Innovative designs are important when it comes to catching the eye of today’s pet parents. Pet Age asked Megan Miquelon Bolton, who is the owner, chief creative officer and one of the co-founders of Metro Paws, how the brand has formed a strong relationship with consumers as well as with retailers.
What inspired the founders of Metro Paws to start the brand in 2009?
Metro Paws started out of straight FOMO. Myself and my co-founder, Jonathan, realized that all the eco-friendly products available were for humans. For us, we see pets as families and believe they deserve the best too. With my extensive background in design and art direction and Jonathan’s history of sales and entrepreneurship, we decided to create eco-friendly poop bags with exciting prints. From that point on, we set out to give pet parents products that stand out and are better for their pets. We offer 20 bags per roll instead of 15, design bags with four-color prints instead of one, use eco-friendly materials instead of plastic and our product line has grown from there. I still design every single product we introduce, meaning you can count on Metro Paws to constantly give customers and their pets something stylish and fun.
How does Metro Paws support local pet stores?
The real question is what do we not do? Metro Paws is the only dog waste bag, grooming wipe and pet toy maker that sells solely to local stores. We invest in monthly and yearly Astro programs for all our products, and we pay to gate our products on Amazon. Our prices on Amazon are over MSRP so store retailers don’t have to worry about that competition from us. We also sell directly to stores or through independently owned regional distributors who make shopping locally their priority. Finally, when stores have events, sales, a charity they work with, etc., Metro Paws provides them with samples and promotional items. Even when we shop for our pets, we do so locally.
What makes Metro Paws products unique and innovative?
We focus our attention on our customers’ needs, ways to make our products eco-friendlier, and ease of merchandising for stores. We are the most innovative, eco-friendly and colorful pet essentials company on the market. We add more value to the product for the customer, whether it’s more units per package, easier-to-carry packaging or unique POPs for stores.
Our Poopy Packs poop bags were created from those same needs, and we’ve updated the formula to be MORE eco-friendly. Our Poopy Packs are some of the most biodegradable dog waste bags on the market and degrade up to 25 percent in 30 days in or out of a landfill. When we created our Metro Wipes grooming wipes, we knew that pet parents wanted large, thick wipes so we did just that while making them paraben and alcohol-free. We also made an activated charcoal version of our wipes because we knew customers would love that, and we as pet parents love it too. We even use our wipes on ourselves.
We mold the only compostable dog waste bag holder made in the U.S.A. and it comes in vibrant colors. We added petrochemical-free tennis balls because pet health and safety are important to us as pet parents. We’ve added all these products so pet parents can feel good about purchasing all while not sacrificing what is important to them.
What can you tell us about Metro Paws’ 2021 cat collection?
One of the benefits of focusing on local stores is that we have direct communication with buyers and customers, so we hear the feedback both good and bad. Cat parents were tired of so many dog-centric products on the market, and cat people wanted in on the fun too. We started with biodegradable four-color cat litter bags with fun designs in 2016, then we added pet-safe mini tennis balls that cats love. In 2021, we launched our Metro Bliss line of organic Silvervine nip and sticks. Why Silvervine? Because our team knew that cats respond more to Silvervine than catnip. We sourced the goods directly from a farmers’ cooperative and made the packaging unique. Cat parents deserve fantastic products too.
What innovations can we expect from Metro Paws in 2023?
We don’t want to spill all the tea here, but we can tell you we are working on some event-centric products, some things people and their pets will really enjoy. Of course, they’ll feature our modern designs and colors. We suggest you check your local shops and this magazine this quarter to see what we will be releasing.