Meet Lyz Sandler
She creates unique and comfortable handcrafted pet accessories & custom pet themed décor for the trendy pup and their modern owners. PupCraft began in the late fall of 2014 when Lyz wanted to design creative products for her own two pups. She works a full-time job during the week in event planning and needed a creative outlet to de-stress at home. Lyz loved to do all sorts of crafts and had recently mastered a few sewing projects. She had seen a lack of trendy designs for pets and wanted to create a quality product for Detroit dogs… and so it began!
She started with the basic over the collar dog bandana in many patterns and colors. Next, she moved on to create dog bow ties that go over the collar as well. People loved these fun bow ties, so she expanded the fabrics she offers in these! She then wanted to make something more feminine so Lyz started with collar flowers. Soon many people visited her booth at craft shows asking if she had any cat items, and in response, she started making organic catnip toys. The fully customizable leash hooks are also a great item because they are hand painted and unique designs that can fit in with anyone’s home décor.
PupCraft Designs is based out of her home in Berkley, Michigan. Lyz started selling her products by traveling to many different cities throughout the state in hopes of reaching new customers at various craft shows and markets. In 2017 she attended more shows than ever, with 3 to 4 per month -- May through December. Lyz loves going out into the community and meeting people who tell her all about their pups, share photos, or sometimes bring their dog with them! She says "It’s great to have repeat customers who love our products and keep coming back for new designs." In 2018, Lyz hopes to be in more permanent locations and expand her product line even more!
Why did you choose to partner with Yellow Door to sell your artwork? I have been into Yellow Door many times as a customer, and always loved the variety of items that are sold there. I moved into my home in Berkley three years ago and I love supporting my hometown's businesses. Partnering with Yellow Door is a great opportunity for my business to have a “home base” since I am currently running the business from my home studio and attending many craft markets all over the state.
How long have you been creating your artwork? PupCraft began in the late fall of 2014.
What makes your artwork unique or distinctive? We try to use the trendiest, unique and vintage-inspired fabrics to fit with today’s modern pup. All of our bandanas, bow ties, and collar flowers slide over your pup’s collar for easy on and off – however, the great part is the accessories won’t fall off your dog during normal wear.
What inspired you to start creating your artwork & how did you turn it into a business? PupCraft started in the fall of 2014 when I was inspired by my love of crafting and sewing and my obsession with dogs. I had wanted a pet dog my whole life and was not able to have one while I was growing up. I soon adopted my first pup Sydney a few months out of college and brought home my second dog Cosmo six months later. I wanted to use my creativity and passion for colors and fabric to make pet items that would connect people with their pets. I started doing a few small craft shows around the metro Detroit area and realized that people really liked my products… so I expanded my product line and signed up for more festivals.
What do you most love about the creative process? I love working with the colors and varieties of different fabrics. I also love being able to create something by hand which my dogs love and other people & their dogs love.
What do you least love about the business side of creating & selling art? The hardest part about the business is learning to say no! I am always interested in growing my business but have a hard time telling new customers I can’t make that for you or saying no to doing another craft show. I work a full-time job in event planning and spend my “free” time working on this business. I want to be creating new things all the time but sometimes I have realized I am stretched too thin.
What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up? When I was in middle school I had my Bat Mitzvah celebration and remember planning the party with my mom and thinking about how cool it would be to put on parties for a living! In high school, I helped plan my friends’ birthday parties and hosted surprise parties for them as well. I really enjoyed decorating the space and making food to fit the theme. I think this is what led me to the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. I also loved to travel and the idea of working in events in hotels was very interesting to me. I am very creative and love planning events that impress the guests. My passion for events led me to take part in many festivals around Michigan with my business and also led me to the job I have now working in Special Events & Weddings.
What do you enjoy doing besides making art? When I am not working on PupCraft, I like to spend time with my own two pups going for walks and to the dog park. I also love going to new breweries and interactive events around Detroit. I am a big Detroit sports fan and enjoy going to Pistons, Lions, and Tigers games. I also enjoy traveling, hosting game nights, playing trivia, jigsaw puzzles, making art that is not for my business, going back to visit MSU campus, attending the theater, and just relaxing on the couch watching movies.
Quotes you love or live by: “Not all those who wander are lost” - I love to travel and going off the beaten path to seek out unique experiences.
You can find more of Lyz's fantastic dog collar bandanas & other fun pet accessories at Yellow Door and online.