University of Cincinnati students Alex Fliegel and Emily Heckman are just two of the students behind Top Dog Leather Collars, a class project for a business entrepreneurship course at UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. CincyPet Magazine recently spoke with the enterprising fifth-year fashion design students to learn more about the project and the collars they make.
Students first come up with ideas for products that will generate sales. The ideas are voted on and the one with the most support then becomes the final project for the group. Ms. Fliegel was the one who suggested the dog collar idea so she was named CEO for the “company,” Top Dog Leather Collars.
For the first part of the semester, students work on developing their products and marketing strategies and then spend the last five weeks of the class selling their products. The goal is to make at least $300 in profit as student grades are dependent on how much profit they make. Any profits made from product sales are donated to a UC Scholarship Fund, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
The customizable leather collars are made using leather remnants sourced from the food industry, thereby diverting the leather waste from entering landfills and giving it a new lease on life. Collars are customized with names or phone numbers using metal stamps and hand-stamped by the students.
The collars can be customized with a name and/or phone number and cut to length to fit your dog or cat. The collars come in four different sizes: x-small (1/2″ wide); small (3/4″ wide); medium (1″ wide); and large (1-1/4″ wide.) You can order the collars online and have them shipped to you or you can pick one up at the CincyPet Yappy Hour at Listermann Brewing Trail House (3701 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati 45207) on Friday, July 23; the event runs from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm on the dog-friendly patio. If you would like to place an advance order to pick up at the Yappy Hour at Listermann’s, select the “no shipping” option on the website and then use the promo code “yappyhour” to make sure your custom collar is ready for pick-up at the event. UPDATE: Top Dog Leather Collars will also be available at the CincyPet Yappy Hour Market at MadTree Brewing on Tuesday, July 28.
If you would rather wait to see the collars in person before purchasing, you can still have a collar customized at the event. Collars can also be cut down in length to fit cats, so make sure you know your cat’s neck size.