As people all over the world began working from home due to the pandemic, the pet market has undoubtedly been changed irrevocably. In fact, as previously reported by WWD, the global market for pet products, excluding food, is projected to hit $36.89 billion by 2025.
Which makes sense given that not only were pet owners noticing more needs of their cats and dogs, but they were also adopting new fur babies now that they had more time at home.
According to Parisa Fowles-Pazdro, founder and chief executive officer of Maxbone, the modern one-stop shop for pet essentials, while designers are entering the market there’s still quite a gap to fill for stylish yet practical pet gear. In fact, five years ago, when Fowles-Pazdro first looked into starting her business, despite her research revealing that the pet market was a billion-dollar industry, many struggled to find quality products for their beloved pets.
Everything Maxbone creates, she told WWD, is designed to fill a need either to introduce something that doesn’t exist or didn’t meet the company’s standards (or the standards Fowles-Pazdro has for her own dog).
And these quality products have certainly struck a chord for consumers who want to give their pets the best. Notably, Maxbone boasts a 300 percent year-over-year sales growth and had a waiting list of more than 5,000 people for its travel-related items — which alone gave the company a 100 percent sales spike. The company has also made waves on social media from collaborations with a number of well-known brands and designers including Disney, Ouai, The Laundress, Away, Christian Cowan and most recently pandemic-loved brand bala.
Having started working with partners on collaborations early on in the company’s history, Fowles-Pazdro told WWD was very intentional, saying it was key in customer acquisition but also retention.
“With accessories, you don’t have retention because people don’t have the need to come back as often, but with Maxbone they do,” Fowles-Pazdro said. “It’s about that emotional customer or social media person who is willing to buy another color leash. The way we do four collaborations a year is seeing that the consumer hasn’t come back for three months so a way to get them excited again and get their attention again is by creating a new collaboration. It’s allowed us to create bigger lifetime value by keeping the customer interested, intrigued and creating magic around the brands.”
In addition to Maxbone’s loved accessories, the company recently launched Mb eats, a scientifically developed line of freeze-dried dog food composed of real ingredients that would be found in your kitchen, protein with no hormones or antibiotics and sources in the U.S.
“What I’m happy about since having launched it five years ago is that we’ve created a following, a fan base by creating a brand,” Fowles-Pazdro said. “There was no branded dog brand out there that you feel like [you would call out the recognizable designer name], and I never wanted to be that because I’m not doing this to dress dogs up — I’m doing it for practical reasons. You’re wearing a jumper because it’s cold outside.”
At the same time, Fowles-Pazdro said, noting that the industry is still very archaic, she is excited that the industry is starting to see competitors creating much-needed, quality products for pets.
“I think now the pet industry is getting a lot of limelight right now and I’m so happy it’s finally getting that recognition,” Fowles-Pazdro said. “We’re trying to modernize the pet world. Pets are like our family members. And we highlight the fashion element of it, but the business element of it is not just fashion — it’s kind of all of it together.”
Part of this modernization is recognizing today’s consumers who shop for sustainable, long-lasting items.
“It’s that consumer that everyone talks about who wants a better product with better quality and not to pay a fortune,” Fowles-Pazdro said. “For example, our multifunction leash, is $55 but it’s a good quality and should last for a long time. We have affordable, luxury products.”
Elevating the products even further this holiday, Maxbone has launched a gift box option for pet lovers who are shopping for their dogs. This year, Fowles-Pazdro says she expects every dog will have the Maxbone bala gift set on their holiday wishlist.