What happens when a third generation leather craftsman from Columbia, South America meets a New York-bred fashion designer? Beautiful things for our pups. Lalo and Sharon Romero are the forces behind Around the Collar, a luxury brand making leather accessories for pets. Their collars, leashes, harnesses and carry bags feature bold colors and designs, an expression of cultures colliding to create something new and fresh. They’ve developed a loyal following of customers that keep coming back for their original, trends-of-the-moment styles. I interviewed Sharon for my Bark and Swagger radio show on Pet Life Radio recently. I love this brand, so I wanted to share Around the Collar with you, too!
Lalo was trained by his mother, a gifted tailor, to make patterns as a young boy. Lalo’s father set up factories in Columbia for New York businessmen from the garment industry. Sharon, with a still-warm degree from the famed Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NYC, found a job in a belt factory, working her way up to designer. A search for a skilled industry craftsman brought Lalo into her life, and it was instant professional and personal magic. They’ve been a team ever since. Parents of an active Border Collie, Toby, they discovered a gap in the market for both high quality and fashionable pet accessories, and Around the Collar was born.
I love that Lalo and Sharon do everything in house, from designing to manufacturing. I know there’s a level of care and quality control that you wouldn’t normally find in dealing with an outside factory. Sharon says she likes to come into New York City from their home/business on Long Island, to people watch and check out luxury department stores and boutiques, scouting trends that would work for our furry friends. Matching dog and cat collars, matching human-pet pieces, crystals, studs, stones…if you can imagine it, Sharon and Lalo can probably create it.
You can see how the attention to detail makes these accessories stand out. Here’s a few of the features Around the Collar pieces include:
- High quality workmanship
- Custom created pieces
- Custom dyed leather for Around the Collar only
- Hand painted treatments on edges and trims
- Each sizing hole is hand painted
- Genuine Crystallized Swarovski Elements handset and back riveted
- Genuine Leather Lining with stitching and painted edge
These are very particular details many of us might not even notice, unless we were comparing two pieces side by side. But, it’s exactly these types of details that make Around the Collar so special. Take a look at the riot of color in their designs.