Tell us a little about yourself, your career and your current
I’ve been with Mission Pets (formerly SimplyShe)
since it was founded 18 years ago. We started off
as a women’s company, selling stationery and
fashion apparel, and over time, we evolved into
a pet company. The turning point was a book
we wrote called SimplyDog, which followed our
founder’s Golden Retriever puppy and taught
life lessons as seen through a dog’s eyes.
With SimplyDog’s publication, we created
dog apparel and collars, bowls, etc., to merchan-
dise with the book, and soon we were selling
more pet stuff than human stuff. ;ur very first
pet industry meeting was with Petco, which
rolled SimplyDog out as an endcap nationally.
We were so small—really just the founder and
myself—but we knew about trends and mar-
keting. Then we got our big break at Walmart,
when it launched 16 feet of pet apparel and ac-
cessories—and life was never the same. We truly
pioneered pet apparel for the masses, at a time
when it was all about $50 dog sweaters and Paris
Hilton’s teacup Chihuahua.
I often tell people that I’m the pet clothing
guru—that no one knows more about pet fashion
than me since I’ve been doing this so long. But
really it’s no longer just about clothing—Mission
Pets has expanded our offering to include a full
range of collars, harnesses, leashes and bowls.
We breathe new life into these categories by
touching them with our trend-right, data-driven
design. We have also recently acquired the company Harry Barker, which now opens us to the
true pet specialty market.
My title is senior vice president of sales, but I
have a hand in most aspects of the business. I love
to collaborate with our design and merchandising
teams, creating compelling product for our customers. I am also focused on new business development
both domestically in the U.S. as well as abroad.
What makes working in the pet industry unique? What inspires you most about working in this industry?
I remember when we transitioned from a “
human” company to a “pet” company. It was
Michelle Elliott, senior vice president of sales for
Mission Pets in San Francisco
Michelle Elliott and No. 3, her cat
AND IT’S A REAL
The 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey IS HERE
Also available as an e-book
Consumer Insights and Marketing Intelligence.
Trusted. Objective. Actionable.
To order go to www.americanpetproducts.org/survey,
for an order form or phone 203.532.0000 x. 520