The Beginning

Sami

Poochie Smoochies was started in 2014 in a small suburb just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. The love of a very special golden retriever, named Sami, and my daughter Allison inspired the start of Poochie Smoochies. My daughter and I were talking about how our Sami was getting older and how I wanted to start a business that would reflect the inspiration from all the unconditional love and happiness she gives us each day. Allie said, “Mom you should make dog collars.” That day we came up with the name Poochie Smoochies.

Sami our golden retriever

 A couple days later she helped to inspire me even more by creating the Poochie Smoochies logo by drawling Sami’s face. This got my brain thinking and I was so excited and started researching everything I could find about dog collars. At the time I was still working full-time for an elementary school. I devoted every spare minute into researching. I was excited about being able to make something beautiful for dogs. Next, I needed to find suppliers for materials. This took the longest because I was picky and wanted materials I used to be perfect. I do have a little OCD so keep that in mind. I expected quality from suppliers and this was hard to find. I had one leather supplier who referred other names of suppliers to me because they thought I was being too picky. I was not going to settle my standards just to be able to purchase from that supplier. Luck was on my side and I found a supplier that could offer me the leather quality I expected.  I just did not want to make any dog collar, I wanted to make the dog collar that would put smiles on dog owner faces as they put their dog’s new collar on them.  Smiles on faces required high quality metals not Zinc or plated metals like a lot of sellers use on their dog collars. Sure I could get that hardware for cents instead of several dollars but I my stomach clinched at that thought.  I knew quality was most important to me not the bottom dollar to be had. Luck was on my side again when I found a company that supplies buckles and dee rings in the USA and another one that could supply me ring sets for the crystals along with spots, studs and other embellishments that were solid brass or nickel over solid brass.

Buckles and Dee Rings

I set out to order samples of different crystal from a variety of manufactures and I fell in love with the shine and sparkle of the Swarovski 2088 lead-free crystals directly from Austria. I think I am addicted to buying these beautiful sparkly diamond like crystals.  After finding all my materials I begin to perfect my leather artisan skills over the next several months making collars for friends, family and coworkers dogs. Finally, I had a collar that was adult tested, dog approved.

Swarovski crystals 2088

My mind kept spinning, I needed the collars to be as much resistant to weather elements as they could while still maintaining their beauty. I begin thinking about what a piece of leather needs to withstand time and weather elements. After further testing I found out that a well-conditioned piece of leather is the key to lasting. Using mink oil followed by Snow-Proofing gives the most protection. To keep leather from fading I apply Bees All Natural Leather Care to seal and protect the color from fading.

 My main goals are:

  • Provide a quality collar that withstands time.
  • Design beautiful collars that look stunning on dogs at affordable prices.
  • For my customers to smile when they receive their dog’s new collar and know they received a special collar for their best friend.
  • Happy customers, happy dogs!

Today, I am fortunate enough to be able to work full time doing what I love. Poochie Smoochies is now located in Auburn, Alabama. I am still being blessed with love from 12 yr. old Sami, in addition, love from our sweet boy Cooper, a 2 year old Dalmatian, weekly visits of slobbery kisses from my grand dog Dakota, a beagle, two cats, lovebird, my husband and two children, Allie and Dale.

My husband and I

Making beautiful stunning collars make me happy and I would love to share this with you and your dog!