AMY SCHUMANN, marketing com-
munications for West Paw Design
in Bozeman, Mont.
What is your definition of Made in USA?
We manufacture 100 of both our
pet toys and beds in our own fa-
cility in Bozeman, Mont. We are
the only pet product brand to do
so, and we have a very strong
opinion on this question. We
employ 75-plus people to design
our products, purchase 89 per-
cent of our raw materials from
American vendors and then
manufacture the both injection
molded and sewn products.
We put a lot of effort toward
sourcing U.S.-manufactured or
U.S.-grown materials for our
toys and beds. For example,
we’ve been partnering with two
family-owned fabric mills for
19 and 12 years and have had a
great business relationship that
would be impossible [to have]
working with someone based
Talk about pet products completely
sourced and made in the USA versus those
assembled or formulated in the USA but
Manufacturing products in the
U.S. are subject to important
regulations such as labor laws
including minimum wage, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other
regulatory agencies that ensure
employees are treated well, the
environment isn’t easily compromised, and that we’re living up to
our product and brand promises.
The latter part here is very important because it’s much harder
to have accurate quality control
when you are selling a product in
the U.S. that was manufactured
in an unknown facility in another
part of the world. A pet company’s marketing and sales teams
might be U.S.-based, but where
the products come from and how
and where they’re produced is
somewhere completely different.
On another note, I see manufacturing in the U.S. as challenging because the supply chain
can often be very restricted. For
example, when I started in 1996
I could source a high-pile fabric
from six mills, but today I have
only two options. This means
that not only have we lost some
technical capabilities, but also,
there isn’t as much demand for
innovation from the remaining
Also, labor is more expensive
in the U.S., so a manufacturer
must be very focused on creating products that are able to be
made with higher labor rates
while also being focused on improving manufacturing through
lean manufacturing technology
and working with industrial engineers. Thankfully, the U.S. has
a great support network of public
and private consultants who can
help manufacturers grow and be
successful over the long term.
Do you see more manufacturers in the pet
industry altering their sourcing and manufacturing to acquire the U.S. label?
We definitely see more manufacturers coming back or opening in
the U.S., and that’s a great thing.
Across all industries, producing
your goods in the USA is a positive for various reasons. We’ve
all seen the negative effects producing overseas can have—
including poor working conditions,
high transportation costs, lengthy
shipping times, and perhaps most
important, less safety controls.
When you manufacture in
the U.S., not only do you have
better oversight over production,
but you’re also employing U.S.
workers and their local econo-
mies. We’ve been manufacturing
pet products in Montana for near-
ly 20 years, and we are so proud
to employ people, and [proud of]
being a part of their success as
they build a family, grow a career
or buy a home. These are relation-
ships you don’t have if your man-
ufacturing is all based overseas.
Are more foreign markets requesting U.S.-made pet products?
West Paw Design is sold in more
than 30 countries, and we attribute this success to the quality
of our products being sought
overseas. American craftsmanship has a reputation around the
world as being some of the best.
We are proud to be a world-class
manufacturer that’s able to use
American talent, and this definitely resonates with our global
How likely is the Made in USA trend to continue growing?
After the recession in 2008, we
saw manufacturing begin to
come back to the U.S. There is
a huge consumer appetite for
American-made goods, whether
that’s for textiles, electronics or
pet products. We see this trend
growing each year.
REDBARN PET PRODUCTS is
expanding its original bully flavored
Bully Slices line to include three
new flavors: Peanut Butter, French
Toast and Vanilla. Bully Slices are
pieces of beef ear and beef hide,
trimmed into rectangular chews and covered with a delectable coating to help
tempt picky eaters. Three of the coatings, original Bully, Vanilla and Peanut Butter,
contain added functional ingredients; chicken cartilage, a natural source of chondroitin, vitamin E and salmon oil all work to help support dogs’ joint health, the
company reports. In addition, chewing on the tough texture can help dogs maintain a healthy smile by gently scraping harmful plaque from dog’s teeth, states the
company. Redbarn Bully Slices are all natural and grain free; natural beef is the
first ingredient in every bag. Manufactured in the USA.
DIG DEFENCE’S product of the same name is
a U.S.-made patented drive-in ground fence
panel that extends the protection of any fence or
enclosed area. It is made of strong welded four-gauge steel rods. The system is easy to install and
is designed to keep pets in and pests out.
TRUSTY TAILS TREAT
KI TCHEN offers
corn- and soy-free
treats for dogs that
are made in the USA
ents. Treats are oven
baked in small batch-
es and contain no additives, preservatives or
colorings. The gluten-free treats come in three
flavors: Peanut Butter & Honey, Saucy Apple &
Coconut and Cheddar Cheese Please!.
BOBBI PANTER PET PRODUCTS’
Moisturizing Dog Cologne has
a beautiful soft air fragrance that
matches the company’s Moisturizing Dog shampoo and Nourishing
Dog conditioner. It contains natural
ingredients and essential oils such as
vitamin E, chamomile, rosemary and
aloe vera gel to soften and moisturize pets’ skin and fur. The made in
the USA product is salt and tear free.
P.O. Box 240033, Milwaukee, WI 53224 | 414-355-7000
Fax 414-355-1144 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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