This will be a year of reflection for me, because this November marks 10 years of Collar & Ruff's existence. As we move through 2024, I'd love to share some stories with you.
It all started with a feeling.
Not only do I remember making the first collar that you see above, but I remember sitting round the table with my family and realising I could give this dream a go. How little did I know about business!
Fun Fact: The original business name I liked was "Blue Hippo Collars" which is quite meaningless to most, but it made me think of my previous Blue Heeler, Ty.
I sold my sportsbike.
The whole idea was born from the fact I couldn't find a bedazzley leather collar in Australia. There were a few makers overseas, but being a proud Aussie with a crafty streak, I sensed a niche. Soon I was testing studs, rivets, hardware, leather weights and tools... spending a minor fortune on all these items. I sold my sportsbike to fund the start-up phase.
Nutting it out.
I was hooked and scaled up my skill set quickly. Figuring out braid work, defining my own processes and creating my own templates and measurement guides meant I could make, refine and improve every piece.
I've always written down process management directions and this has been such a huge benefit to me over the years!
It hasn't always been smooth sailing, I'll speak on that in future Parts, for now check out some other test scraps from the first months I dug into leatherwork!