Bari Baron is a Sales Specialist at Multipet International, Inc, a company that designs and supplies unique pet products throughout the world. Being part of a family run business means the creativity and innovation of pet toys has always been in her DNA. She focuses her sales on dog toys, cat toys, and reptile accessories to major retailers. While working primarily on sales, Bari has also made it her goal to support Multipet in its social media presence. Additionally, she has prioritized the company’s environmental sustainability goals by helping to further promote eco-friendly practices.
Tell us about Multipet. Tell us about your company and your role with the company.
Multi pet is a family run business. It’s been in my family for over two decades. So I’ve always grown up with multi pet. And it wasn’t really until recently that I joined the company myself. But more specifically, we are a company. Manufacturers and supplies, unique pet toys all over the world.
So we we use different materials, different textures you know, different designs, animals, anything you can think of to bring uniqueness to the pet world. We’re most widely known for our land. Dog toy. That’s kind of our our signature. We have also our loofa dog toy, which is this really long, skinny toy.
It has a big smile and one eyebrow, it’s kind of one of those like iconic faces that people recognize with our brand and lately a big one is this latex, grunting pig. So when you squeeze it, it makes sense. Current noise. So really just fun, creative, clever toys to bring into people’s homes.
And we also recently launched a a line of reptile accessories and products for Aquarium and reptile wellness and things like that. So we’re starting to branch into that world as well. It’s a aligned called Komodo. So that’s starting to also get out there into a lot of those stores. So it’s like accessories for your tank. It could be plants or ornaments. And then on top of that, there’s also things like food and holders and things like that for your food. So there’s a whole variety of accessories that go along with that. In addition to our everyday kind of cat and dog toys that we are manufacturing and my role at the company I joined in 2020, kind of at the height of COVID.
Oh, I was, yeah, it was actually a former elementary school teacher. I took some time off to have my son and then was ready to do, to go back to work. And it was really just like peak COVID time. I was a little hesitant to get back into the classroom and found a really great opportunity to get involved in the family business.
So my time there. Officially has been a little bit, you know, short-lived but I feel like I’ve been able to do a lot in the time I’ve been there. And primarily I focus on sales to like big box retailers for all dog cat and reptile.
so many questions. So I left Montreal to leave a family business that I didn’t go into.
You also have an aroma therapy line?
Yes. We have a line. It’s called aroma dog and it’s geared towards animals that have a separation anxiety and it has a blend of different oils, like lavender and things like that.
So that when you squeak it, the sensitive. Put into the air and it’s supposed to help the dogs feel calm and relaxed. So for maybe dogs that might be afraid of things like thunderstorms or sometimes, you know, dogs from shelters who maybe, you know, are having a hard time in that respect. So we use toys in our aroma dog line to help kind of.
You know, with, with the the oils and it seems to help dogs feel more calm and help reduce any stress in that way could be good for planes too. My dog freaks out on a plane. Not that I’ve traveled in the past two years, but yeah. Yeah. Well, next time you travel.
During COVID it seemed like everyone was getting pets, I’m sure that that impacted your business.
Yeah, so COVID has been really positive for the pet world. I mean, for the first time in. A long time or ever, like shelters are empty. People are adopting left and right. And so it’s been really wonderful to see all these dogs getting homes. You know, that we love seeing that.
And in turn, you know, it’s created a lot of need for pet supplies, pet items, pet toys people also being home. They’re spending more time with their pets. They’re wanting to bond. There’s a lot of toys, you know, we call them interactive toys where people can, you know, Either, you know, more of like a fetch toy or kind of like a sling something.
So people are really looking for ways to engage more with their pets now that they’re home. And so it’s definitely been a different kind of experience, I think, for the pet world than maybe, you know, some other places that you know, Had a bit of a challenge during COVID just because of this big spike in kind of pet adoptions and pet shelters.
And so we’re so happy to see things like that and you know, happy to be supplying toys, to homes that have been getting pets.
A lot of manufacturers during COVID had to just shift and say, how are we going to get online and how are we going to go e-commerce and direct to consumer, did that impact your business and what are the challenges that as a manufacturer that you’ve recently encountered?
Yeah. So there’s definitely been just across all segments challenges, getting products in and, you know, just the supply chain as a whole has been incredibly disrupted. So I think everybody’s definitely feeling those challenges, but we, you know, we don’t sell direct to consumer.
So we really. Like have just been trying to take on that. E-commerce social media kind of presence while everybody’s been stuck at home, which has been a huge reason why the relationship that we’ve built with Babel box has been tremendous for us because it’s helped us build that, that online presence that we typically hadn’t really had so much in the past, but just because we’re not really a direct to consumer company.
So. The whole world of social media marketing and influencers has been a big game changer for us in, you know, in this COVID e-commerce world. And I think, again, just going back to all of the challenges that all companies are really facing. The, you know, the general COVID supply chain stuff. We have a warehouse in east Rutherford where you know, our toys are coming in and we, you know, have a lot of stuff stocked up there.
And so we just are chugging along, keeping the product flowing and getting it into the stores as fast as we can.
So what advice would you give to another company like yours, maybe in a different industry? What’s the best way to start?
So kind of like you had mentioned, I am very new to social media and influencer marketing. It seems a little weird. I’m like very much a millennial and I live in that world of Instagram and Tik TOK and social media.
I just have not really. I brought myself to a place where I’m such an avid user of it. I am learning that there is a lot going on there that I could expose myself to. So the idea of influencer marketing was definitely a new concept for me. And so I think kind of during, you know, during our.
Current growing e-commerce world, it’s been tremendous. I think also working with companies like Babel box that have these incredible connections who are able to target the right type of influencer has been also incredibly beneficial to us and our company. So I think I would definitely push for companies who are interested in influencer marketing.
I think it allows you to really target like your niche market. And for us, it’s been amazing to be able to do that, to really get people all over the country who come from diverse homes who live in different regions of the, of the country and who maybe they have one dog, maybe they have five dogs.
But you know, through. You guys we’ve really been able to reach a lot of people that maybe we haven’t been able to get our products into their homes. And so we’re excited about that and we appreciate the relationships you have with the influencers, because the content that they’re putting out is wonderful and professional, and we’re really.
Where can people find your products if they can’t buy them from you directly?
Sure. So we are all over from independent pet specialty stores all the way to the big box retailers. We’re in supermarkets as well. Really you can find us almost anywhere. Anywhere you live in the country, there’s going to be someone who is carrying a multi pet product.
And my little dog sprout loves the lavender. Okay, good. Good for dogs that are getting older too. Yes, absolutely. We have all along the lines of that toy, we also have a similar product geared towards dogs that are getting older. Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about your efforts towards sustainability and the environment and things like that.
Cause I know there’s a whole initiative that you do internally and externally. Sure, absolutely. So it’s actually not really new. So much to the company, but for quite a while we’ve been, our factories have been taking water bottles, plastic water bottles, and recycling the material to create like the fiber stuffing that goes inside of our toys.
So, you know, there’s a big push right now for all things sustainable and eco-friendly practices. But we’ve actually, as a company been doing that for. For a while. So we’re trying to really capitalize on that process and bring it to as many toys as we can. We use now we were also, we launched a line it’s called multipack eco.
So it’s an entire line of products that are not just made from recycled materials on the inside, but also the outside, the plush fabric on the outside is also made from, they call it upcycled materials. So it’s a hundred percent. Recycled material toy. And we love it because every time someone buys a product, they could be saving water bottles from ending up in a landfill.
So we feel like we’re doing our part in that way. Which is great. We also are recently joined. You probably see them on all your Amazon boxes, if you order as much as I do. There’s that label that tells you how to recycle the. Part of how to recycle. So we’ve joined them as well, so that our packaging that’s multi pet branded packaging can inform consumers of the appropriate ways to, you know, recycle their package.
Once they ripped the toy off and they have a card, you know, instead of throwing it out it’s paper, it can be recycled. So our packaging is all recyclable as well. So we are working. As a company internally with our factories and with you know, with our packaging to communicate to our consumers, that we are really are committed to a more sustainable world.
Name a pet influencer that you love to follow, but hate to admit that you do.
Okay. So I think I would have a hard time answering that because I really embarrassed to admit I don’t really have social media, so I have a Facebook account, but I don’t have Instagram. I don’t have tech talk. I don’t really have any Okay, I’m going to, I’m going to give you a list of like all macro influencer dogs that are really cute, like blazers, Lila, the Husky, I think.
And there’s Doug, the pug, I’ll give you a list and then I’m familiar with, yes. I’m going to give you a list and then you could go interact with those people. How’s that sound okay. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. It was wonderful having you wishing you much success and congrats on your little one and we’ll speak to you soon.
Thank you so much for having me. It was great chatting.