Every dog has a unique personality, and dog owners can help show off that personality by choosing the right collar for their pet. There are a seemingly unlimited number of choices when it comes to picking a dog collar, and several factors are important. First, it needs to be durable. A torn collar can mean the difference between a fun afternoon walk and chasing down a lost dog with no identification. Second, your dog’s collar says just as much about you as it does your dog. Are you practical? Cute? Ironic? Sophisticated? Third, it needs to be affordable. Even the most durable collars get dirty quickly, and a single collar will not last the life of your pet.
I’ve purchased about a dozen collars for my dog Daisy (and she’s only 15 months old) trying to find the right combination of durability, personality, style and cost. One gem that I’ve found? Local company Cody’s Creations. Cody’s sells collars, leashes, harnesses, treat pockets and leash pouches online at its Etsy shop and at various markets in the metro area (SOWA Open Market being where I first saw the designs).
Cody’s Creations’ collars typically run $14-$20 (depending on size, buckle and style) and are dishwasher safe in the top rack. Their styles range from preppy to edgy to whimsical and most will make you chuckle. I recently spoke with Kerrie Beck, owner of Cody’s Creations, about her passion for dogs, what makes her designs different, and where she wants to take the company in the future.
How did Cody’s Creations get its start?
It is actually ironic that I have a company where I make accessories for pets since I was afraid of cats and dogs until I was in college. I worked briefly in a pet shop where I got over my fear, but also learned about puppy mills. After leaving the pet store, I worked for several years at the Center for Animal Care and Control in NY, and at several veterinary hospitals in NY and MA. Cody (the namesake) is my 14 year old beagle mix who I adopted from the CACC. Cody is joined by Kona and Pepe, 4 year old beagle mixes, adopted from Paws New England.
After adding Kona and Pepe to the mix, I found it hard to go shopping for accessories and find items that suited all three of their personalities and didn’t break the bank. I ended up taking sewing lessons so that I could make crate mats that had skulls on them. Once I tackled that project, I added collars to the list. I started making everything I had ever wished I could find for them. I was so engrossed in my new hobby, that I started to have a huge abundance of everything. Ideas started to click, and I knew that I wanted to pursue this endeavor full-time. I wanted to create some kick ass accessories that were a little edgy, functional and affordable. Collars, leashes and harnesses took off right away. Then I introduced “The Pocket”, A Treat and Training Pouch after scouring the stores to find you had only two choices of fanny packs for treats. Not only am I not a fanny pack person, fanny packs are not very useful during the cold New England winters unless you want to unzip your coat to grab a treat. I had to create something that I would want to be seen with, and that I could grab treats from even while wearing a winter coat (it clips with a carabiner to your pants so it hangs lower).
I started adding new products, new patterns and last year I stepped outside of online selling only and started attending different craft markets and pet events. This will be a big year for me; I am concentrating on new products in addition to new custom designs. I am getting closer to making Cody’s Creations a household name.
There are a lot of collar / leash / harness businesses out there. What sets you apart?
I have started to design my own ribbons; these ribbons will be exclusive to Cody’s Creations. I am hoping to add a new design every month or so. I am also starting to design my own fabric to be used for the treat bags and leash bags. Besides the exclusive designs, I add several patterns and styles every month so there is always something new. [Elaine’s note: Besides unique designs, I was impressed by Cody’s leash pouches. Not everyone needs one, but for those that need to walk their dogs several times per day in the city (read: puppies) it’s nice not to have to carry a purse or keep stuffing your pockets with essentials. In fact, I typically keep my phone in the pouch along with a spare set of keys and a $20 bill. When it’s time for the next walk, i just clip it to the leash and go.]
What products are customer favorites?
I would have to call it a tie between skulls and cupcakes [see slideshow]. The dogs that people may perceive as big and bad are walking away adorned with cupcakes. Really, can you be afraid of a dog wearing cupcakes? And on the opposite end of the spectrum, the dog who loves everyone, and is so goofy you smile when you see them are walking away with their tough skully collars. [Elaine’s note: My personal favorite is the Black Sheep design [see slideshow]. Daisy has been wearing it for the past month and is getting tons of compliments.]
Do you have any new products coming out soon or events coming up?
I am introducing an eco-friendly line of collars and leashes this month, as well as a hands-free leash. I am also working on a leash that attaches to wheelchairs for service dogs that looks good while keeping its functionality. That leash is currently in testing by the fabulous trainers at Phoenix Assistance Dogs and should be released this spring.
You can find Cody’s Creations at several upcoming events: Paws in the Park, PRoNE 5K, and the Whisker Walk and occasional dates at SOWA Open Market to name a few. You can view our upcoming events on our Facebook Page.
Is there anything else that Boston dog owners should know about Cody’s Creations?
I pride myself in my ability to provide the client with something they want instead of settling for something on a rack. Whether it is taking measurements at an event for a custom size, altering a current product to suit their needs, or simply finding a way to incorporate school colors, Cody’s Creations is more than just a collar manufacturer, Cody’s Creations is a “Dog Tail-er”.
You can reach Cody’s Creations with the information below.