West Paw Design Celebrates 20 Years
This month, West Paw De- sign is celebrating 20 years of designing and manufacturing handcrafted eco-friendly
In August 1996, 23-year-old
Spencer Williams bought Pet
Pals, a small company based in
Livingston, Mont., that handcraft-
ed fabric toys.
“The quality and craftsman-
ship that went into these toys was
incredible, and so it was a perfect
combination of fulfilling my de-
sire to get into manufacturing in
the United States while making
people and their pets happy,”
said Williams, owner and found-
er of West Paw Design, now
based in Bozeman, Mont.
During the late 1990s, many
U.S. manufacturers began mov-
ing overseas. However, by fo-
cusing on a quadruple bottom
line—people, pets, planet and
profits—West Paw Design con-
tinued to flourish and do what
many said could not be done
anymore: successfully manufac-
ture in the U.S.
West Paw Design now employs more than 70 people, and
its products are sold in more than
30 countries. What sets the company apart?
“It’s the people-driven culture,” Williams said.
To keep business management
in line with its values, West Paw
Design reported that it strives to
be the kind of company people
would like to buy products from
and the kind of company that potential employees seek out as a
place to work.
In 2014 and 2015, West Paw
Design was nominated by its em-
ployees and won the title of “the
best place to work in Montana.”
Since West Paw Design start-
ed using certified organic catnip
in its toys in 1996, the company
has built a product line that incor-
porates sustainable materials, and
the entire operation is run using
This year, Forbes Magazine
named West Paw Design one of
America’s Best Small Companies.
In 2015, West Paw Design became
Montana’s first Benefit Corporation. In 2013, West Paw Design
became a certified B Corporation
and a founding member of the
Pet Sustainability Coalition.
West Paw Design started when Spencer
Williams purchased Pet Pals in 1996.
Founder Spencer Williams with West Paw
Design’s first Zogoflex dog toy, Hurley