Chloe and Anita Bowes are best friends. The two are constantly on the go, but Bowes says that her dog Chloe is often mistaken as a male, so she embraces her feminine side with a collar.
"It shouldn't be tight, it should be nice and loose," Bowes said.
For the past 11 years she's been making brightly colored collars for Chloe. It wasn't until five years ago after an injury that she started Big Dog Neckwear with her daughter Jenny. "She loves to chase bunnies and squirrels but never get them so one day while we're running she went one way and my arm went the other way and tore my bicep, so I had a lot of down time," Bowes said.
During that down time Bowes crafted what she says is the perfect collar for big dogs. It's soft, tightens around the dogs whole neck and is machine washable. "It's easy to come off, easy to go on, it's washable, it does a little tug to tighten," she said.
Bowes mixes and matches recycled fabric and sews it together in her Cabot home. "I love to sew -- it's my favorite thing," she said.
This year the collar business started to take off. Burton Snowboard approached Big Dog Neckware to see if they could turn returned or damaged product into Burton collars. "We did some samples and they loved them," Bowes said. "We go to the warehouse and look through all the product that's returned and pick out things that we think could make great collars. And the fabric is wonderful because it's waterproof," Bowes said.
Now Bowes cuts up high-end merchandise so people's pooches can feel the Burton love too. "The first time I did that I was like, oh I'd like to wear this," she said.
In the past month she's made over 130 collars that are sold at Burton's flagship stores around the country. Spruce Mortgage has also signed on -- ordering 100 collars as a marketing tool. "Everybody leaves their dog at home but wants to bring something home to them that's handmade and from Vermont," she said.
The collars retail for $18.
Showing off doggy personalities with collars that are Made in Vermont.