A sense of style isn’t exclusive to bipeds. At least not as far as Leilani Roman-Diaz is concerned.
The self-proclaimed animal lover launched The Plaid Pet Co., last February, intended to deck out pets with the kind of accessories proving no one needs to compromise fashion for their furry friend.
When she’s not working as an executive administrative assistant at a Long Island-based lead and asbestos abatement company, Roman-Diaz sews neckties and bandanas for dogs. Coming from a long line of seamstresses, Roman-Diaz has found a way to preserve her family’s legacy of sewing.
“I really wanted to carry on that legacy,” she said. “My mom sews. My aunts — they all sew.”
The time at home caused by the coronavirus pandemic gave Roman-Diaz an opportunity to finally set the wheels of her business into motion.
“This is not something really new for me,” she said. “I always had office work, but I really wanted to start sewing. And it’s something I was giving mind to during the pandemic.”
Roman-Diaz’s family moved to Riverdale a little over a year ago from Kingsbridge. One thing she noticed right away was how much her neighbors really cared about their pets. And her own dogs — Mose and Sophie — would serve as the initial inspiration for what would become her own pet fashion company.
She strives to make products that are both modern and traditional. So pet bandanas and neckties seemed the perfect, stylish add-on for already picture-perfect pooches.
“I just kind of woke up one day, and I said, let me get to it,” Roman-Diaz remembers. “I just ordered my sewing machine and I’ve loved it ever since.”
Roman-Diaz knows four-legged friends vary in size, which means she offers neck sizes from small through large. And her company offers a bandana print for seemingly every mood — from a neutral-toned “blushing terrazzo” print for more mellow days, to the alternating warm and cool-toned rainbows of “bright iris” which suits bursts of energy.
The “chasing eucalyptus” bandana is cool toned for any weather, Roman-Diaz added, while the “summer lovin’” bandana-scrunchie set is perfectly for the beach, providing pets a little Sandy moment from “Grease.”
Plaid Pet makes products from eco-friendly materials such as cotton, Roman-Diaz said, ensuring pets and the environment are treated with love and respect.
“Our fur babies,” she said, “deserve only the best.”