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Wag N’ Wash Appoints New President, Pack Leader


Press release: Wag N’ Wash

Wag N’ Wash is welcoming a new pack leader. The full-line specialty retail destination for cats and dogs announced today that Kristen Risby, the brand’s former vice president of marketing, will take over as the new president.

The announcement comes in tandem with a thriving pet industry as the pet product industry surpassed $100 billion for the first time ever, according to the American Pet Products Association. This industry momentum has propelled growth at Wag N’ Wash too, as the brand experienced a 10.6 percent increase in sales systemwide during the first four months of 2021 compared to last year.

Risby has been a key player in supporting Wag N’ Wash reach these impressive sales heights in recent years. Making a profound impact on the franchise since her start in 2019, she is transitioning from vice president of marketing and taking over as president this month. Risby begins this new role with goals to catapult national franchise development and maintain systemwide excellence.

“The incredible Wag N’ Wash network has welcomed me into my new role with open arms, and paws,” said Risby. “Looking back, it’s inspiring, yet humbling, to see how far we have come as a brand to further cement ourselves as leaders in the prosperous pet industry. We would not be in this spot today without the resilience of our franchisees and their dedication to maintaining customer and employee satisfaction this past year—they’re a major contributor to our recent soaring sales numbers. As we continue to ride this new wave of growth, I’m confident this upward sales trend will create even more development opportunities for Wag N’ Wash systemwide. I’m honored to ‘lead the pack’ during this monumental time and look forward to this next era with a brand I know and love.”

During her time as vice president of marketing, Risby spearheaded a marketing refresh and helped establish a refined e-commerce platform to accommodate online ordering. This added online presence allowed Risby’s marketing team to take over all local, digital marketing efforts for each store during the pandemic.

Risby also streamlined notable initiatives that reinforced Wag N’ Wash’s standing as a community-focused, culture first brand. From brand partnerships with national non-profits such as Freedom Service Dogs and The Trevor Project, to store level grassroots events including annual adoption weekends and round up campaigns, Risby prioritized franchisee engagement with the communities they serve.  Her latest store-level marketing push will entail a Love & Kindness event in line with June’s Pride Month to reinforce the value Wag N’ Wash has for its customers and the brand’s inclusive environment.

“Kristen has been a fantastic edition to Wag N’ Wash, and we could not be more excited for her to embrace this new role,” said Jef Strauss, co-founder of Wag N’ Wash. “This transition comes at an exciting time for the brand as our systemwide sales and excitement for the future are at an all time high. As we gear up to open our first store in Missouri, we anticipate entering additional new markets that are primed to house a Wag N’ Wash location soon. Kristen’s leadership will no doubt play a major role as we welcome new franchise partners and continue to uphold our impeccable brand reputation in existing markets.”

Since Wag N’ Wash’s inception in 1999, the Colorado-based company has been a leading place for pet guardians to find quality goods and services for their pet companions, and simply be pet people. Among the store’s offerings are various brands of all-natural pet foods for dogs and cats, full-service grooming, supplements, collars and leads, toys, supplies and unique goods. In addition, Wag N’ Wash’s do-it-yourself dog wash facility is designed to put convenience and fun into the “chore” of washing your dog.

With 15+ stores open across the country, Wag N’ Wash is focused on growing the brand in new markets including Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis, Portland, Seattle, Austin, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Northern Virginia, with qualified franchisees who have the passion and skillset to succeed with the company.

Wag N’ Wash Natural Pet Food & Grooming, a full-line specialty retail destination for cats and dogs, has a mission to recognize, promote and foster the positive impact that companion pets and their humans have on each other. Wag N’ Wash provides fresh-baked dog treats, natural food, supplements, full-service grooming and self-wash facilities and toys. In 2020, Wag N’ Wash was ranked on Denver Business Journal’s Colorado-Based Franchisors List, Franchise Times Top 200+ List and Included on Franchise Gator’s Top 100 Franchisees List for the third year. Today, there are 15+ Wag N’ Wash locations open across the nation.

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