YOU ARE FREE


I borrowed the name of this post from one of my favorite musicians, Chan Marshall, AKA Cat Power. I thought it fitting to start this entry by paying homage to someone who inspires our staff and me. This post is about creative freedom - a principle we live and breathe every day.

I have pursued art from the time I could hold a crayon. I went to art school for college and ended up graduating with a double major in Fine Art and Communication. I apprenticed as a graphic designer which eventually turned into a gig at a small company in the Bay Area that made bath and body products. I became their packaging designer, eventually moved into product development, and then a position as Brand Manager. 

In the early stages of my career, I spent a lot of time pouring over books on Intellectual Property. I struggled with the reality that my creations didn't necessarily yield any credit - monetary or otherwise. Ultimately I realized I had to let it go or quit my job and become an attorney. I chose to adopt the philosophy that what I create is not mine. It's like a child, it came from me, it has my proverbial DNA, but I do not own it and I cannot control it once it leaves my hands. 

I started Karma Collars with a mission to make high quality products that are not considered novelty items. We intend to create timeless designs made with the highest quality materials we can get our hands on. We are sometimes asked to make products that break with this convention, out of integrity, we have to say "no" to some requests. We are extremely devoted to keeping our brand focused on positive imaging, durability, and safety.

While we do not personally have a major preoccupation with design ownership, we will not knowingly remake other collar company's designs under any circumstances. Similarly, if you commission an original custom design through Karma Collars and you would like it to remain proprietary, you have our word that we will not resell your design to others (please let us know about this ahead of time to avoid confusion). Thanks!


The Love We Make...


Because this is a touchy subject we ask you to understand that this is our philosophy only; we are not trying to persuade anyone or say we are right. We have been asked to make vegan or vegetarian collars many times and rather than shy away from the obviously controversial topic we have opted to remain open about our philosophy.

As the owner and founder of Karma Collars, I was personally a strict vegan for 7 years and many of my friends still are. In fact, I still don't eat beef, funny huh? The reason I decided not to offer vegan collars, and also a major reason I stopped being vegan, was because of the heavy reliance on synthetic petroleum and/or plastic based "alternative" materials. We do not offer vegan collars or any faux leather collars because we are committed to offering plastic free products. In our experience, most affordable "leather alternatives" are often made from non-renewable resources, which take a lot of energy/processing to make, and do NOT biodegrade - thus making them extremely bad for the environment.

All of our leather comes from the American food industry; it is a byproduct and would otherwise be "trash" if we did not use it to make products that last a lifetime. It is my belief that using a natural byproduct, as our main material, is a more conservation-minded choice than using new, man-made materials made of heavily processed plastics.

By making products that last for years and years we are doing our part to keep a bunch of cheap junk out of the landfills, especially a bunch of synthetic dog collars that will never biodegrade. We think a lot about how many dog collars a dog goes through in his/her life and how most of those are made from nylon/plastic/etc. - that is why we have made a conscious choice to make leather products that last a lifetime. Not everyone will agree with our philosophy, and with every choice we make there are obvious pros, cons, and counterpoints. Our decision to make high quality leather dog gear is intentional and we don't apologize for it. We believe that the intentions, craftsmanship, and overall message of our company contributes far more good to the world than bad, and we feel pretty darn good about that!







Bringing you the Love...

We want you to have the best experience possible when hanging around our cyber world or buying our gear. We are always soul searching about ways to give you the most information about our products without being overwhelming. This said, sometimes we get caught up in the fun and forget to reiterate important info like turnaround and shipping times.

All of our gear is "made to order." Meaning, we don't stock any finished products in our shop, we hand make each item for the dog or person it is ordered for. Sometimes we even special order supplies when there is a design modification, which is fun but takes a few days. On average it takes us 2-5 hours to make one of our collars from start to finish.

We process orders chronologically and our turnaround time is based on demand + our ability to produce only so many collars in a day with our small but devoted staff. For now, our turnaround time is 3 weeks from the day you order to the day we ship your gear. An email will be sent to you when we print your shipping label so you know exactly when your order ships. We ship USPS Priority Mail, which delivers in 1-3 days depending on your proximity to Northern California (where we are located). 

Sometimes during special promotions and sale periods we get backed up and orders take a bit longer. We do our best to communicate with everyone when we are running behind, but always feel free to check in if you would like an update.

Please let us know if you need your order to be rushed or delivered by a certain date. We will do everything we can to deliver your products by the date you need them. Please try to give us as much of a heads up as you can. Thanks!

Hope this demystifies a few things and gives you added insight into our process. We love Karma Collars and treat each order with the utmost respect and devotion. While we might be frantic some days, making collars is our meditation; we create from a place of love and we hope our good intentions shine through in each item.

 

Namaste,

The Karma Crew

Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some


Hell hath no fury like a sore loser in a Facebook contest. No really, want to see the best side of people? Host a Facebook contest. This is NOT to say that we don't also LOVE and THANK 99.9% of the people who participate in our contest. We need to be very clear about the fact that we owe our business to you all, without you we would be nothing. In fact, we will probably never ever stop forcing you to take free collars every month during our contests, LOL!

But seriously, we asked a lot of our fans this month when we switched our contest platform from a "wall post" based contest, to a much more complex "app system" format. We expected hate mail, death threats and potentially even a contest flop, but instead we had a record number of participants (160 entries in 5 days) and were really really proud of how well people adapted and stuck by our side (happy tears). 

We learned a lot this month and wanted to share a few highlights and insights with you so you know what to expect in the future. We used a service called Wildfire this month. Wildfire proved to be glitchy through FB, a bit too cryptic with info, slow, and a bit clumsy for our taste. But, the contest was much easier to manage and kept our wall open for fun daily activities, which allowed us to do a FREE LEASH FRIDAY during the contest. Overall, we are sticking with the “app” thing but we are going to try a different company/service provider next month. During this last contest some fans told us about a service called OfferPop and we are planning to use them next month. Yes, it will be confusing to go with a new system, but we hope it will be easier to navigate and less squirrelly in the long run.

One more thing... We noticed that using a contest app actually marketed our contest to people outside of your fan base because the contest is posted on the App Company's website. We do NOT like this; it opened us up to a lot of "career contesters" who spend their days hawking FB for free stuff. We want to sincerely thanks a few kind folks who "flagged" some contest entries as bogus and alerted us to these few individuals who scam the system and could have ruined the contest for everyone had we not disqualified them from behind the scenes. Oh the things you learn in a week... But really, PLEASE let us know if you ever see any fishy activity on our FB page or during our contests, we will take immediate action.

Thank you all again for making this an awesome month here at Karma Collars!



Make You a Believer (PART I)


Well, we can't "make" you a believer, but we can make you one kick butt collar that will remind you what it feels like to actually get what you pay for. It literally takes 25 general steps to make 1 Karma Collar (not counting the little stuff). In fact, way back in the day we had a "collar making party" with 10 friends and all but 1 person left our house vowing to never make another collar as long as they lived... This isn't to say we don't love what we do; it's just that collar making (for most people) is like getting your oil changed; it's just easier to pay someone else to do it. 

In an effort to help you understand how our gear is made, why it is superior to many other brands, and what the heck you are really paying for - we have decided to do a little "blog series" on the distinguishing characteristics of a Karma Collar. So without further ado...

Rivets: On all of our collars over 3/4" wide we use 6-7 rivets (depending on collar width). This is 2-3 more rivets than you will generally see used on the buckle and D-ring area of other brands. We use this technique because leather softens as it breaks in and can allow the D-ring to slip under the buckle or spin. With extra rivets we hope to secure our D-rings for years and years of uncompromised use.

Screws: ALL of the top D-rings on our Double D-Ring Collars are held in by screws, NOT rivets. While rivets are strong, they are not as permanent or fool proof as screws. Our screws are also "locked" with thread-locking glue to keep them from backing out or unscrewing under heavy use. Note - the screws we use are made for use on dog collars and finished goods; they are very smooth and will not be felt by your dog in any way.

Contoured Buckle Holes: Ever notice how some belts/collars just sit better than others? We use an oval shaped punch for our buckle holes so the buckle tongues lay flat and give your collar a nice natural contour. Yeah, round holes are much easier to punch, but we just like the added benefit of the oval holes.

Hope this gets you as excited about our gear as we are!