I first spotted an Ella’s Lead collar on an internet friend’s dog, and thought it was absolutely gorgeous. After browsing through the Ella’s Lead website, I contacted the company to see if they would send me a collar for review. While I received a collar for no charge, this review is my honest assessment of the product.
Ella’s Lead is a company born out of necessity. After Rebecca and Ben Smith adopted Ella from a Chicago rescue organization, they were dissappointed with the quality of leashes that were available. After walking their energetic and excitable dog, they would come home with cuts or burns on their hands from traditional nylon and flat leashes. Ella did eventually learn some leash manners, but Rebecca was determined to come up with a better leash.
“I did a search and found a company that sold several different kinds of high quality ropes, and they were willing to sell it to me for a decent price, so I bought some. We took Ella to training one evening and my trainer picked up my leash and was admiring it. She suggested that we make some leashes and sell them at a local dog event that takes place here yearly. We did – and that’s how Ella’s Lead was born,” says Rebecca.
Since then, Ella’s Lead has expanded to offer gorgeous leather (and vegan) collars for dogs of all sizes. Rebecca and Ben use the best quality hardware and leathers they can find, and create beautiful, durable, comfortable collars for fashion-savvy pets and their owners. Pet owners can choose from several “ready to walk” designs in a variety of collars and styles, or choose to design their own; either way, each collar is custom-made to order.
Working with Rebecca and Ben to design a collar was a pleasure. Rebecca and I exchanged a few emails to share some basic information (color preference, collar width, Ernie’s neck size) before getting down to the nitty gritty. Would I like to have Ernie’s name embroidered on the collar? What font? Which color of thread did I prefer? Would I like the collar lined in suede? It was great to be included in the design process, and Rebecca made sure that I was getting exactly what I wanted. The end result was just that – a beautiful, original collar that fits Ernie to a “t.”
Rebecca and Ben run Ella’s Lead out of their home in Illinois. By day, Ben is a chemist for the city’s waste water plant, and Rebecca works from home, working on orders, answering emails, or creating new products, while keeping up with the couple’s two sons. Ella sadly passed away from an aggressive tumor a little more than a year ago, so Rebecca relies on the family’s two pit bulls, Ophelia and Luke, to help her continue to test and model the latest creations.
The philosophy of Ella’s Lead is “to provide high quality, hand-made dog gear that is not only attractive and unique, but strong and durable. We strive to make our customers completely satisfied with their products.” My experience, from the design phase and continuing to the finished product, is that Rebecca and Ben take this philosophy seriously.
If you are in the market for a new collar or lead for your dog, I would recommend Ella’s Lead without hesitation. To learn more about the company, visit their Facebook page, where you can see pictures of recent projects and be the first to know about contests or specials.