By Scott and Ann Springer
Tom Baran knew how competitive the pet toy market was when he jumped into it. Notwithstanding, Baran determined to create a line of toys that filled what he saw as a void in the industry.
Three years later, business is booming for Baran and his wife. Their company, Paw Paw Pet Products, based in Paw Paw, Mich., designs 210 lines of dog and cat toys and catnip. Business has been so good, in fact that a 15,000-square-foot addition to the company facility is in the works.
“We’ve created a real unique and different product,” Baran says. “They’re fun and use great, colorful designs.”
Paw Paw Pet Products At A Glance:
Owner: Tom Baran
Years In Business: 3
Location of Company: Paw Paw, Mich.
Number of Employees: 8 employees
Web address: www.pawpawpetproducts.com
Baran says he possesses an edge over his competition because he possesses extensive knowledge of the pet industry. Forty-five years ago Baron embarked in the pet industry as a retail store owner. Later, he worked for various manufacturers and also worked as a distributor.
“I understand what everyone on the chain goes through and I try to make it easier for everyone,” Baran says.
Fresh, fun, and new designs keep satisfied consumers coming back for more of Paw Paw Pets’ disposable items. Twenty percent of the company’s inventory is composed of new products, Baran says.
The pet toy segment has changed a lot in the years since Baran owned his own retail store. “The difference is almost like night and day,” he says. “Toys used to be vinyl and latex.”
By contrast, consumers now look for unique features on the toys they purchase for their pets, he says. “People treat their dogs like children,” he says. “They have actual toy boxes for their pets’ toys.”
Baran has established a thriving business that he hopes will continue on long after he’s left his mark. “This is my last chapter,” he says. “This is for the family to carry on the legacy.” <HOME>
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