The Next Big Thing - Pet Gazette (April 2014)
Lauren Morton meets Tim Joannides - the man behind Happy Paws...the company that looks set to make its mark on the pet sector!
Wandering around the Gower beaches in Swansea, Tim Joannides owner and founder of Happy Paws takes his Golden Retriever, Stella for walks. When he stops to secure his lovable pet, he whips out his own invention – the Easy-Tie. The first product from the up-and-coming company, it encompasses the Happy Paws signature style of innovative simplicity, breaking away from what Tim describes as the “Old Way” of securing a pet.
Tim explains: “The Easy-Tie is a clever pet accessory that allows you to secure your dog easily, safely and quickly at a café table, park bench or railing for example, without removing the lead from its collar.” The compact device lends itself to two of the biggest trends of the moment – safety and convenience – with Tim and his dedicated team having pulled out all the stops as they brought the Easy-Tie to market at PATS Sandown.
Happy Paws, the name behind the Easy-Tie, is the brainchild of Tim who has been in business for over five years. Recently throwing his hat into the ring within the pet world, he has been overwhelmed with the “warmth and friendliness of everyone in the industry.” His arrival onto the pet scene was noted by many at PATS where the company was honoured with the ‘Highly Commended’ prize for the innovation behind the Easy-Tie, with the judging panel at the shown made up of retailers. Coming second to KONG in the New Product Showcase for dog accessories, the Easy-Tie is creating a lot of interest from retailers large and small.
The product itself is described as 10 times faster than the traditional method of fastening a dog when on a lead and with such a wide scope of demographic, from families to the elderly, the "Easy-Tie Way" leaves the "Old Way" trailing behind. No wonder Tim found the Happy Paws stand flooded with prospective buyers at PATS and left inundated with orders. He continued: “The most frequent comment from visitors to our stand was “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?” and “It’s such a simple yet innovative idea”; comments that left Tim on a high.
Looking at the benefits its product has for retailers, the practicality of the Easy-Tie is one of its fundamental selling points, fitting compactly on both material and retractable leads. Tim adds: “It’s a great impulse purchase and convenience item, the perfect cross-sell for their existing range with excellent sales results, taking up limited shelf space and it comes with a very attractive counter-top display unit that sells the product for you.”
He continues: “The aim of the company is to create products that fill a latent demand in defined and large markets, through innovation. Just as important as growing our own range of products, is providing said products to retailers at a great price so that they have fantastic margins to play with.”
Utilising the “fun factor”, Happy Paws branding and packaging has been at its core, ensuring that it hits its audience with a pop of colour and a playful yet memorable design that is intended to engage customers and stand out. A feature that translates through all of the Happy Paws products as it looks to bring out an innovative dog and cat bed accessory and a new dog treat, as it expands its range. This proudly British brand aims to create functional products that fill the gaps in the market and with four new products in the pipeline; one being kept tightly under wraps for now, Happy Paws is well on its way to conquering the pet industry.