through rounds of prototyping
and testing with sample makers
because there are more variations
of bells and whistles. People unfamiliar with our products might
think our toys are only adorable,
but there is more than meets the
eye. Many customers have come
back and told us how surprised
they are with the quality and durability of our plush toys.
Our Wobble Ball, a treat-dispensing enrichment toy, features
attractive floor and counter point-of-purchase displays that have
captured many people’s interest
and done well at retailers too.
PPN: What kind of feedback and requests
do retailers share with you regarding the
WC: Seller feedback is a key component to our evolution. From
suggestions on function and
trendspotting to pricing and
merchandising display, we love
to hear from our retailers. We are
fortunate to have many great retailers who regularly share with
us what works for them or what
they would like to see.
Some customers request certain customizations.
PPN: Please elaborate on the various en-
vironmentally friendly and eco-conscious
programs P.L.A. Y. has in place in its manu-
facturing facility and processes.
WC: Besides using eco-friendly
materials and packaging whenever possible, we also have gone
to great lengths to make our
supply chain greener. Our factory is a family-owned business.
By visiting several times a year
and working closely with them,
and being their primary customer, we can influence and exact
change in various aspects of the
manufacturing process. Many
eco-conscious programs are in
place. For instance, we helped
our manufacturer implement
a waste-sorting and recycling
program as well as a wastewater
recycling program, and replace
all the lighting on the shop floor
with energy-saving LED lights.
P.L.A.Y. recently has been
awarded the Green America
Gold, the highest level of certification by Green America, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes
ethical consumerism. We also
have obtained Oeko-Tex 100 certification for some of our products with a stringent factory audit
as part of the process.
PPN: P.L.A. Y. just expanded to the Euro-
pean Union. What are your plans and
WC: As of December 2015, in addi-
tion to our warehouse locations in
New Jersey, Los Angeles, Europe
and Hong Kong, we now have
local EU fulfillment capability.
Our warehouse is located in Ein-
hoven, Netherlands. Previously,
our products already had been
selling in the EU through dis-
tributors in the U.K., Germany,
Switzerland and Spain, but now
we can better support our current
and future EU distributors. It also
empowers us to service boutiques
and small chains in the region
that our distributors do not cover.
It’s still early days, but as evidenced by our email and call inquiries, there is demand for our
brand in the EU, and we are positive about the strategic value of
this long-term investment.
PPN: What did the company launch at Glob-
al Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.?
WC: Our new Scout & About line,
PPN: How does P.L.A. Y. give back?
a collection of outdoor products
that celebrates the active-living
lifestyle with dogs, includes toss
and float toys, functional training
pouches, travel bowls, portable
outdoor mats and even outdoor
tents designed for dogs. We also
introduced Wobble Ball 2.0, an
enhanced version of our popular,
treat-dispensing interactive toy,
as well as a line of blankets for the
home called Luxe Throw.
WC: Giving back is a core value
of and a source of pride within
our company. In 2012, we developed our Warm Bellies Initiative
in partnership with the Petfind-er Foundation, where we donate
a mat to a shelter animal in need
around the country for every
bed sold directly online. Since
the inception of the program,
our customers have helped us
donate over 1,000 Chill Pads
and helped more than 95 shelters across the U.S.
We also wanted to help pro-
tect animal populations and hab-
itats all over the world. Currently,
2 percent of the purchase price
from P.L.A.Y.’s Under the Sea
Toy Collection and Bugging Out
Toy Collection benefits the Inter-
national Fund for Animal Welfare
to aid in its mission to reduce the
commercial exploitation of ani-
mals, protect wildlife habitats and
assist animals in distress.
In 2015, we welcomed our newest partnership with Zero—The
End of Prostate Cancer. During
the month of November, we give
20 percent of the purchase price
from our Mustache Beds and 10
percent of the proceeds throughout the rest of the year to Zero,
which works to advance research,
encourage action and provide education and support.
Furthermore, today’s youth
are the key to continuing our
mission to improve animal welfare. With this in mind, we created our Scholars Helping Collars
Scholarship. Now in its fourth
year, we choose from hundreds
of essays annually to award one
high school student who can
share their story of the impact
they made in the life of a rescue
animal or animal welfare cause.
We contribute a $1,000 scholarship to use toward their college
While we maintain our current giving back programs, we
provide products and gift certificates to nonprofit and charitable
PPN: What plans does the company look
forward to in the future?
WC: We have many exciting plans
in the pipeline. We’re committed
to making products that are better for pets, people and the planet and expanding our presence
across the globe. We want to grow
our portfolio of unique, quality
products with a purpose that are
innovative and solve a need. As
we grow, we will continue to help
animals in need through our giveback programs. ■
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