Warner had sewn all her life, and after researching hardware, started making her own dog collars to sell at Dogtopia. "Pretty soon, every dog was coming in with one of my collars," said Warner, 32. She started Fetching Fashions as a part-time operation, and then had enough business in 2007 for a full-time venture.
Today, the company sells its wares in about 20 stores across the state, and also has a website for direct sales. Styles range from whimsical bluebirds to sassy polka dots, with 22 patterns overall, but the skull-and-crossbones pattern remains the best seller. "It's kind of funny, they've always been the most popular," Warner said. The skull-and-crossbones is available on both a pink and black background.
Deidre Hered, owner of The Wag Shop, estimates she has sold products for Fetching Fashions for at least three or four years. "People love it, they love the designs... I think it's a quality collar, the hardware on it is very durable," Hered said. The upscale grooming salon on East 6th Avenue also takes special orders for Fetching Fashions. For example, a couple wanted matching dog collars for their two dogs in the pink skull-and-crossbones design, and ordered a special size.
A graduate of Westminster High School in Westminster, Colo., Warner enjoys the creative aspect of her company. "I design a lot of my own textiles, that's the really fun part of the business," said Warner. The designs are then shipped to a ribbon manufacturer overseas before being transformed into collars and leashes.
On Wednesday, Warner took time out of her day to discuss her growing business at a Starbucks, after meeting with a possible hardware supplier at the coffee shop. To expand her business, Warner said she plans to start attending pet expos to promote Fetching Fashions to out-of-state pet stores.
Fetching Fashions is part of a growing trend of pet ownership. According to the American Pet Products Associations, a 2011-2012 survey found 62% of U.S. households own a pet, compared to 56% of households in 1988. The trade association in Greenwich, Conn., also estimates U.S. pet owners will spend $50.84 billion in 2011 on their pets.
Fetching Fashions sells collars for $14 - $24, and leashes for $22 - $30. The products can be found at the following stores in Denver: Chewy's Bonetique, Doggie Delights, Lil' Angel Pet Boutique, Mouthfuls Pet Bar, Quality Paws, Two Pals and a Pup, The Wag Shop and Zen Dog.
Warner, who lives in Capitol Hill, does not own dogs now at the moment, but recalls her former pets fondly. "I used to have two Boxers, but they both passed away," said Warner. "I have a yard with chickens right now."