So, I thought a little update was in order as we usher in the holiday season. This is our busiest time of year, as it is for most consumer products and I wanted to share some news about what we've been up to this year.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone once again that have supported us and our growing little company. We are constantly amazed and sometimes surprised to hear how much you love our products. We started this company with the goal of providing natural, healthy toys and pet care products that aren't typically found in the big box stores. What we have learned is that there is a very large market for the type of products that we manufacture, and this market seems to be growing. People are becoming more educated when it comes to their pets, whether it's with food, toys or care products, and this is a great thing. I believe that the market is turning toward healthier pet products as people realize the negative effects of chemicals in their pet's foods and toys, along with the rising rate of cancer in dogs and cats. This was the reason we started BoxerTUFF, and it is what keeps us motivated to push ahead when things seem to get overwhelming. We truly believe that we can make a difference, one sale at a time.
We have accomplished quite a bit in the second half of 2017. Along with consistently increasing sales, we have started to distribute for some other manufacturers. We are very selective with the products that we choose to distribute, as they must meet our high standards of quality, and must be family owned and customer oriented. We are currently the exclusive Ontario distributors for CuBowl, a Western Canadian company that manufactures copper and silver bowls that eliminate bacteria and slime in your dogs' water. We are also distributors for Stephen Health Agency, an Eastern Canadian company that manufactures hemp and cannabis based pet treats and supplements. And finally, we are proud to be distributing Tether Tug, a U.S. company that manufactures interactive tug poles for your dog, which you may outfit with one of our all natural hemp tug toys.
While the majority of the year has been great, we sadly had to say goodbye to one of our own Boxers in June. Tyson was our first Boxer, and will forever have a place in our hearts. He was one of the most laid back dogs I have ever seen, which says a lot when you're talking about a Boxer. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed late 2015 with Pleural Effusion (water around the lungs), and a tumor in one lung. The vet estimated that he had two to three months at best, he ended up staying with us for another 18 months. When it became apparent that he was becoming uncomfortable we had to ultimately make to hardest decision a dog parent can make. Tyson was not the first dog we have lost, but he was the first that we had to make the decision, it was both heartbreaking and liberating to finally see him at ease. We still have our other two Boxers, Mya and Sophie, and a new member to our family, Chloe the Serengeti kitten to fill our hearts.
On a lighter note, we have participated in quite a few events this year, from small community fundraisers to large "pet focused" events such as Woofstock and all of the Canadian Pet Expo events. In doing so we have gotten the opportunity to talk to, and most importantly listen to our customers. The feedback has been great, and we have made small changes and tweaked some of our products to reflect this feedback. The one constant that we seem to hear is "my dog destroys everything" or "it may be tough enough for a Boxer, but is it tough enough for (insert random breed here)?". Let me tell you what our response is, "No, our toys are not indestructible, and if they were I would be worried about your dogs' teeth". Let me explain... we make durable toys, not indestructible toys (because there is no such thing, unless your dog plays with rocks). Our focus is on the healthiness of our products, the fact that our natural hemp rope is not laden with chemicals (bleaches, dyes, etc.), or pesticides. Our focus is on the fact that hemp fibres are digestible, unlike to cotton ropes found at most pet store chains. Our dog toys are meant to be interactive, healthy alternatives for you and your dog to enjoy together. We are not going to be the cheapest products available, but we are certainly not the most expensive either. Unfortunately there are higher costs to manufacture in Canada, but this ensures that we have complete control over every aspect of our products, from ingredients to finished products.
That being said, I need to get back to work finishing up some more toys for our upcoming Christmas shows. As busy and hectic as the Christmas show season is, I have to say that I miss it as soon as it's over.
I look forward to hearing your stories and feedback, either at one of the events we attend, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy holiday season!