Wet Dog (Season 5 Episode 31) • Stephanie Hansen

Wet Dog, is an online retailer, based in Minnesota, that offers high-quality pet products and gives back to dog rescues with every purchase.

 

Welcome back to another exciting episode of Makers of Minnesota! In today’s episode, we dive into the world of pet products and meet a company that is making a splash in the industry. Say hello to Wet Dog, an online retailer that offers high-quality pet products and gives back to dog rescues with every purchase. We’ll hear from Heather Johnson, the sales and marketing expert behind Create it’s Wet Dog shampoo, as she shares insights into the challenges of the competitive shampoo market and the importance of sourcing ingredients locally. Plus, we’ll discover how Wet Dog is expanding its brand and gaining traction in the marketplace. So, grab a comfy spot for you and your furry friend because this episode is all about pampering our pets and celebrating the special bond we share with them. Let’s get started with “Wet Dog“!

SHOW TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS:
Stephanie [00:00:12]:

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the makers of Minnesota Podcast, where we talked cool people doing cool things and there’s nothing cooler than your pets, right? Everybody’s crazy about their dogs and their cats. I was just on a trip for 10 days away from my dog, and I got home, and he has not stopped, like, being by my side ever since. I think I’m giving them a complex because I keep leaving. But I am here at Heather Johnson, and she’s from the company Create it. She does sales and marketing for a product that specifically for pets called Wet Dog. Hello, Heather. Thanks for joining us.

Heather Johnson [00:00:48]:

Hello. Thank you for having me.

Stephanie [00:00:50]:

So what do you think it is about pets and dogs in particular that we are so obsessed and have to buy, like, all these fancy products for them.

Heather Johnson [00:01:03]:

well, I think it’s 1st and foremost the unconditional love. Pets just brings so much joy to us, and we wanna give them everything we can because they’re they’re just so loving to us, and they really enhance our lives.

Stephanie [00:01:17]:

Don’t you think too? Like, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just because I had a dog for 18 years that died, and then I rescued another dog. And this dog is fairly, I’m just gonna say needy. not in a bad way. He just really likes me and really wants to be with me all the time, and my other dog was a lot more independent. And I also think like COVID, we spent 2 years with our free animals. And in a lot of instances, they were our only people that we interacted with or not people, but they just gave us so much joy during a time. Many of us spent a lot more time outdoors with our pets. It just really feels like coming out of COVID, people’s pets mean more to them than ever.

Heather Johnson [00:02:00]:

Yeah. Definitely. I know the you know, you have extra bonding time. You’re sitting on the couch. You’re watching TV with them. there was a lot more walks going on. just a lot more time to, kind of enrich their lives with our presence as well.

Stephanie [00:02:18]:

Can you tell me a little bit about formulation about wet dog products in particular and why, it’s cool that they’re made here. I love that that they’re made in Minnesota. But what is it like? I I don’t even know, like, some people don’t even wash their dogs, right? They just either take them to a salon or once a year, they get thrown into the lake?

Heather Johnson [00:02:42]:

Yeah. well, our our pet product is super cool. well, because we have flower power in it. And that just simply is the essence of rescue remedy. So during the bath, people get anxious too because we’re not used to bringing our pet to the bathroom. And so they kind of feed off of that. So it’s relaxing for both the pet owner and for the pet.

Stephanie [00:03:04]:

And you’ve got a shampoo, a conditioner. And is there another type of spray too?

Heather Johnson [00:03:09]:

Yep. We have a detangling spray and it’s, like, a skin conditioner as well. So it helps for dry itchy or flaky skin.

Stephanie [00:03:17]:

When you have pets, like, how often should you be bathing them?

Heather Johnson [00:03:23]:

well, that’s gonna depend upon your pets. Sometimes you have a guy that loves to get outside and roll around in the dirt and mud and just kind of be adventurous. those pets are product is safe to use on them as much as you’d like. because it is all natural. we’ve taken out all of the parabens sulfates, peanut wheat, gluten, and dye. And, so again, it’s safe for your pet to use every day. It has a very high quality of oatmeal protein, so it’s excellent for their skin and their coat. and then you could just have a guy that’s real, you know, wants to be a laptop. I think at your own discretion, if you notice, like, that wet dog smell, maybe you might want to consider a bath. and those little, you know, we call it a spa day and make it real special for them.

Stephanie [00:04:11]:

Oh, that’s cute. I never thought about that giving the old Stanley a spa day, but I suppose why not? Exactly. Is there a competition? Is this a competitive market this product?

Heather Johnson [00:04:24]:

I would say that shampoo in general is kind of competitive. It’s kinda hard to, you know, reinvent the wheel for shampooing, so to say, But what really makes us stand out is that our product is a 100% sourced in the United States. as you know, in the United States, we have very standards when it comes to, what goes into products that we use on our body or and or consume. So you’re guaranteed that you’re gonna have nothing but high quality ingredients, and you’re going to be supporting, a

Stephanie [00:04:59]:

family owned business in the United States and in Minnesota. So when you are going into your sales and marketing pitch, like, is it do you try to get this product on, like, you know, more boutique stores, or are you, like, trying to get it into the pet smarts of the world? And how challenging is it for a small business to compete with, you know, some of the bigger guys?

Heather Johnson [00:05:23]:

well, we’re we’re in the process of of doing a lot of marketing locally, we have partnered with, Jerry SUPERVALU. So we’re working in local, family owned businesses at this time. but, yeah, it is a competitive market. And, you know, making yourself stand out is you know, something that you have to work on daily. You have to build trust with the consumer, and you have to back your you have to, you know, every day go out and, and give the best, the best to everybody. Or otherwise, you know, if you lose trust, you’re not gonna make it very far.

Stephanie [00:06:01]:

Right. And is there other like product lines or extensions that you guys have explored? Or I love it that you’re at Jerry super value. They do a really good job of supporting Minnesota makers. And, they’re a great family business as well. But Can you, like, is it hard to get traction, or can you get traction with a couple of products and then expand the line, or is the goal really to just get this these three items in as many stores as possible?

Heather Johnson [00:06:30]:

you know what? We’re always looking at growing our brand. we’re always looking at, you know, what what do our pets need, you know, things evolve and, and we kind of we want to keep a pulse on the industry so that we can be competitive in the marketplace. So I would say we’re always looking to grow. We’re always looking to improve our And, you know, with that in mind, you know, we keep our eyes wide open in the industry. So we can, again, be competitive.

Stephanie [00:07:00]:

What’s your biggest marketing challenge so far?

Heather Johnson [00:07:04]:

Oh, gosh. Our biggest marketing challenge so far I would say is, just really getting the word out, to all the people, not just in Minnesota, is growing our, our product brand throughout the United States. and by doing that, we have started working with, USA Made products. we’re talking right now with the army and the air force reserves to be in their PX stores for American May products, as well as in the New York market. We’re in the made in the USA store, which is pretty cool.

Stephanie [00:07:40]:

Yeah. That is cool. when you think about just how different it is like because you’re not really marketing to dogs. You’re marketing to the families of dogs. Is it women or men or who’s your primary target?

Heather Johnson [00:07:55]:

Oh gosh. I think it’s pretty equal between, men and women. it you would be surprised when we’re at the state fair and that that civilian, that it’s across the board. Anybody who loves their pet has a ton of questions for us. They wanna know about our product line, and they will spend 10 more dollars on their pet every single time if it’s for the best interest of their pet.

Stephanie [00:08:21]:

Yeah. Probably more than they would spend on themselves in some cases.

Heather Johnson [00:08:26]:

Absolutely. I have definitely seen that.

Stephanie [00:08:29]:

Is the pet pavilion a sales opportunity for you, or do you use it as marketing or both?

Heather Johnson [00:08:35]:

I would say both. We’ve been, at the Minnesota State Bear since

Stephanie [00:08:40]:

2012.

Heather Johnson [00:08:43]:

we see a lot of repeat people that will come in that have to show us pictures of their pet every year, where they’ve been with their pet every year. And so the connection with everybody in Minnesota is fantastic. we love getting out and shaking hands and, you know, meeting everybody and hearing their pet stories. And then, of course, we all take the opportunity to sell our product and get it in the hands of, pet parents everywhere so that they can go home and, again, do the spa day with their fur baby.

Stephanie [00:09:13]:

If people wanna try a wet dog right now besides Jerry’s, what’s the best way for them to get it?

Heather Johnson [00:09:20]:

they can go online wet dashdog.com, and they can order from us. What’s super cool about that is that with every online order, we give 5% back to a dog rescue every month. this month, it’s pause for pause. and like I said, so if you order directly from us, we do give back to at charities. And also, you can find a list of all of our, retail partners on our social media as well as on our website.

Stephanie [00:09:51]:

I love it. And what’s your social media handle so people can follow you guys?

Heather Johnson [00:09:55]:

It is Wet Dog, w e t d o g.

Stephanie [00:09:58]:

Okay. Simple is that. Alright. How’s that? Yeah. Well, I’m excited. I’m gonna check out your products. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to get by your booth at the Fair. get to face to face. Yes. Yes. thank you for reaching out, and thanks for being a Minnesota maker. We’re excited about it.

Heather Johnson [00:10:17]:

Thank you so much. I was so happy to be here and meet you today.

Stephanie [00:10:20]:

For sure. Thanks, Heather.

Heather Johnson [00:10:21]:

Thank you.

Stephanie [00:10:22]:

Okay. Bye bye.

 



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