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A Chat with Chani of Merci Collective

At Procured Goods, we want our customers to learn along with us all the a awesomeness about the products and the creators that bring the brands and products to life. We select products for the site based on many different factors, but we absolutely love stories like this one to share with you about a brand truly created from passion! In this case, the duality of a passion for animals and fashion ! In this interview, we asked creator, Chani Ronez to share some of the inside scoop on how Merci Collective was born, what she has learned along the way, and what she hopes customers will take away from the experience with the products.

1. Was there a catalyst for dreaming up Merci Collective and if so , tell us a little bit about that?

Absolutely, Merci Collective was created after my dog, Benzo, was diagnosed with acute anxiety. Our veterinarian suggested for him to go on doggie xanax for the rest of his life and it did not feel right to me to use such heavy medication on my dog. After spending a lot of time looking at alternative healing methods, healing crystals struck me as such an effective and beautiful remedy. Combined with a blend of supplements and adaptogens, we were able to help Benzo feel less anxious and live the happy life that he deserves. After such a successful experience with Benzo, I thought to myself that we should share this discovery with the world and Merci Collective was born.

2. We have chatted about the history of your parents in the fashion industry in Paris and that influence on you and Merci Collective. Tell us a bit more about that!

The pet accessories industry has not changed much over the years and I often found design and aesthetic were left aside when purchasing things for Benzo. It was always difficult to find quality items that looked the way I wished they would.

Growing up in the fashion industry with this being the main subject of conversation at home and with all the influence and knowledge I collected throughout the years such as attending major fashion events in Paris, it came as an obvious thing for me to “reinvent the wheel” and create unique products that have a healing twist while being aesthetically pleasing.

3. As someone whose products are created with such holistic and energetic formulas, do you have any books that you recommend for people who want to learn about natural healing in general, elements, or natural recipes for healing?

The ressources on holistic healing for animals are yet still limited but the following books have been particularly interesting and an inspiration throughout my research:

  • Practical crystal healing by Nicole Lanning
  • Crystal Healing for Animals by Martin J. Scott & Gael Mariani
  • Energy Healing by Joan Ranquet

It helped me learn about energy healing as a whole and understand the power and nuances of each crystal, which ultimately helped me select stones that would help common ailments the best.

4. What was the first product that you dreamed of when you came up with Merci Collective?

It would be hard to choose only one. I was definitely excited to design “modern” leashes, having a hoop or a beautifully hand braided handle replacing traditional ones. Or a poop bag holder that does not remind you of what it’s for and that has enough room to add treats in it - or even toys that look nice around the house - basically I was excited for the entire journey ahead..

I take so much pleasure in designing accessories that make conscious pet parents happier with their companion that every product we design is in a way a dream come true once I am able to hold them in my hands.

5. The catnip chew toys are such an amazing and unique idea. And beautiful too! Our Cairn, Wookiee, loves chasing it around and just relaxing and chewing on it! What was the inspiration for this?

Toys are for playing but when you think about it, kids love to snuggle with their teddy bears, why would dogs not enjoy the same ritual? Especially for the ones waiting for us to come back from work all day.

Catnip aka Dognip is such a powerful relaxing herb for dogs, so it made a lot of sense to pack our toy with it and offer a teddy bear to our beloved companion for relaxing at home but also for stressful situations, such as a trip to the vet. Bringing a familiar object that smells like home and offers relaxation felt like a must-do in our journey of creating toys. We try to be very intentional and add some kind of healing aspect where we can.

6.What kind of animal or animals do you have and what are their names?

I grew up with animals all around me. Both my parents being animal lovers and I had the chance to grow up with all sorts of animals including many cats, dogs, fish, turtles, hamsters and even horses. Now that I live in Los Angeles, I have one dog, Benzo, a mini black pomeranian. He is my partner in crime and is with me at all times. Doctors say that he has separation anxiety. I believe I have some as well.

7. What is important for new users to your brand to know about Merci Collective products?

We are working around the clock to make the best possible products available. When we design new products, our first priority is safety. We always run our product ideas through several veterinarians to ensure the utmost safety for our beloved companions. Secondly, we spend a lot of time making sure our products are durable. We also are very committed to respecting our environment, most of our products are made in Los Angeles by expert artisan to avoid carbon monoxide emission. For the same reason, we have been using very novel materials such as vegan leather that is made out of nopal cacti, which I am so proud to say is the first sustainable leather-like material.

We pride ourselves on taking a different approach, think outside of the box with and for our animal companions.

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