The Story of Kimberland Collars
It all started in the 1970's.
When a man named Ed loved a woman named Sylvia.
Sylvia Clark was a dog enthusiast, with a passion for showing small and toy breed dogs. Her favorite breed was the Pomeranian. She trained them to not pull on the lead, and preferred the safety and efficiency of a prong collar to do so. But she could not find one small enough to fit her beloved Poms.
One day she asked her husband Ed, a retired machinist, for help. Out of love for his wife, Ed Clark fashioned a tiny homemade prong collar for her to try.
And the first original Micro Prong was made.
Sylvia's Tack Box gets started.
Sylvia was thrilled. She used her new collar everywhere. When her friends at the dog shows began inquiring where she obtained her unusually tiny prong collar, she simply said, "Ed made it." Soon after, they began asking if Ed might make more.
In his little home shop, Ed hand created and machined ten special tools that could produce miniature prong collars to his exact specifications. He manufactured the end pieces and middle links, while Sylvia field tested the product and fine tuned the assembly. Together, they would sit in the evenings, in front of TV trays full of parts, assembling Micro Prong collars for their friends and later, for the public.
The Timmermans carry on the Clark's tradition.
Walt & Connie Timmerman, active in the show dog community, had become friends with Ed & Sylvia in the 1990's. Connie was a dog handler like Sylvia, and showed many breeds, including Miniature Pinschers, Brussels Griffon, and Toy Fox Terriers, while Walt raced cars and enjoyed working with his hands. Upon Ed & Sylvia's retirement in 2003, they purchased Sylvia's Tack Box, producing Micro Prongs, competition gloves, leather leads, and dumbbells for obedience competitors.
Just like Ed & Sylvia, the combination of "a-machinist-married-to-a-dog-person" produced the extraordinary insight needed to build such a small and unique artisan collar. Walt & Connie carried on the tradition of hand crafting small and toy breed items for 12 years in their Minnesota shop. During that time, they improved the Micro Prong design, added a quick release option, and increased sales to include worldwide customers.
Sylvia's moves to Kimberland Collars.
In 2015, with ailing parents and an impending move to Arizona, Walt & Connie put the business up for sale. Denise Stringfellow, owner and head trainer of a large dog obedience training and daycare facility in Washington state, and her husband Scott, a machinist/mechanic, purchased Sylvia's Tack Box in 2016.
A dog handler, obedience competitor and a long time customer of Sylvia's Tack Box, Denise knows the Micro Prong collar well, having instructed both professional handlers and family dog owners on its proper and successful use for over 20 years.
Under the new name of Kimberland Collars, Veteran artisans now manufacture the Original Micro, Ultra Micro, Duro Micro and have recently added a new line, Kimberland 2.25mm Prong Collars – by hand – in their rural town Cle Elum, Washington. Rachelle and Team are using the very same tools that Ed Clark Machined in his little shop long ago, so that Sylvia, the woman he loved, could walk her favorite little dogs nicely on the leash without pulling.