The Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) is happy to partner up with Katie Yaeli, owner of Collar Me Charming, for a fun interview. Katie’s products are well built and gorgeous. We love supporting this fellow animal lover and her local Tucson business. Read about how Katie got started and check out the ADORABLE photos below.
Hi Katie! Tell us about yourself and your business…
My name is Katie Yaeli and I am the owner and creator of Collar Me Charming, a local Tucson company which specializes in handmade dog collars and adornments such as flowers and bow ties. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Retail and Consumer Sciences. I live in Tucson with my husband, our 1 year old son, and Golden retriever, Cassy (my first baby). Collar Me Charming opened in 2013 and I have been styling pups all over the world ever since.
What made you decide to make stylish dog collars?
My Golden retriever Cassy inspired the idea, as I wanted to create a collar that was fun and stylish but not uncomfortable for her to wear. It started as a hobby, but soon grew in to a full blown business. I started by experimenting with different flower accessories for Cassy and decided to make bow ties for boy pups. Designing and creating dog collars seemed like the perfect solution to combine my two passions of animals and creativity. I love being able to make pups feel good about themselves, too.
How did Collar Me Charming get started?
Collar Me Charming officially opened back in May of 2013 with the intention of having a fun hobby that I could use to pursue my passions. I bought a sewing machine and began experimenting with different materials and designs. Once we got it perfect, we tested our designs on the handmade online marketplace Etsy, and it very quickly turned into a full blown business.
Which designs are you best sellers?
For the boys, our Bow Tie Collar sets. The plaid and polka dots sell the best! For the girls, our Flower Collar sets in bright colors like pink and purple sell really well!
What about our feline friends?
We actually make cat collars! We do not advertise it currently, as we primarily cater to our canine companions. Most cats do not like to wear collars, but we can definitely make them! Our cat collars include a cute little bell that is attached as well.
What makes you passionate about helping animals in our community?
I have always been passionate about animals. I used to work at a veterinary office, so I have experience dealing with a wide array of animals. Unfortunately I can’t adopt all the animals in the world, so I wanted the core foundation of Collar Me Charming to be giving back to the pet community. A portion of proceeds are donated to animal related causes as well as collars for adoption photo shoots and auctions. Nothing gives me more joy than hearing that a dog looks more relatable or lovable while wearing one of my collars and improves their chance of adoption. Knowing I am able to make a small difference in these animals’ lives makes my job so rewarding.
What others crafts do you make? Do you have a background in sewing?
I am a huge Pinterest fan, I love DIY projects and have a passion for drawing and painting. I don’t have a background in sewing. After dabbling a lot when I was younger, I just decided to buy a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew. To build my skill set, I started out by watching a lot of YouTube videos. Now, I have mastered how to sew collars and pet accessories but have yet to attempt much else. I would love to learn more!
Thank you, Katie, for sharing a little bit of your world with us at Letters from the Kennel! We are excited to promote these high quality and stylish pet products and hope you like them too! Please visit the Collar Me Charming site to see their full inventory!
Shelter pets love these collars too! The cute pink collar in this photo of Nora will go with her to her future forever home. Contact HSSA at 520-327-6088 to ask about Nora’s availability and current location!