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From collars to comfort: making a difference for shelter dogs

When you hear the title “crazy dog lady,” think of Mindy Sarver who you’ll often find dressed in dog hair with a sprinkle of slobber. Dog mom to three of her own, Mindy is the human behind the fur-fueled woman-owned pet products and apparel company, Diamond Daisy Design, which handcrafts collars, accessories, and apparel for pets and the people who love them.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mindy built her business on the belief that pet products should not only be affordable, but fashionable and made with love. It’s through her Steel City pitties Felix, Jax, and Emma who serve as Diamond Daisy Design’s Canine Marketing Officer, Canine Quality Control, and Canine Administration Officer respectively,  that she finds inspiration daily.

“Felix is my soul dog.  He’s a black crop-eared pittie who loves everyone and everything and will go anywhere with me.  He came to me as a foster and I couldn’t let him leave me.  Jax is my oldest dog at 10-years old.  He’s a sweetheart, but pretty scared of most things in life.  Emma is my youngest dog. She’s a five-year-old pittie.  She came to me as a foster with bilateral hip dysplasia and, after months of recovery after FHO surgery, Felix was too in love so she stayed.”

A passion for pups and prints

“My dogs are the whole reason I started my company,” says Mindy, crediting much of its launch to one dog in particular, her Diamond, who she recently lost to lymphoma. “She was quite a diva and had a huge personality.  Store-bought collars just weren’t good enough to show her personality, so I started making collars so she could have a lot of collars that really showcased who she was.”

Diamond modeling a floral-print Diamond Daisy Design collar among the wildflowers during her pet photography session with Bark & Gold Photography at Robin Hill Park in Moon Township

On June 9, 2018, Mindy started taking orders through Facebook and it wasn’t long before Diamond Daisy Design was formed. Today, almost five years later, she has taken this once part-time passion project full-time and now sells exclusively through her website.

“My favorite thing about designing collars is a mix between people loving them as much as I do and seeing them on someone else’s dog,” shares Mindy.  “It melts my heart when I get photos of people’s pets in my collars.”

Diamond Daisy Design carries three styles of collars in five widths to accommodate any dog or cat. Add to that so many fabric choices that Mindy has lost count, fabric flowers to accessorize these collars, as well as key fobs, apparel, key chains, and scrunchies for pet parents.

Her best-sellers though will always be her collars, Mindy’s main focus and the whole reason she even has a company. 

“My one-inch buckle [collar] has always been the top size and style, mainly because that’s the size and kind you find at most stores and therefore people are most familiar with them,” she shares, adding that of her countless colorful fabrics, her most popular patterns are split between two of her custom Diamond Daisy Design prints: Pittsburgh Words and Every Day Is A Gift.

Collars for a cause

“We offer a great line of exclusive Diamond Daisy Design prints, which I design myself and custom print,” explains Mindy. “The fabric is slightly thicker and more durable than most of the other cotton that I use and vary from generic prints like French fries to much more meaningful prints like my Every Day Is A Gift fabric that is for our model Mabel who passed away from cancer.”

That print in particular not only has a lot of meaning for Mindy but is one from which she donates 30% of its sales to the Canine Cancer Foundation in Mabel’s memory.  

Diamond Daisy Design exclusives also feature other donation-based prints, including those for Hello Bully, who rescues and rehabilitates American pit bull terriers, and Senior Pet and Animal Rescue (SPAAR), a senior-focused dog rescue that renews these dogs by providing medical care prior to placing them for adoption.

“Rescue is very close to my heart.  All my dogs are rescues and I really just want to be able to help in any way that I can. I know a lot of rescues have trouble getting donations for things and I thought maybe some fun collars would make some of the adoptables more eye-catching with fun designs.”

Jax, Felix, and Emma, the furry faces who continue to inspire the Diamond Daisy Design brand

The Spoil An Adoptable Dog program

That one thought sparked Mindy’s latest charitable venture for her brand, the Spoil An Adoptable Dog program.

This initiative connects Diamond Daisy Design customers with an adoptable-in-waiting, allowing them to spoil a dog of their choice by purchasing a collar made especially for that dog with the option to add on extra goodies like treats, a stuffie, or a blanket.

These items are custom-made by Mindy for each adoptable then shipped directly to the shelter or current foster home, or hand delivered by her.

Mindy’s mission aligns with the benefits showing that, for shelter dogs, having beautiful new collars while they wait for their forever homes can drastically improve their visibility, helping them stand out and grab the attention of potential adopters.

For these dogs, something as simple as a new collar can boost their self-esteem, make them feel special and loved, and improve their overall mood and mental well-being. This improves the interaction between the dogs and potential adopters, volunteers, and shelter staff, making them look even more well-cared for, happy, and approachable, all of which help them present as more adoptable.

“To be spoiled, we prefer to add the long-term, older, bonded pairs, or medical dogs who are harder to adopt and [who are] more likely to have been or be at a rescue for a longer period of time,” explains Mindy.

My pet photography business, Bark & Gold Photography, recently sponsored two collars for bonded pair Dora and Gizmo, who are available through TinyCause, a Vandergrift area foster-based rescue. Dora is a mostly blind and somewhat shy 15-year-old Chihuahua while Gizmo is a 14-year-old pug reported to be as happy as he is chubby. Mindy designed a gorgeous macaron-print collar and a playful cupcakes print one for these two, the perfect sweet pairing in both prints and personalities.

Spoiling for support

For rescues looking to be added to Diamond Daisy Design’s Spoil An Adoptable Dog program, Mindy encourages them to reach out through any of Diamond Daisy Design’s social media channels or email her through her website.

Individuals looking to support the program and spoil an adoptable dog can visit Mindy’s adoptables page to see photos of current dogs who can benefit from a little TLC. Adoptable listings also include more information on them and where they’re available. 

At the time of this post, Mindy has successfully spoiled 15 adoptables from three different rescues, including TinyCause, Essence of Love Animal Rescue, and Angel Ridge Animal Rescue.

Mindy hopes to add more rescues to the Spoil An Adoptable Dog program as well as make a few special prints to add to Diamond Daisy Design’s fundraising prints. She also has plans to roll out a new dog biscuit line in the coming month.

“This past year I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to completely throw myself into the business, so we’re thinking bigger and better things, and hopefully getting into some local stores this year,” dreams Mindy.

Shop Diamond Daisy Design

You can browse Diamond Daisy Design’s extensive selection of collars, accessories, homemade treats, apparel, and mugs at

“The easiest way to order is directly on our website,” reminds Mindy. “ If you have a special request, you can always message us on Facebook or Instagram, or our website. I’m always happy to help.”

Jessica Wasik is the award-winning photographer of Bark & Gold Photography, focused on celebrating the joy and love between Pittsburgh pets and their people with natural, expressive images captured through small moments in time. Through timeless portraits and luxury products to fill your home and heart, she transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary to tell your story your way. To learn more, visit

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