Rebekah: Can you tell me a little about SmartPetLove?
Bob: The company was actually founded by Julee Roth. I knew Julee very well and I loved the effect that Snuggle Puppy had on pets! She and I both share a passion for pets, people and the relationships they share. When she was looking to exit from the business, it seemed like a great match.
We are now 18 years old and have expanded to a much broader product portfolio but with the same passion for pets at our core. In fact, we have taken that founding passion and built the core values of the company to support and encourage a love for pets. Candidly, one of the main things we look for in team members is a passionate love of service. Not only service to our customers but service to the love of pets and their place in pet owners lives. We approach our business with a steadfast pursuit of helping the relationship between pets and their owners. It is what drives us every day.
Rebekah: I know SmartPetLove is a new company name. What spurred the decision to change it?
Bob: While Snuggle Pet Products was a great name, we didn’t feel it conveyed exactly what we were as a brand or, more importantly, why we do what we do. We thought SmartPetLove was about as simple and direct as we could get. We love pets, plain and simple.
We also like to think that our approach to identifying potential problematic areas of pet ownership, like separation anxiety, and developing products to help pet owners alleviate the stress with these potential difficulties is, well, smart. We focus on the relationship points and develop products from there. I am not sure there is any other company in the industry that looks at it from that lens.
Rebekah: Can you tell me a little about the heartbeat technology at SmartPetLove?
Bob: It is the foundation of our flagship products, the Snuggle Puppy and Safe & Sound Harness. It focuses on the potential problematic area and works to solve it. We looked at what could possibly comfort a pet, and subsequently their owner, by trying to identify what the pet is missing. It is our belief it simply boils down to the warmth and “real-feel heartbeat” associated with the pet’s mother and littermates. We believe it is a smarter alternative to the situation than restraints, medication or just the sound of a heartbeat. And when the pet is a dog, there is nothing more natural to a pack animal than another real-feel beating heart. We like to think that is pretty smart. So far, our customers and their pets seem to agree.
Rebekah: Any new products in the works?
Bob: Currently, two new ones. One is already in the market, The Pupcicle. It is a BPA-free, reusable, teething relief aid.
The other soon to hit the market is our real-feel heartbeat with the addition of a calming, breathing sound. We have a patent pending on both and, again, feel they are smart alternatives to regularly experienced difficulties. For more information or to keep up with us, please visit our website smartpetlove.com.
Rebekah: What is a typical day like for you?
Bob: A lot of fun quite frankly. We hear daily from consumers, retailers and our distributors about the comfort and joy our products provide. We receive testimonials, local news articles and phone calls all the time. Managing our growth is a lot of fun, too. We expect to consolidate into one new location in the next 60 days. We are developing new production and shipping practices to keep up with the growth. It’s been a lot more work than we expected, yet fun and exciting, too.
Our dream was to convert from a push product to a pull product in the marketplace. The dream is quickly becoming a reality. We now have other companies chasing us for licensing opportunities, too. We call all that fun! And at the risk of stating the obvious, 50 smart products later, I love working on new product ideas. We can assure you more are on the way.