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Why Diversity Matters When Buying Products for Your Pet Store

Carrying pet products from underrepresented entrepreneurs helps to transform your store and the pet industry into a more inclusive and innovative space.




WHEN YOU CARRY pet products made by underrepresented entrepreneurs, you support those overlooked in our industry. You invest in their dreams and in their companies. Your buying power also helps to shape our industry into one that better represents the vibrant array of pet parents we serve.

The Black Pet Business Network conducted a survey in 2023 and discovered that less than 1% of pet products on the market come from minority-owned businesses. The beauty of that statistic? It gives us room to grow, and you can make a conscious choice to be part of that growth.

Imagine your store featuring a showcase of items from a diverse range of creators, each telling their unique story.

Your customers could find handcrafted pet accessories inspired by different cultures as well as health products that incorporate traditional healing practices from those communities. You would have the opportunity to share their stories during your sales efforts while creating a richer, more inclusive retail environment that reflects the true diversity of pet parents in your area.


Supporting these entrepreneurs contributes to the economic growth of their communities, too. Your support helps to create jobs, build local economies and fuel financial stability. It’s about more than just carrying a product — you’re helping to uplift entire communities and promote equity.

This also sends a strong message that everyone, regardless of their background, has a fair shot at success. Such inclusivity can inspire the next generation of pet entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities, showing them that their dreams are achievable and that the industry welcomes them.

The next time you are looking at products to stock in your store, take a moment to consider who made them. Intentionally seek out brands with diverse founders. Ask your distributors to carry them. Use your buying power! By doing this, you’re contributing to a larger movement that champions diversity, equity and inclusion.

With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite Black-owned brands and the entrepreneurs behind them:

  • 5 Element Food Therapy — Sharon Tuggle takes a holistic approach to dog and cat nutrition, one based on Traditional Chinese Medicine’s 5 Element Theory. Her healthy, delicious toppers and treats incorporate whole food supplements to support digestion, respiratory health, kidney function, liver health and cardiovascular systems.
  • D.R.E.A.M Pet Food — Jaime Cooper and Paul Paige combined their love of hip-hop culture with their experience in the pet food industry to create a pet treat line made from the finest ingredients. They aim to revolutionize the pet food landscape by being unapologetically authentic and giving a voice to the underrepresented.
  • Happy Hounds — Rianna Young founded this CBD company to help her Jack Russell recover from an injury without the conventional anti-anxiety and pain medication that robbed him of his personality. Soothing hemp and human-grade ingredients go into treats and tinctures that help pets thrive.
  • Pupcake Sugar — A pup named Sugar (at left) inspired Sandra Countley to bake her first pupcake. The business now offers recipe books and greeting cards complete with the heartfelt stories that inspired them, creating a unique and meaningful baking experience for pet parents.

Supporting diverse brands can transform the pet industry into a more inclusive and innovative space. Let’s make choices that matter and contribute to a vibrant, more diverse and thriving pet community.




P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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