Any time I find a local dog-related business I left out a little “Yay!” Part of the reason I started this website was to help connet local businesses with the Philadelphia area dog community. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found “Sexy Beast Collars” on facebook! Started on the main line by Jennifer Magee, the handmade collars provide a fashionable (and locally made!!!) way to show off your dog’s good looks.
What inspired you to start Sexy Beast? How did you get started?
I’ve always been a self-proclaimed “collar-addict”. I could rarely find exactly what I wanted for my boys, so I decided to try my hand at making collars for them myself. I bought myself a cheap sewing machine, some webbing and hardware, and started playing around – I’d never actually sewn anything before. My husband has always been the one to fix rips, tears, etc. (and he helps me cut fabric, and do some of the prep work) – I’ve always been the girl who could stitch up a dog with my eyes closed, but couldn’t sew a button. I still can’t sew a button (or maybe I just don’t want to sew buttons – LOL). Anyhow, it ended up being a lot of fun, and there are so many fabulous materials to choose from when you look in the right places – I just got into leather recently. After my boys started wearing their collars, I had people asking where I’d gotten them, etc., and subsequently asking me to make collars for their dogs. I gave most of them as gifts.
Then I had an idea. In 2009/2010, we lost both of our Rhodesian Ridgebacks (Henry James and Tank) to cancer in the course of 8 months. It was absolutely brutal. I thought it may be nice to help raise money for the National Canine Cancer Foundation, so I came up with the “Let’s Collar Cancer Campaign” (LCCC). The LCCC promotes collars that are named after dogs either currently suffering from, or have lost the battle to, cancer. The owners of the dogs work with me to come up with a pattern or style that best suits the individual personality and I make the collar and name it after its inspiration, hence the “Henry James”, the “Tank”, the “Dino”, etc. These collars are listed under NCCF and all proceeds from their sale are donated to NCCF. This May, we ran a month-long promotion where the proceeds from the sale of all collars, not just the NCCF collection, were donated. I also do this on “special days” – for example, my Tank’s birthday was yesterday and he would have been 8 years old, so any orders placed 10/29 and 10/30 are 10% off with proceeds going to NCCF.
How long have you been making the collars? For myself, a few years. For the public and the NCCF, about a year. I am a Canine Physical Therapist at Rebound Animal Wellness Center in “real life.” SBDC is getting rather busy, and I may have to hire someone to help out, as I am currently a one-woman show out of the breakfast nook on the weekends. This has become a “not-so-little” hobby these days. No complaints though – it’s all good and I love it.
What kind of dogs do you have and what are their names? I have 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks – Ronan, 22 months, and Fergus, 1 year and they are my absolute joy. My husband is from Ireland, so we have Irish dogs. They are my models. Ronan is the Sexy Beast spokesdog – note his sexy wink!
You can enter to WIN a Sexy Beast Collar (pictured below) for YOUR dog by leaving a comment below telling me which pattern of Sexy Beast Collars you like best by noon on November 24th. TWO winners will be randomly selected using random.org. PLEASE NOTE that the prize collars are martingale sized medium/large. Each collar retails for approximately $30.00.