent out has a little piece of his personality hand stitched with love into them.
Jimmy is now the top dog here at Petiquette Collars HQ, a Shih Tzu cross who loves nothing more than to sit with his head resting on the sewing machine, normally when I need to sew something I should add, watching us make leather collar then crystal dog collar, wondering when he will ever get a new bling collar for himself!
Plans for the future
The last fifteen years have been what you could only describe as a whirlwind. I still get very strange looks from people when I tell them I make luxury dog collars for a living, but we have no intentions of slowing down.
Time is always a factor, as each handmade leather dog collar does take a substantial amount of time and patience to make, but we have big plans for Petiquette Collars, we’re looking to expand into rope collars, perfect for countryside walks as well as an eco-friendly, vegan range of collars, and we would love for all of our Petiquette pack members to come along for the ride with us.
Thanks for taking the time to read our story,