Kim Holowatiuk, owner of Sleepy Holow and creator of Furs ‘N Hers accessories, was first inspired to make canine accessories by her own dog, Turner. Read on to learn about her passion for leather, bead and metal work, love for dogs, and experiences creating one of a kind pieces from her own perspective!
The bond you can develop with your dog is incredibly special, sometimes hard to articulate, especially for those who are “dogless” and have never owned a pet. Sadly, I was one of those people at one time in my life. Then, when I met my husband who has always had a dog, I was introduced to being a doggie mom and I cannot imagine my life without a dog now!
My first dog was Turner, (we found him in Turner Valley, Alberta) an athletically-build, wiggly- butt, kissy-face, Pointer Lab cross. I was obsessed with him and he went everywhere with us.
I wanted to make Turner something special. Something that no one else had. I happened upon leather work and one of my first projects was to make a dog collar. It seemed so daunting at the time, but with instructions, taking my time, and a few mistakes, I made him a basic collar with his name on it and I was totally thrilled! As I was new to the craft I started making some other things, like wallets, key fobs, journal covers, etc. It was fun, but I was missing the passion for what I was making.
Beading came “back” in style, and I started to get a lot of orders for beaded bracelets as they were all the rage and so, being the dog-crazy puppy mom, I thought to myself, wouldn’t that be cute to make a beaded collar AND matching bracelets for dogs and dog mom’s like me?!
I made my first beaded collar and bracelet set and decided this exclusive line needed a name of its own! Then it hit me… Furs ’N Hers!! It was cute, it was kinda corny in an adorable way, and it was catchy. People loved the name and so Furs ’N Hers was born!
Making artisan handcrafted dog collars and dog-lover “hooman” pieces really suits me well as a maker. I love to work with people (and we have already established I love dogs!) and incorporate their ideas into the piece! This makes these collars one-of-a kind and truly uniquely special for my customer and their dog.
When I hand-craft a Furs ’N Hers (or His ’N Furs) or any kind of collar, whether it be a leather carved, leather beaded, blinged, fabric, nylon, pararcord, or combination thereof, I love to see who I am making for. It brings me so much joy to see other folks out there whose dog is the centre of their world and they allow me be a part of that world in a small way by creating something exclusively for them.
Today my shop consists of me, my Shop Assistance Satchel (border collie/retriever cross) and Bead Studio Assistant Blue (Aussie Shepherd). They work for cookies and pets. Now that is good help that is hard to find! All of my leather collars are made from top-notch base supplies like Herman Oak leather, Miyuki and Czech beads, Animal-grade nylon webbing, USA-made paracord, Batik & exclusive printed fabrics, French linen thread, Poly-bonded thread, and stainless steel, brass, and nickel welded hardware.