Q Since founding PetRageous Designs in 2004, why have you modeled your pet bowls after human dinnerware products?
A We have found that the dog bowls need to coordinate with the owner’s colors, patterns, themes, etc. Over the past 14 years, colors have changed about every four to five years. Now, the grays and taupes are important, but cobalt blue, hunter green and cranberry were all hot in 2004-2007. Then PINK became the hot color. We also look at trends in motifs; and for cats, we can keep it extremely colorful and whimsical.
Q Where do you find inspiration for your product designs and colors?
A Everywhere! My eyes never rest! Stores, magazines, catalogs, kids’ clothing, people’s homes and kitchens, etc. I must subscribe (still) to every magazine out there and hop on a flight with 80 pounds of magazines that I rip and tear going outbound and organize coming home. I am a very visual person and like to get ideas that we then “PetRageous-ize.” For pet clothing, the times have changed in the past 12 years. It used to be the consumer wanted a bone or paw print on the sweater, PJs, etc. Now it is all how we can make it more like the owners’ clothing in terms of fabrics, knits, and fleece. Trends in clothing keep up with the owners’ trends which is really fun to work on each year.
Q What are the benefits of PetRageous Designs offering direct distribution to retailers?
A We do this very successfully because the distributors never keep that many different SKU’s, and our line is extremely broad in nature. Whether it is ceramic bowls, stainless bowls, placemats, toys or clothing, the line is extensive. Many retailers buy what they can from a distributor and layer in the extras direct from our California warehouse.
Q What product categories have recently been outperforming your expectations?
A Stainless steel has been doing extremely well with new colors and non-stick that really works on the bottoms of bowls. And of course, clothing for fall has been checking, great from holiday to PJs to sweaters and coats. Our first introduction of Eddie Bauer Clothing is actually in production right now and the line has been very well received by retailers. We are excited for the launch.
Q After you lost your dog Buddy in 2014, what made you decide to bring Brady into your family?
A The loss of Buddy two days short of his 10th birthday to cancer was extremely sad for me, the family and everyone at the office. I could not stand being without a dog. He is with me 24/7 unless of course I am traveling. So within 10 days of my dearest Buddy passing, I decided to go “look at” another Wheaten Terrier. Well, that was a short story, as he came home with me that day! Our company is extremely pet friendly, and not only do we love having the dogs with us each day—we use them as dog models, as fit models, and toy testers at all times.