This small company makes a big impact with organic bath and skincare products.
By Anne Sedjo
Juliann Eskite will tell you what separates Juno’s Garden in Pacifica, Calif., from everyone else is the word “organic.”
“We were the first to do organic,” states the owner of the company known for bath and skincare brands Pal Dog and Pal Kitty. “Now others do it, meaning ‘organic’ and not ‘natural.’ Store owners are better at teaching the difference now. [Organic] is important in that our products go on skin. Everything that goes on skin is absorbed and also can be licked off.
“I noticed a lot at the trade shows this fall that stores are asking better questions,” Eskite continues. “The trades [magazines] have really helped educate stores with that. It’s important that the customers know. The customer may think they are buying something that is good for them, but that doesn’t mean it’s chemical-free just because it is natural.”
The company’s top-selling product is Soothing Balm, made for dogs since it contains essential oils that can be dangerous to cats. The website lists ingredients of each product. The balm is formulated to sooth and heal dry patches, cuts and hot spots; it contains mango seed butter, organic sunflower seed oil, calendula extract and pure lavender oil.
At a Glance
Owner: Juliann Eskite
Location: Pacifica, Calif.
No. of Employees: Three part time
Flagship Product: Soothing Balm
No. of Years in Business: Five
Other Juno’s Garden top-selling products include the Calming Lavender and Rosemary & Mint shampoos and massage baths, and Daily Formula Freshen-Up Spray. The Pal Kitty Freshen-Up Foam is a popular item for detangling, Eskite says. A third brand contains the Dog Walkers hand cream for humans.
She says in a tough economy, people are looking for something more.
“Times are really tough and people are not going to buy another fragrance just because it smells different,” she comments. “They buy a product they need for a purpose. A variety of products can solve problems holistically–problems such as dry skin and ear infections. I’m excited and looking forward to some of the things we’re going to do this year. We are testing on our own dogs.”
Some products will be out in the summer, Eskite says, with more shampoo products out in the spring. She expects to have a new puppy product this year.
Blogging is another recent development; Eskite believes retailers need extra help in this economy in dealing with and educating customers.
Pal Dog, Pal Kitty and Dog Walkers brands
Calming Lavender and Rosemary & Mint shampoos and massage baths
Lavender & Aloe Conditioner & Cream Rinse
Daily Formula Freshen-Up Spray
Outdoor Formula Freshen-Up Spray
Ear Wash Treatment Gel
Boo Boo Treatment Gel
Soothing Spot Spray
Healthy Pup System Set
Pal Kitty Freshen-Up Foam
Healthy Kitty Gift Set
Dog Walkers Sweet Orange & Calendula Hand Cream
Organic Puppy System Set
Pal Dog Soothing Care System Set
Pal Dog Travel Set
“Manufacturers are kind of removed from the customer,” she explains. “A blog allows us to give something out of our personality, our experience and our knowledge to our customers. Retailers can go on there and take ideas and use articles from there.
“We also do a newsletter to retailers,” she adds.
Eskite started Juno’s Garden in 2004 with the Pal Dog line. In 2007, the company introduced Pal Kitty. Last year, the Pal Dog Treatment Gel line to target specific skin-related issues was released. It was inspired by Eskite’s work with her senior dog Soleil. Her other dogs, Juno and Guinness, also played big parts in the decision to start the company.
This year, Eskite wants to push more exposure for the small company and make sure people know it is “still around and specializes in organic healing products.”
“We started when the pet industry was crazy [huge],” she notes. “We were the little fish in the big sea. Now, people know Juno’s Garden and certainly know Pal Dog.”
Being small has its benefits, she says.
“We are a small company so we make everything in small batches,” she explains. “It keeps products fresh and enables us to add in organic ingredients as they become available. It sets us apart from the big guys.
“One of the benefits of being small is you have flexibility,” she adds. “You can incorporate something new very easily.”
The company sells products to natural food stores (human), independent pet stores, boutiques and groomers. <HOME>
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