Tell us about your business.My business started from a picture I posted of my two Pitbull mixes playing in the yard wearing collars I made them. The next day I received my first order for something I wasn't even planning on selling. I love every minute of it this job. From choosing the fabrics to coming up with new designs. Right now I'm working on a line that is made from men's shirts and neck ties that were either donated or bought from thrift stores. With this new line I'm hoping to start helping more animal rescues. They will be able to collect donations of ties and shirts and then I can make them products at very low cost or nothing at all and they have the option to sell the items to fund their rescues or add the products to their adoption fee.It's my little way of helping animals and recycle a few things in the process.Over the past 3 years my business has evolved in so many ways that I can only imagine what is in store for the future. I hope to have my own pet boutique where all products will be handmade.
What makes your business stand out?My business is unique in the aspect that I typically talk to every single one of my customers. Yes it takes a lot more time to do things this way, but in the end it is worth it. Most of my clients are repeat buyers and every time they purchase I may not know their name but more than likely I know the dog or cats name. When I attend events and see my clients in person they hug me and thank me because most people would love to spoil their pets but most other company's prices are so high they can't, but with mine they can. Yes my items are cheaper but they are still very high quality materials and nothing leaves my studio without the whole family inspecting it to make sure it is perfect. I work to make my people happy and they know it too. Some of my clients have let me into their lives and felt a connection to me and my business right off the bat and that's what they love.
What's the best business advice you've received?To never give up on something you love. I've had struggles with this business, but everything always pans out in the end because I believe it and myself.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.