Heather Smith is the owner of King Wholesale, which is based in Yuba City, California.
Q What pet trends have had the biggest impact on King Wholesale since you took over in 2013?
A I believe that both identifying pet allergies and feeding/treating with the correct ingredients has really become the norm since 2013. In regard to food and treats, pet parents are looking not only for single or limited ingredients, but also unique ingredient sources.
Q Can you explain the motto “a one-stop shop for everything but food”?
A Here at King Wholesale, we strive to keep the warehouse stocked with a variety of products ideal for small retailers and pet related businesses. Our product mix contains well-known name brands of toys, treats, grooming and training products, as well as products that are unique from smaller manufactures. We work with over 150 different brands and [with] free shipping at only $200, it makes it very easy for customers to order regularly to keep their businesses stocked.
Q What do you seek in manufacturers for a potential partnership?
A First, I look for a quality product that I can stand behind… as the manufacturers who have worked with me throughout the years know, I test everything! In order for the products to be successful, we believe it is important that the manufacturer knows our business, our order policies and can work with us to promote and educate our customers on why we carry that vendor and why we love their products. Ensuring our manufacturers have specials here and there to entice the buyers is always helpful, too!
Q How would you describe quality customer service?
A Communication. Everything is made better through communication. We are real people and when you call King Wholesale (during business hours), a real person will answer, not a machine. Customer service is about more than taking care of problems, it’s about getting to know our customers and proactively bringing products and solutions to them so that they can do their jobs more effectively. We are not perfect and have experienced a fair amount of challenges like any company, but we strive to stay in communication with our customers when issues do occur.
Q What impact did your mom, who started King Wholesale in 1987, have on you?
A From a young age, my mother instilled in me a hard work ethic and a drive to be the best at what we do. She insisted on quality over quantity, and King Wholesale has grown slow and steady since she started the company over 30 years ago. My mother was passionate about the pet industry, and it definitely was contagious to be around her as she explained new products to the King Wholesale team.