Beloved Berkeley Business, Paco Collars, Comes Home
For 10 years, Paco Collars stood as an iconic presence on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley across from the original Berkeley Bowl. However, in 2019, they relocated to a new space, leaving their original location behind. Some people mistakenly believed that their business had shut down. However, the truth was quite the opposite – their business was flourishing, albeit not in its iconic location. Now, after almost four years, PACOs is making a triumphant return to their home on Shattuck. The story behind the homecoming is inspiring and reminds us that, sometimes, the best step forward is a step right back home.
So, why did Paco Collars move away from their original location?
When they first talked about their move on their website back in 2019 they didn’t give all of the details on why they were moving other than saying that they wouldn’t be too far away and they were excited for the new space. After all, the new space was airy, had more of what they needed for their business and felt like the perfect fit for them at that time.
The more lengthy explanation for the move away from their original location was that they weren’t able to get the proper business insurance to operate their business in that location. Business insurance plays a crucial role in safeguarding your financial assets, intellectual and physical property. As Paco Collars grew and expanded their business into trade shows and other ventures, they understandably felt it was necessary to make sure they were protecting their business the best they could.
Thanks to some miracles and divine timing, you’ll once again be greeted by a marquee featuring a clever slogan that proudly announces the presence of PACO’s, a unique store specializing in crafting custom dog collars.
What’s the story behind the official homecoming?
The Paco Collar team announced the move on their Instagram account this past week and said the move will happen in August. While you might think they are going back to the same space as before, that’s not true at all. They completely revamped the store and have more retail space. With more folks working from home, the shop can operate as more of a retail-centered space rather than having to be a studio, office and retail space.
You might ask, well, if they had several reasons to move back in 2019, why move back? I talked with owner and founder Ana Poe they explained that they had been talking to the team about moving once their current lease was up a year from now. During a quick little Craigslist search, Poe found that the old location was for rent! Jokingly, they mentioned that it would be crazy to think of moving back to their old place, right?
Well, not so crazy actually. Poe reached out to their previous landlord and the landlord was thrilled that they were considering coming back to their old storefront. And, after doing some research, they found business insurance that worked for that space. The pieces fell together so easily that the move seemed like a great idea. Coming back to their old location felt like a homecoming.
The Story of PACOs And Why They Are so Special:
Paco Collars has a sweet origin story. The business started in 2002 by founder Ana Poe. Poe was looking for a non-intimidating leather collar for their pit bull Paco and realized there was a lack of options available – especially custom collars which were virtually nonexistent. One of Poe’s mentors taught them how to craft leather leashes for training clients. Inspired, Poe decided to create the leather collar they had been seeking. Utilizing their art degree, they successfully made a collar and even crafted a few more for colleagues and display purposes.
To their surprise, inquiries from customers started pouring in, and the demand grew significantly. What started as a side gig soon evolved into a full-time endeavor as Paco Collars gained popularity and recognition. “We’ve never lost sight of what is important: making the perfect collar for your dog, from scratch, by hand,” they say.
Potentially the sweetest gesture, when your pup passes away, they will make you a bracelet from your pup’s collar for FREE to memorialize your best pal with wearable jewelry.
Today, Paco Collars has a cult following and distinctive style that is hard to miss. Their beautiful gems and fun designs make their leather goods recognizable and highly coveted.
How can you support Paco Collars in their move?
It feels rare that we are lucky enough to cover a story that is about something heartwarming amazing happening for a local business. Sometimes it feels like we cover so many sad moments – like Anchor Steam’s announcement that they are going out of business.
For Paco Collars, they are asking that people consider purchasing a ready made collar, gift certificate or make a plan to come into the shop and find something for your pup once they move. The move itself will cost thousands of dollars. They don’t want to ask for a donation. They are willing to work hard to raise that money by doing what they do best, making custom leather goods for your pets and yourself.
Find Paco Collars Online Here:
note: Paco Collar images used in this article are all courtesy of Paco Collars.
Not familiar with PACO collars? You can learn more about them and their business here:
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