06 Mar 14

Made in USA Pets 1 ...

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

On February 19, 2014 in NYC the first ever ‘Made in America‘ pet product expo was held, aptly titled ‘NYC Re-tails & Sales Expo‘ where vendors of American made pet products and retailers could meet.  Vendors came from all over the USA to showcase their products to retailers in the Northeast who came from NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Boston and Connecticut.   I was lucky enough to get amazing feedback from the vendors and asked them all questions about why ‘Made in the USA’ was so important to them, and advice they could offer other pet product manufacturers or inventors.

I am excited to bring you their answers in a article series, ‘Made in USA Pets’  that is not only inspiring, but educational, helpful and shows that you can make, source and sell your American Made pet products here.

Sharon Herrman, Alpha Female of Zelda’s Song who makes beautiful items for humans and dogs alike had this to say:

LIPetPlace: What is the most important reason your products are Made in the USA?
Zelda’s Song:  ”Quality and reliability – the products have to be good enough to honor the life we have with our pets.  It’s not a relationship we take lightly – so the quality needs to reflect that.”
LIPetPlace: If you had advice for other pet product manufacturers out there that want to source and make their products in the USA – what would it be?
Zelda’s Song: “Look around…it’s not always easy to find someone who can manufacture what you want, so ask around the manufacturing community – they usually know who does what within their industry.  Of course The Thomas Register is a good place to start – but go to manufacturing trade shows or conferences in your industry and ask around.”
LIPetPlace: Your biggest accomplishment with your Made in the USA pet product thus far?
Zelda’s Song: “Selected for an upscale dog-themed catalog right out of the gate!  Also, being able to weave together the product and the customer’s story about their dog through social media.”
LIPetPlace: Any additional thoughts you would like the pet owner to know about your product?
Zelda’s Song: “I’m open to ideas and suggestions!  Some of my new items were created directly from customer suggestions!”
Some of Zelda’s Song’s beautiful products!

The same questions were asked to the following vendors from the event.  Jane Bell of Pet Portables who makes very important pet first aid kits and pet travel safety kits had the following answers:

Pet Portables: “Quality and being supportive of manufacturers and products made in this country.
Pet Portables: Don’t give up. It takes a lot of research and cost comparisons. Join groups like Americamadematters.com
Pet Portables: I am able to keep the quality consistent and that everything in my kits is human grade so it’s good for both people and pets.
Pet Portables: This new product has room enough for a roll of pick up bags and your keys. Companies who provide dog walking services should have one clipped to each walker.”

Travel Pet Safety Kit and Pet First Aid Kit by Pet Portables.

Another great product that was featured at the event was Fresh and Fluffy – a whole new spin on washing your pup, no watered needed!  Rod Thomas, Fresh and Fluffy’s Director of Marketing had this to say:

Fresh and Fluffy:
“Our dream is to fresh and fluff pups worldwide, but we think the US is a an excellent first goal. We started locally in Houston, Texas where we have fresh and fluffied puppies throughout the entire city and into the Texas Hill Country. It’s important to take care of your home, and southern pups love the fluffy stuff (!), but thanks to the NYC Re-tails and Sales Expo we were able to showcase Fresh and Fluffy in the northeast, too! Our long-term goal of taking Fresh and Fluffy global begins right here in our home country: the USA, where F&F was born and raised.

Fresh and Fluffy: We are not a manufacturer, but with what we have learned about manufacturing is the importance of examining various sourcing. Be creative. Find the best fit for your product, whether it’s doing it yourself, hunting for larger sources or investigating maker spaces with manufacturing equipment. The pet community is very helpful about helping you locate sourcing, and genuinely appreciates quality products that are made for their furry friends and family.

Fresh and Fluffy: Launching successfully and making our phase one numbers has been great. Almost everyone who experiences the power of the powder appreciates the product. It was also our honor to introduce our product to New York pet owners. They now join our growing nation of F&F fans that buy from more than two dozen retail locations. We also enjoy giving back to the community. We partner with plenty of local shelter groups and adoption organizations to improve the lives of people and pets.

Fresh and Fluffy: The  ease to use it is. It smells great, and with the addition of our lavender scent it’s not just for pups anymore. Our feline friends can now smell fresh and fluffy too! It’s a great product at a great price and really takes the stress off both owners and pets come bath time.

Fresh and Fluffy really does shampoo your pet without the wet!”

Rod Thomas from Fresh and Fluffy!

Lisa Flynn, owner and inventor of the company Harness Lead a new concept on walking dogs that are pullers or shelter dogs that don’t have their manners yet.  From their webstie: Harness Lead is designed to be used as a GENTLE tool by utilizing a dog’s OWN pressure against the leash to encourage and remind him to slow down his pace.
Harness Lead works best in a gentle manner along with positive encouragement and praise from the handler. Relax the leash and let the dog’s pressure be the only pressure against the leash.
Harness Lead: “What is the most important reason your products are Made in the USA? Creating jobs and offering a product with quality craftsmanship.
Harness Lead: If you had advice for other pet product manufacturers out there that want to source and make their products in the USA – what would it be?
Keep trying. It can be a daunting task to find a manufacturer, but they are out there if you don’t give up!
Harness Lead: Your biggest accomplishment with your Made in the USA pet product thus far? Helping to keep dogs safe and comfortable while giving their owners peace of mind that their dog will not get loose, has been the greatest joy and sense of accomplishment.
Harness Lead: Any additional thoughts you would like the pet owner to know about your product? Harness Lead is escape proof, can go from puppyhood to adulthood, fits unusual figures such as giant breeds and helps reduce pulling without choking stress. Harness Lead also has a calming effect on many of it’s users.”

Lisa Flynn of Harness Lead.

Bill Converse, President of Critter Zone USA, the amazing air naturalizer, perfect for your pet store, home, and portable unit for your car had the following to say:

CritterZoneUSA: “Bringing jobs back to America and also time and management control over product manufacturing.

CritterZoneUSA: Research costs of manufacturing in America and you will be shocked to learn that after all is said and done, many times it is less expensive to manufacture here.  If you factor in all of the shipping costs, product and delivery delays, that is loss of productivity and a huge expense to businesses.

CritterZoneUSA: Amazingly, once we made the decision to bring manufacturing back to the USA, we had Chinese wholesalers asking us to ship them product.  Even the Chinese want products that are ‘Made in the USA!

CritterZoneUSA: Yes. We are a unique Air Naturalizer product, unlike anything else on the market.  Having won first place for Best New Product at the 2012 SuperZoo, we feel there is a huge need and acceptance by the pet community for CritterZone.”

Shar Weinrauch of Critter Zone USA

Critter Zone Air Neutralizing portable unit. The CritterZone Air Naturalizer creates a natural, charged flow that fills the room or vehicle and continually cleans the air. The sun provides the outdoor air with the power and energy it needs to clean itself: a power and energy that indoor air lacks. CritterZone provides indoor air with the natural charge it needs to virtually eliminate odors, allergens, dust and bacteria.

‘NYC Re-tails & Sales Pet Expo’ featuring ‘Made in the USA Pet Products’ was hosted by Nancy Hassel, of Long Island Pet Professionals and Dana Humphrey of Whitegate PR, and was Sponsored by Pet Age Magazine and Made in the USA, Certified.  To see more pictures from the expo, click here.  We will be bringing you more articles featuring products and fantastic advice from pet companies Made in the USA!

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