Meet Susan Lanci, Pet Fashion Designer

Susan Lanci has an unusual occupation: she designs fashionable clothing and accessories … for dogs. A desire to see her own dog dressed comfortably led into a field where she has become one its best known designers.

Online PR News – 09-March-2013 – Rocklin, CA – A desire to see her pet be comfortable took a jewelry designer on an unexpected trip to a new career: pet fashion designer.

Susan Lanci owns and operates Susan Lanci Designs with husband Dennis from their Northern San Diego County home in Carlsbad.

“We never created the business to be a dog business,” Lanci, who has a degree in graphic design from Michigan State University, said in a recent phone interview. “It just started with me doing something for our dog and everyone loved it” and business kept on growing.

Lanci was not new to working with fabric, having been taught to sew by nuns while attending catholic school as a child. However, she spent 20 years designing and making jewelry and fusing dichroic glass.

When Lanci’s mother got older, she would bring her dog Bailey on visits to the assisted living home. Bailey was such a hit with the patients that Lanci got Bailey certified as a therapy dog.

While Bailey was a big hit with the patients, the dog had a problem of her own: the collars and harnesses Lanci bought were uncomfortable. Bailey kept chewing them.

Lanci said she began making her own collars, harnesses and pet clothes out of Ultrasuede ®. This fabric has the highest visual and tactile aesthetics, unsurpassed durability, breathability, a wide selection of colors, is washable and resists nicks and tears, the Ultrasuede website states.

After her first few products for Bailey earned a lot of compliments, Lanci split a booth at the 2002 SuperZoo show for pet retailers. Lanci shared the booth with a jewelry rep specializing in pet-related products. Lanci’s first products were the Bailey jacket, named after her dog, and some collars.

The company makes and markets collars and decorative collar sliders, harnesses, coats, belly bands, blankets, beds, leashes, slings, carriers and other products.

“The business found us,” Lanci said. The initial response to Lanci’s creations was phenomenal. A second such show had equally good results, showing the Lancis their designs were a hit. “And it’s all because of Bailey, our first therapy dog.”

The Lancis began by hand cutting their hairbows and harnesses. “One of our first designs was crystal paws. I’d hand tweeze each Swarovski crystal.”

Lanci combined her graphics experience and her extensive knowledge of color, acquired while pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts degree, in creating unique colors for her creations. “More than half of the colors we offer are specific to us,” she explained. A lab dip process allows her to precisely the right color and shade she wants. “It’s important to me that the color is perfect and right to me.”

That pursuit of perfection is why Lanci normally uses ultrasuede and Swarovski crystals in her design. “My philosophy is always do the best you can” and use the best materials. “If you are going to use the premium components, you want to use the best crystal you can get,” which is Swarovski.

“We want to have products that people want to have their dog in and the dogs are comfortable wearing,” Lanci said. “We are proud of what we have out there.”

“The products we sell are going to be distinct from other businesses,” Posh Puppy Boutique owner and founder Jennifer Kirk said, citing Lanci as an example.

Lanci’s products are made to last and Lanci, like other designers, stands behind her work, Kirk said.

Doing her best is also why Lanci’s products are made in the USA and why she only sells to retailers, not directly to the public. Retailers such as the Posh Puppy Boutique help promote us, she explained. Selling directly to the public would not be right morally, Lanci said.

The public can find many Susan Lanci Design products online at the Posh Puppy Boutique. Call 888-837-5230 with any questions.