Pet parents know the frustration when their furbaby is a mess and you need a quick, safe and effective solution. Now more than ever, people are reading ingredient labels and researching brands to ensure their products are meeting their needs. Pet Age recently spoke with Andres Bergovich, co-owner of Jax & Cali, to discover how a small, family-owned startup has been growing as it makes a name for itself in the pet care community.
What makes the Jax & Cali story so unique?
Jax & Cali co-owners, myself and my mother Gail Beregovich, found that the market was lacking quality sanitary wipes to be used on our dogs after their walks and for on-the-go cleaning. After using the competitor’s products, Gail found that ordinary paw wipes easily ripped, contained potentially harmful ingredients and did not do what they were intended to do, which is to clean. This experience set us off on a quest to produce the highest quality wipe for dogs. Our Paw and Body Wipes are 8 inches by 10 inches, extra-large, thick, textured, natural, hypoallergenic, certified cruelty-free and vegan by PETA, and they contain no harmful chemicals or ingredients. One noteworthy feature about the Paw and Body Wipes is the durability of the wipe, allowing pet parents to use one Paw and Body Wipe for all four paws and body. With a wipe this durable, you can truly clean your pet’s face, ears, eyes, body, all four paws, butt and then throw it away. The Jax & Cali line of pet products started from this simple need.
How would you describe the experience of being a small startup?
Starting a small business in the pet industry requires a strong work ethic, intense personal commitment and a love for animals. When Jax & Cali first started selling our quality Paw & Body Wipes, we had one product with three different variations. Because of our commitment, we decided to showcase their goods personally in the ‘old school’ way. We traveled to major metropolitan markets in the U.S., going door to door at different natural pet stores and pet boutiques trying to meet with the owners to educate them on the Paw & Body Wipes. Some of your audience reading this article will remember those times. As a team, we were relentless and stopped at nothing to get our products on the shelves.
What is it about Jax & Cali’s products that enables you to call them natural and innovative?
Jax and Cali are two piebald mini-dachshunds living their best lives with their mom, Gail, and dad, Ed, in Miami, Florida. They are our family dachshunds that were the impetus in creating the brand Jax & Cali®. Founded in 2015, Jax & Cali is a female owned, family operated, indie brand based in Florida dedicated to holistic and natural wellness for your fur family. In a market saturated with cheap pet products filled with ingredients you would not put on your own body, let alone your best fur friends, Jax & Cali’s visionary pushes the boundaries by developing products based on emergent trends in nutrition and wellness. They are our best friends. Why should we be complacent with giving them the status quo when we are buying better products to better ourselves? The expectation is that if you feed and put on your body quality products, you will live a happy, healthier life. The expectations must be the same with our pets.
What makes it so important for your brand to build a strong relationship with independent pet retailers?
Our independent retailers are the front line and main educators for consumers. Education is the key to building a strong bridge of knowledge and trust between the independent retailer and their consumer. Most consumers that shop at independent retailers take pride in locating and using specialty products, including pet hygiene and food that they cannot find in a big box store. Alternatively, independent retailers take great pride in knowing the background of the products they sell and presenting quality products to their consumers. This combination creates an inherent longevity between independent retailers, their customers and the brands they carry.
Why should a retailer consider carrying your products in their brick-and-mortar store?
Jax & Cali believe that customer service is key. Gail worked for 25+ years in the hospitality industry as Director of Finance and Quality Control. The attributes that Gail learned and set in action daily became instilled in me. Together, we are a unique combination of dedication, drive and service, coupled with our personal experience with pets, to provide brick-and-mortar store owners with serious products and tangible support. We believe that communication and organization are fundamental and practice these on a regular basis. Together, we share all aspects of the business. We ask you to reach out to say hello and give Jax & Cali a try.