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Before I get into this post and have folks thinking that I am competition bashing…I’m not.  We all realized that we are no longer a strictly domestic economy, but a global one.  With the invention of on online shopping and online vending, we are all interconnected like never before.  All purchasing actions, large and small, impact each of us equally.

What I really want to talk about is utilizing the handmade market.  In all my years of making collars I have learned and evolved my construction, raw materials, and designs.  I have learned to put my heart and soul into everything that I make and my efforts have paid off, but here is my dilemma…watching folks pay boo-ku bucks for something off the shelf when they can just get something totally custom made for the same cost.  The handmade movement here in the US is rolling like an eighteen wheeler without breaks and the sheer genius of these artisans are an untapped market for my dog peeps.  Granted, I have a large clientele base and they are so supportive of me but honestly, why are there not more dog people going handmade…especially the dog show people, dog ‘show off’ people, and dog performance people.  Honestly, handmade is the way to go if you all about the functionality with some serious presentation.

Here is what I am saying, lets say that you go to the mall and get a designer dog collar from one of the big name purse and accessory makers (yeah you know who I am talking about!) and you get a collar for $200.00.  I must admit those collars are fabulous, but think about it…everyone will have one.  You, your show competition, your neighbor, your arch-nemesis, and your arch-nemesis’ cousin will ALL HAVE ONE! For that same amount of money you could have called me or your friendly neighborhood leather artisan and had one-bad-ass-collar conjured up.  Speaking for my own nuttiness…I could create a collar that would have been dripping in disgusting opulence to the point that it would have just been sinful to even speak of it again or touch it without praying first.  A collar that is so embarrassing in bling opulence that we would have to avoid every house of worship within a 20 mile radius of our homes until we got a personal note from God allowing us to ride by them again!  Yes I said it, a $200 handmade collar would have been THE. BEEZ. KNEEZ.  It would be a darn one of a kind (or something that could not be duplicated exactly) and we could double dog dare your neighbors to get one exactly like it.

Look no one is saying NOT to go out and purchase the designer stuff (I still do – got quite a few bags myself!!) and we surely need to employ the guys and gals that work in this places.  I am asking you to allow me and my fellow artisans to put your imagination to the test to see what kind of crazy we can come up with.  Get on the handmade band-wagon and make a handmade collar artisan famous.  You can be the one that says ‘I knew her when…”.  Come on make your collar maker famous…so famous that you can no longer afford her collars (hint hint).  <insert Linda’s evil laugh here>. I kid!

Serious, give handmade a try for any and all occasions.