How do you view your pet? Is it simply an animal in your house or is it a full-fledged member of the family? For most, it’s the latter, as their furry friends take up a prominent place in their hearts.
“People like to spend money on their children,” said Paws & Play co-owner Jolene Ewharekuko. “But they like to spend money on their pets too.”
“Pets are a huge part of people’s families, in general,” said Teah Wilson, paws & Play’s other co-owner. “Some people spend more money on their pets than their own kids, and take ultimate pride in pet ownership.”
“Pets aren’t something you just own anymore, they’ve morphed into something much more important like a child or an actual part of the family.”
Teah and Jolene started Paws & Play as a way for owners to give back to their “fur kids”, providing them a bunch of products to eat, use and consume.
“Paws & Play is a subscription box company for cats and dogs. We send a quarterly or monthly box for pet owners with toys, gadgets treats and goodies,” said Jolene.
“We saw that the business idea was getting really popular in the States,” said Teah. “There wasn’t a lot to choose from in Canada, because with the American rates it gets so expensive with them.”
The biggest challenge thus far has been the growth of their e-commerce business, as every time they’ve scaled up operations, they’ve had to upgrade and update their website, which has come with the occasional headache.
At first the boxes were only shipping to Canada, but the demand from abroad has grown to see Paws & Play shipping across the United States and around the world.
Made in Canada
Everything that goes into the boxes is made in Canada, something that Teah and Jolene stress is a must for their brand. They say that this is the harder part, with finding products developed in Manitoba proving to be a particular challenge, as there are very few suppliers in the province.
This revelation lead to Teah and Jolene developing their own line of artisan dog cookies, called Digz.
Interactions on social media have been strong for Paws & Play (@pawsnplayboxes on Twitter and Facebook.com/pawsnplayboxes), with thousands of people following them.
“We have pet picture contests,” said Teah. “People love sharing pictures of their pets, so when we do that sort of thing, there’s a huge response.”
What’s in a box?
The average box will have one or two high quality and durable toys, one or two treats, a chew, a cookie and a gadget. The toys are typically soft and “lovey”, and whether you get one or two depends on the size of the toy, with the same thing going for the snacks. Gadgets include things like flashlights for leashes for walks at night.
For more information, check Paws & Play out online at their websites pawsandplay.ca and pawsandplaylab.com.