Around the Collar-adorable

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, Sharon & Toby

Lalo, Sharon & Toby

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.

Around the Collar-leathers

The Milton & Huck

The Milton

 

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.

Around the Collar-Jake, Dbl Disc, Penelope2

Around the Collar-harnesses

People from all walks of life have found Around the Collar. I read a very touching story about one fan on the company’s Facebook page. A wheelchair-bound, beautiful lady named Emily has just received her trained companion dog, Carmel, also a beauty. Carmel’s breeder was searching for a special collar and leash as a present for Emily and Carmel.  The breeder found Around the Collar online, after an extensive search. A fashion-forward, shine and bling lover, Emily immediately got what Around the Collar was doing. Her first set for Carmel was a gift from Lalo and Sharon, and a friendship was born. Fast forward to Frank, another wheelchair-bound person. Emily met Frank and bells went off. Frank, who also has a companion dog, became an Around the Collar fan, too. For their wedding, Lalo and Sharon made the two dogs a matching set in white, so they could shine like their parents, going down the aisle. “Emily has taught me something about the life in a chair,” Sharon shares. “She truly amazes me.” Emily is a candidate for Ms Wheelchair 2014. Did you know there even was such a thing? You best believe Sharon and Emily are huddling to discuss the right amount of bling for that special collar Carmel will wear.
Emily & Frank with Carmel and Frank's dog

Emily & Frank with their amazing service dogs

What’s new for fall? Think metallics, zebra printed leather, an olive green/sky blue color combination, emerald-cut Swarovski crystals and more. Sounds yummy!

 

Around the Collar-Fall 2014 Fashion Trends2

 

Daisy, another satisfied Around the Collar customer, has a different Lalo and Sharon design for each day. What a lucky girl! Can you tell from the picture Daisy is pampered?

 

Around the Collar-Daisy

 

Do you have a special collar for your dog or cat? Should special collars like these be for every day? Tell me what you think in the Comments.

 

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Written by Jody Miller-Young
What does stylish mean to you? I’m passionate about animals, fashion, travel, home decor and rescue, and that's what you'll find here. After a recent move to Fort Lauderdale from NYC, we're loving our new life in the sunshine. Welcome to my world! Grab your favorite beverage, curl up and stay awhile.