Ever wondered about the stories woven into your dog's collar? Join us as we unravel the tale behind each stitch, a narrative that goes beyond fashion to the heart of craftsmanship and local businesses.
Where it all began...
Indi-Dog was born in 2011, on a sidetable in the corner between our 2 sofas in our Suffolk home with a sewing machine (fondly named Betty) that had been handed down from my Gran to my Mum, and then to me. I had been taught sewing skills as a child by my Gran who is a lifelong seamstress and crafty person, and when I wanted something from a dog collar that I couldn't find in the shops I decided to try putting these skills to good use and making my own.
Betty the Singer
As the business grew so did my workspace, starting with a proper desk and eventually taking over a small room in the house! Once I started to make harnesses and walking belts poor Betty struggled with the materials, and eventually retired to a (very!) peaceful life back with Mum, and I invested in an industrial machine capable of whatever I wanted to throw at it.
Machine and workspace upgrade around 2015
From the start I knew that I didn't want to outsource production, I love the creative process and making things, it just clicks with my neurodivergent brain! Plus I knew that moving production to a large operation would mean forfeiting the custom aspect of Indi-Dog, which wasn't something I was willing to do. Now, 12 years on, 100% of our products are still made in our home workshop! We're now based on the Shropshire/Powys border, and the majority of the products that leave our workshop are still made by me, with the rest being made by my partner, Rick, who joined me around 2017.
The workshop today
Working in this way allows me to be completely hands on, from talking to customers and sourcing materials, to making sure our products are top quality and made to last. Over the last 12 years we've obviously had plenty of opportunity to try different materials and hardware, and we take great pride in sourcing as many of our supplies as possible from other UK businesses.
Supporting UK businesses
We believe it's important to support our fellow UK based businesses wherever possible, it not only keeps our carbon footprint as low as possible, but buying British products also contributes to creating local jobs and supporting our economy.
We're proud to say that roughly 90% of our supplies are purchased from UK businesses, from our webbing and hardware supplier in Staffordshire to our fabric printer in Dundee.
Our fabric designs are purchased as digital files from across the US, UK and Europe, and a small amount of our hardware (the nylon clips, O rings and triangle harness rings to be specific) comes from a fab supplier in the Czech Republic every few months. All our other supplies including our webbing, the rest of our hardware, printed fabric and softshell, and our fleece fabric for padding is all sourced from small-medium UK businesses, many of whom we've been working with for years!
Although we have used ribbons purchased from Chinese suppliers in the past, the varying quality, long shipping times and learning more about the carbon footprint of having these flown halfway around the world, made me look at different options for patterns on our dog collars, leads and harnesses. Which is why we now offer designs made into fabrics instead of mass produced ribbons.
We believe it's important to create products that are long lasting, strong enough for big dogs who pull (we're husky owners of 14+ years) and as ethical as possible. In the world of mass production, we've chosen a different path - one of artistry, dedication, and a deep love for dogs. Your support keeps our workshop buzzing with creativity, and for that, we're immensely grateful. Let's continue this journey of handmade excellence, where each product tells a tale of craftsmanship and canine companionship!
Keep those tails wagging!