Erica Preo was on a business trip in Pesaro, an Italian beach town located on the Adriatic, when she got the idea for her company, Pantofola. The Raleigh resident and dog lover wanted to combine her passions for pets and for design with Italian luxury craftsmanship; soon after, her line of leather dog accessories was born, and recently, Pantofola branched out to include coordinating purses for doggy owners.
Pantofola products, which include colorful collars and leashes, are crafted in Milan, with Italian leather from Tuscany and solid brass custom hardware from the Lombardy region. Prices range from $265 to $425 and Preo considers her products the “Bentley” of dog accessories.
“We’re certainly not for every dog owner,” she says, “but those who seek something extra special are never disappointed.”
This fall, Pantofola launched a small crossbody bag called the Passeggiata. At 8×7 inches, the soft, buttery leather purse is perfect for toting only the essentials, including keys and mobile phone, and if you’re bringing your pet along, it’s great for stashing necessities such as treats and doggy pickup bags. The Passeggiata comes in five colors, so you can coordinate it with your pup’s collar and leash if you like; an off-white lining and interior pocket make it easy to access the purse’s contents with one hand while you’re holding a leash in the other.
While Pantofola products are no doubt luxurious for both pet and owner, it’s the company’s charitable giving that makes it stand out. For every sale, Pantofola donates 20 percent to an individual dog rescue organization that the company selects each quarter. Past recipients include Pilots N Paws, Marley’s Mutts, The Devoted Barn and Susie’s Senior Dogs.
“People love getting presents, and people love their dogs,” says Preo. “We do always wonder who the lucky recipient might be: a dachshund, beagle or Frenchie? A little mixed breed pup by the name of Max? We’ll probably never know but it’s always fun to imagine the possibilities.”
Check out Pantofola’s pup accessories at pantofola-mia.com.