Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Introducing Sherry Rand & K9 Kollars

Thank you Kasse for inviting me to write for RWR. I am so inspired and amazed by the women that have been featured here and am honored to be considered among them. So here goes....


My name is Sherry and although I may not be as rural by location as some I am rural in my soul. Always have been. I am a midwestern girl and have “rural” in my genes (and my jeans – LOL). 
My Grandad Rand with his haystack mover.



My Grandpa Wagner (Mom's Dad) who always had a wicked sense of humor.


Calling all dog lovers. Another outstanding rural woman carving out her own little slice of life. Read to learn- there is a lot packed in here. Adventurous and progressive you’re going to love it.  Have a great week!  - Kasse D.


I have many fond memories of time at this, my Grandparent's house out on the SD prarie.


I was born and raised in South Dakota and have now made my home in Montana. Unlike many of you I have not been lucky enough yet to find my soulmate (still praying that he will come along) and have not been blessed with children. That said, I have indeed been blessed with many things among which are wonderful, strong, inspired, true friends, a fabulous family (my Mom, brother and a special aunt & uncle in particular), a beautiful home, a great career that provides well for me, a desire to learn and do new and different things and of course my animals (dogs and a macaw).

Iago the Scarlet Macaw



I could go on and on about all of the things I enjoy doing, that I want to do and that I have done but instead I'll just point you towards my blog MTWaggin and if you dare, you can follow along there.


Some of the things I am doing in my life right now would include photography, dog activities (rally, obedience, agility, therapy, freestyle, tracking, rescue/foster...), kayaking, snowshoeing, genealogy, walking/hiking, finding my spiritual path, writing/blogging, working my real job (I am a computer geek-ess),  scrollsawing, my business and anything else that pops up that looks interesting or fun.   Yes, I also to do the normal mundane household chores and repairs as required!  LOL






Now I can't tell you about my little business without sharing a bit about my dogs. They are what inspired me to try this adventure! You see, I have naked dogs. Yup, you heard it here folks - naked! Okay, hairless to be exact with a smattering of non-shedding hairy ones thrown in. I have Chinese Cresteds, Xolitzcuintle (just say show-low) and a Standard Poodle. Finding collars that won't chafe naked necks or tangle up hair has proven to be rather difficult over the years so I decided to find my own solution and put it out there for others.  So let me introduce you to a few of the "fur kids" (or not so furry as the case may be)....
 

Teddy riding in the kayak.  He is a Powderpuff Chinese Crested



Sterling my Standard Poodle



Paqui is a Standard Xoloitzcuintle



Bandit a Hairless Chinese Crested




K9 Kollars




K9 Kollars started out simple enough. One item, soft, hand-made, pre-washed cotton collars. What fun to go shopping through all that wonderful quilt fabric and making fun dog collars out of it. Even better if it was on sale! LOL


A few years later my “craft-aholic” self decided to try bead work. Not jewelry beading but flatwork bead weaving. That turned into an idea to do design and beading of custom collars and another K9 Kollars product was born.




Jump to 2011, a big year for my little business. The adage "You never know when/where inspiration will come!" is so true. I went to Oregon for a Canine Freestyle event and a much needed vacation/visit with a good friend of mine. While on the coast we wandered into a bead store (my friend does beaded jewelry) and there on the wall was an interesting braid. I studied it and noticed a kit next to it and bought the kit hoping for enough instructions to try it out. One thing led to another and here I am now, making satin Kumihimo braided collars and leashes and to my utter amazement people are nuts about them.  The satin cord is perfect as it will not rub on naked dog skin and it also won't tangle/mat dog hair.   Leashes also then are not harsh on dog owner's hands either. 


Kumihimo is done on a stand called a marudai (photo on the left). The photo shows an 8 cord braid being worked.  The tamas are actually weighted bobbins and if you look at the photo on the left you will see the counter weight (the bag in the middle) used to feed the braid down through the center of the marudai.   I am finding that this is a very meditative process for me, something I need after a stressful day at the office.


These are some of the finished products.   I make two types of collars as well as leashes which can be done in either flat braids or round braids, several thicknesses as well as any number of patterns.   I have over 30 colors that people can choose from.








2011 also brought some non-collar offerings to my business. I began retailing N-R-G dehydrated dog food.


I also was offered the opportunity to retail Scent Project aromatherapy room mists (they are produced by a wonderfully talented and wildly successful friend and dog trainer here in Montana).






Both are products that I use myself and truly believe in.


I’m excited about this year as it looks to be equally busy and fun not only for K9 Kollars but also for me personally and professionally.

"Don’t look back….it’s not where you are going!"

Rock ON Rural Women, you are strong, you are inspired, you are beautiful, you are amazing, you are true and you are THE BEST!

P.S.   I will be posting a genealogy series on my blog in the near future stop by and check it out.  Watch for the notifications on the RWR FaceBook Page!

2 comments:

  1. Very Cool Lady! What an inspiring niche!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Sherry for an amazing and inspiring post. I loved it. Good luck! Can't wait for your genealogy series. Be sure to let us know.

    Kind regards,
    Kasse D.

    ReplyDelete