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Mashdogs: From Four-Legged Friends to BioThane Fashion

Alexandra Istrate (28) lives in a small village near Bucharest in Romania with her cat, four dogs and her girlfriend. When you enter her attic room, you walk straight into the office of her brand Mashdogs. The daylight illuminates the spindle hand press on her desk, there are a few rolling trolleys for her materials and there is a board with the results of her hard work: her self made dog collars. “BioThane is everything my adventurous customers are looking for.”

Where did it all start? “In 2019 I was spending New Year’s Eve with my girlfriend and a friend in Vienna,” Alexandra tells. “Instead of going out, we stayed home that year. My friend ordered some materials from Paracord.eu and we made our first dog collar and leash with PPM cord. Back then I walked dogs as a job, so I had a large audience to test the collars with.” She laughs. “There were multiple dog owners who wanted to order one. That is where the business started.”


“Mashdogs stands for the four dogs we had then: Mila (my friend’s labrador), Arya (my golden retriever), Sasha (my mix of a golden retriever and carpatin shepherd), and Herra (my mix of American bully and pitbull). First I wasn’t very excited about the name, I could only think of mashed potatoes” She chuckles. “But after a while I liked it. Unfortunately my friend decided after a few months that running a business wasn’t something for her. So she stopped.”

From PPM to BioThane

After making a collar and leash with PPM, Alexandra moved soon on to BioThane. “I love BioThane, because it is reliable, strong and easy to clean. It is everything that my adventurous customers are looking for. Of course I made mistakes in the beginning. For example, I started using just two rivets in a collar. One rivet at one side of the D-ring and one on the other. Now I know that it is not secure enough. If one rivet breaks, the collar is damaged. I’ll never forget that.”

Pink Handsfree Leash Mashdogs           


“When I wake up I first walk with the dogs. When I’m back home, I have a cup of coffee and read my messages.” Although Alexandra’s business has been up and running for more than three years, she doesn’t have her own website. “My Instagrampage is the place to order. I like how personal it is. Furthermore, the orders are customized,” she adds. “I ask people what kind of dog they own, in what environment they walk and what colours they like. Then we create a design together.”

“I am the most proud of my hands-free leash. It is like a training assistant, this way you can practice the commands your dog has learned. It can also be useful when you want to run with your dog. Besides, I am proud of the interchangeable Hot Dog Summer collar. Here you see two collars: one with the colours orange & sage and another one with the colours dark green & sage. You can switch between those for a lot of combinations. This way people with fancy dogs can have four combinations with only two collars!”

Dogs & Kids Camps and advent calendars

Besides creating BioThane collars and leashes, Alexandra is not sitting still. Last December she was busy with the compilation of the third advent calendar. “Twenty five individually wrapped gifts that include BioThane accessories, toys, treats, bandanas and many more items for every dog and owner. It is a time consuming process, but I am happy that every year more brands want to collaborate on my soul project. Of course I choose carefully what to accept. I want to be sure that it is of good quality.

What is your next project? “I organize the Kids & Dogs Camps with Dog Scouts Romania every summer. First I only did a workshop with the kids, but slowly I became part of the whole deal. The day starts with a walk with the dogs. When the dogs are resting, the kids will sit down at the table and I teach them how to knot a dog necklace, for example with EM ceramic pipes. I love working with kids, they are so curious.” she beams. “I am really looking forward to the next edition.”

Want to know more?

Earlier Alexandra wrote a guest blog with BioThane tips.

Have a look at her Instagrampage or Facebookpage.

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