Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Interview with Eezapet

Hey, if you are new to the blog, each month we feature local and small pet businesses and interview the owners to find out more about them and what they are offering. This is a great way to find out more about small local businesses that you may have otherwise not known about, but also to get some inspiration if you are wanting to get into the pet industry.


This month we have Heather from Eezapet. Eezapet is a health care balm that can be used on a range of different skin problems on a range of different animals. It is an easy to apply balm that can be used to relieve the itch associated with hot spots, allergies and rashes of all kinds including mange. It is also a great product to put onto white furred pets as sunburn relief. It is also 100% natural! I used this product a couple of years ago on Asha, a miniature schnauzer when he was having terrible skin problems, and it cleared it up in days! This was after trying a couple of different vet recommended ointments. I definitely recommend this to owners of pets with skin conditions, or even just owners in general to have in their pet first aid kit. I will be using this on Chico, my mothers Greyhound in the coming months when he gets nicks and irritations so hopefully will be able to give a more comprehensive review later down the track. If you want any more information about the product, or to purchase one yourself visit www.eezapet.co.nz
Now into the interview:


1. Do you currently own any pets, or have any plans to own any in the near future?
Yes I have two wonderful SPCA specials - Coco and Bhindi. My pets are never planned they just happen to find me. I do aspire to being ‘that dog lady on the hill’ - if my property is big enough I’d adopt so many rescue dogs.

2. What made you decide to start your own business? How did you form the idea and how did you 
get it off the ground?
Eezapet came from my own need for my chronic allergy sufferer Coco. The vet treatments of steroids were just not working and I was stressed and not being able to help my pet effectively.  I could see she was uncomfortable and in pain from constant itchy rashes - there is no joy when you have an itchy pet.

My background was in volunteering with the SPCA for 10 years, so I had experience with a variety of animals coming in that had various skin conditions so I knew the problem was real and a big concern for owners.

The idea for Eezapet came from our people range called Salveez which we started in 2011 - which is used to treat dry, itchy skin conditions. We did further development to make a pet healthcare  product which was then launched at the opening of the Wellington SPCA in  2014. Having the need addressed and the SPCA using Eezapet to treat animals in their care allowed us to forge ahead entering this market.

3. Have you always wanted to work with dogs/pets?
I have always had an immense love for dogs. Right from a young age we always had pets - cats and dogs the house was never empty.  When I was unable to have my own dog I started volunteering at the SPCA so I could still get my much needed fix. I soon became the relief Canine Carer working with both puppies and dogs and had this role for over 10 years from 2005. I also volunteer when able but with the growth of Eezapet i have taken a short sabbatical - but I will be back as I have a passion for dogs - particularly rescue dogs.

4. What has been the hardest part of starting a pet business?
The hardest part has been getting Eezapet into the retail outlets. Those that see dogs everyday know the need and are early adopters - other retail outlets can be slower on the uptake for a variety of reasons - they require higher margins, will not take on a company with only one product, worried that their other products won’t sell if they bring in a new one.  This part has been the learning journey for me.

5. What has been your biggest accomplishment since starting?
My accomplishments have been many. I get so much joy from seeing so many animals  being treated naturally and effectively with Eezapet - saving the owners time and money - and saving the dogs health too.  Last year we saw a 300% growth and am happy to say that Eezapet is now available in 75+ retail outlets from Whangarei to Invercargill.

6. What has been your biggest regret since starting?
There has not been any regrets. I’m happy in the fact that so many customers who had no effective solution before Eezapet now have a solution.

7. Where do you see Eezapet in the next five to ten years?
We have our business plan laid out. Eezapet will also be available in Australia, Europe, UK, USA, Canada and Asia. We will have expanded our product range and become a leader in the pet healthcare sector.

8. Advice to anyone wanting to start up a small business
Do your homework - research, research, research.
Write your business plan - have your exit strategy -  work back from your end goal to achieve the steps to get there.
Have a business partner - this is key for workloads, planning and bouncing ideas off each other.
Learn patience - “slow and steady wins the race” - have the right steps in place and you will reach your goal.
Listen to your customers without them you do not exist

1 comment:

  1. We are always in the market for a great new bowl! These are cute. Love the mat too! over here

    ReplyDelete