Episode 2: Larry Wright – The Green Pet Shop

Larry Wright

Larry Wright

The Green Pet Shop manufactures unique and eco-friendly products for pets that solves problems at a competitive price.

In this episode, Chris Roy speaks with Larry Wright, founder and CEO of The Green Pet Shop, to journey back to their humble beginnings and shine a light on the story behind their company’s most popular pet products.

 

Learn more about The Green Pet Shop

The Green Pet Shop website: thegreenpetshop.com

The Green Pet Shop CBD website: thegreenpetshopcbd.com

Check out their products for humans: coolcaretechnologies.com

Follow The Green Pet Shop on Social Media

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheGreenPetShop

Twitter: twitter.com/TheGreenPetShop

Instagram: instagram.com/thegreenpetshop/

Pinterest: pinterest.com/greenpetshop/_created/


Larry:

I’m Larry Wright, and you’re tuned in to the Animal Innovations Show.

 

Narrator:

You’re tuned in to the Animal Innovations Show, where we feature people, products, services, and ideas that are helping animals and the people who care for them, live better lives. 

If it’s innovative, and it helps animals, you can find it here first.  So, get ready, here comes this week’s newest innovation for animals.

 

Chris:

Hey, Larry. Welcome. Thanks for coming.

 

Larry:

Thanks for having me.

 

Chris:

Yeah. So, why don’t you tell us who you are and how you’re innovating to help animals?

 

Larry:

Well, again, my name is Larry Wright. I own a company called the Green Pet Shop. Although it sounds like it’s a pet shop, it’s not really a pet shop.

We manufacture and distribute eco-friendly pet products. We sell them all over the world. We have a few patented products that are proprietary to us, and I’m in business with my son, so it’s a fun business to be in.

I get to work with my best friend and my son every day. We have some really amazing products that do some really good things for animals and for the planet.

 

Chris:

Yeah, I was going to say, that’s what I found that’s so unique about you guys and innovative. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a company doing pet products stuff that’s also focused on the green and the eco side of things. So, tell me a little bit more about that.

 

Larry:

We started the company with that mission. We did a little bit of research and found it to be… There were a lot of companies that sold or manufactured eco-friendly products, but no companies that we could find that did that exclusively, where that was the only thing they did, and that was important to us.

So, we started the company with that in mind, and that was in 2010. And it’s kind of evolved from that point to where it is today, which is it’s growing pretty quickly. It’s successful enough for us and continuing to be that way.

And we continue to find new ways to make new products and help, you know, help solve problems for pets and do good things for them and for the planet, as a result.

 

Chris:

Yeah, that’s really cool. So, tell me about some of the products because I was really intrigued by some of these. Like, why not I’d let you tell because I’m sure you could tell it much better than I can.

 

Larry:

Sure. Well, the company was started with the signature product being our cool pet pad and what that is: this is the only product of its type. It’s patented.

It sounds very simple, but it’s the only product of its type that actually cools on contact. So, it’s a vinyl type pad with a gel insert, and you don’t need to refrigerate it. You don’t need to add water. It doesn’t use electricity, so that’s the part that makes it green. It doesn’t need… The materials themselves aren’t green, but the fact that it saves on electricity, it doesn’t use water or anything like that…

You or your pet, just sit on it or lie on it, and it will automatically start absorbing the heat from your body, which will feel cool to you, and it will cool for 2 to 3 hours, depending on the environment. You get off it, and it will recharge itself in about 15 to 20 minutes of non-use, so you can use it over and over again.

And, as you know, I’m sure, being an animal lover or dog lover, these dogs are always looking for the coolest spot in the house to lie down.

 

Chris:

Right, right.

 

Larry:

Basically, what this is, is like a cool tile where, you know, the coolest spot that they’re looking for. Instead, they’re gonna go lie on their pad, and they’ll cool off that way.

 

Chris:

Yeah, that’s really cool. So, now, is it actually cooling them, or is it more just the sensation that they’re feeling cool?

 

Larry:

Um, it cools you. I mean, that may be semantics. I don’t know if there’s a difference between feeling like you’re cooling or it’s actually cooling, but the fact that you feel, it absorbs heat, which cools you. It takes the heat away.

We’ve had it tested many times, and it actually does cool the product or the being that is sitting on it. It reduces the temperature. So, yeah, it does.

It feels, I mean, I use it in the summertime. I use it in my office all the time to sit on, and they would say anything when it cools my bum. (laughs) It’s really, it’s a very unique product, and we sell them for humans as well. I’ve had a lot of people. Yeah, it’s great for like, you know, women of menopausal age, who get hot flashes.

As a matter of fact, we call the human version “Cool Flash Pad” as compared to hot flashes or cool flash. And, you know, we’ve had women come up to us and, like, grab us by the neck, “I need one of these now, now. I want one of these right now.”

So, yeah, it works. It works really well. It’s a great product. And that was our signature item, and we have evolved from there, and kind of, you know, designed a bunch of different products around that that have worked really well.

 

Chris:

Yeah, that’s really cool, so now you did that. And then you made that for humans, and now you’ve moved into CBD. It seems like a totally different thing. Why did you make that jump?

 

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Larry:

Well, actually, I made the jump about five years ago, and as you said, you know, what we were talking about before. There are a million companies with CBD products for pets now. When I started about five years ago, I was the only product on the market.

So, what happened is, I read about a company out of Colorado that, you know, was doing a lot of CBD stuff. I met a guy in my hometown in Florida, who was an investor in this company.

Coincidentally, I contacted the CEO through him. She flew down the next day, and we cut a deal right then to start manufacturing a CBD product for animals, which was an amazing product and did really, really well for us.

Well, about a year and a half later, when the Trump Administration came to being and took over, their Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, made it a point to come out in January 2018.

He said any part of the marijuana plant, including any CBD, even if it does not contain any THC, is gonna be considered a Schedule 1 drug and punishable therein, which is the same as heroin or LSD or anything like that.

So, given the fact that I already had a successful company, and I was in business with my son, we sat and talked about it, and I figured it wasn’t worth the risk. So, I dropped the product. But I always kept my finger on the pulse of the industry, and I saw, you know, so many other you know, companies moving in with products like you’ve mentioned that really weren’t all that good.

And I’ve been in touch with my congressman, and I’ve decided that at this point, the landscape has changed quite a bit, and I felt more comfortable getting back in.

So, by getting back into the market, I knew I couldn’t come in with the same product, even though it was a wonderful product. It was outstanding, but there are 100 or 200 other products on the market. It had to be really, really, really special.

So, the first product was… It’s a CBD pen, is what it is. And, you know, you get a certain amount of pumps. It’s a transdermal gel that you put on the inside of a dog’s ear.

What that does is it bypasses the first pass or the digestive system, where you lose about, you know, 50% of the dosage. You have no idea how much is going to stay within the body and get absorbed before it gets passed through. So, we designed a transdermal gel that is effective in the way that it soaks in. It absorbs 100%.

It’s made with the highest grade of CBD that we could find domestically, and we worked with a scientist by the name of Dr. Gary Prucillo. He has been working in the space for about 40 years now, and he’s responsible for about 17 Kentucky Derby winners.

So, he’s really, really, you know, he’s specialized in this industry. He goes around the world and looks for very unique ingredients in addition to CBD, that will manifest the effect of CBD and also offer ancillary benefits.

So, for instance, in our product, we use an ingredient called Lemon Myrtle, which most people have never heard of before. I certainly hadn’t heard of it before, you know, I started working with him.

He sourced that in a small area of Australia. It’s been used by the Aborigines for hundreds of years to combat their own pain and anxiety and things like that. And we have integrated that into our product.

So, we have a very unique product that, you know, I’m very confident, is, if it’s not the best, is certainly one of the best products for animals, you know, on the market. We did a test study just this past summer. We gave away 100 of those pens and asked for feedback. The reviews are on our site.

The feedback was phenomenal, from everything, from putting these things on the hotspots for some of these animals to curing anxiety and pain. And it worked really well for them. So, while I can’t make any claims and say, “This does this or this does this.” What I can say is, we’ve given it to pet owners, who have given us feedback, and the feedback has been outstanding.

 

Chris:

That’s really cool because, you know, for someone… I think I was telling you, I don’t really know anything about CBD. I see it everywhere, and you know, that’s what’s in my mind, I go.

I’m not even sure how I would sort through what’s good, what’s not. You know, what’s pure. I mean, you can get it practically at your local Walgreens. It seems like everywhere you turn around, somebody’s pushing CBD.

And then, as you said, I started to see it more with pet retailers and pet companies. But I’m kind of like, I wouldn’t give it to my dog any more than I give it to myself until I really knew what I was getting into and how I could differentiate, right, and what am I looking for?

So, for someone else that’s like me, how do you explain what should they be looking for? How, when they compare your product to another one, like what’s going to stand out for them, that they can recognize that they’re dealing with a quality product?

 

Larry:

Well, first of all, as I said, we source. The CBD is sourced domestically from the highest-grade growers we could find. It is also NASC-certified, which is something that you’re gonna want, to make sure it has a certification. So, it’s been tested, and it’s been certified to be safe and to be what it is, that we say it is CBD.

It has 0% THC in it. It’s all made from organic hemp, and so, you know, it is still a little bit like the Wild Wild West out there. And there are many companies that, you know, may market it better, and, you know, that they may have a little more exposure.

But, my best guess is that, within a couple of years, with all of the states that have legalized marijuana, and that probably is on the agenda in Congress, there will be regulations on that. It will become legalized, especially CBD. It’s very safe. It’s known to really help cure pain, anxiety, those kinds of things.

And, once it gets to the point where it’s legalized, Congress will start imposing regulations on it, and then you know, the also-rans will go by the wayside. You know, the products that aren’t good, that haven’t been tested. You know, they’ll go away. And, as with most industries, when the coffee settles, the cream will rise to the top of that point.

 

Chris:

You know, I think this is really cool, in the last 10 years, what you’ve done. I mean, I’m curious. What is your background there? Are you somebody that was like, a scientist, an inventor? I mean, tell me a little bit more about you?

 

Larry:

Oh, I’m the furthest thing from that. I was actually a commodity straighter for the first part of my life.

I retired in 1999, and I started a small venture capital company, an investment venture capital company with a friend of mine. We started investing in businesses or starting businesses and things like that. We’ve done, you know, things in the automotive space, staffing. I did an art project with LeRoy Neiman. We’ve done a bunch of different companies in different things.

In 2009, a guy came to me with the prototype for that pad. And he came into my office. He knew that I invested in companies, and he had an idea to start a pet company, with this as its signature product.

So, he brought it into my office. I sat on it, and as he was talking to me, his mouth was moving and telling me, “Oh, I got ABP.”

You know, I sat on it, my butt’s getting cold, and all I could see was his mouth moving. And I’m thinking a million miles a minute, about 100 other applications for this thing, other than in the pet community.

But, long story short, I ended up funding the company. He ran it, but he ended uphe was a crook and he embezzled a real lot of money and tried to start another company under my nose at the time.

And so, my son was graduating college. I got rid of himthe partner, not my son, right? And so, I asked my son, Brian. I said, “You know, I can sell this with the IP and everything, or we can run it together and see what happens.”

And he wanted to do that. And so, I actually got involved from an operational standpoint for the first time because usually, all I did with my company is, I managed the Treasury functions, and I had never run a company on a day-to-day basis.

But since then, we’ve grown probably about 6, 700% since that time.

 

Chris:

Wow, not bad for your first operation!

 

Larry:

Yeah, yeah, it’s a special company. It’s doing really well. And everyone who works with us is family, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great company. I enjoy it.

 

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Chris:

So, what’s next? I mean, any other things? Obviously, I don’t want to give away your secrets, but what’s next for you, guys? What are your plans for the future?

 

Larry:

The basis for this company is we were more of a B2B-type of company from the very beginning. And we developed some, you know, some pretty big accounts, and we sell most of the big boxes. We sell to PetSmart and Bed Bath & Beyond.

But, over the last year, we started developing a B2C platform because I kind of saw that being the direction that we should start going, and obviously, it was before the pandemic.

But, we put ourselves in a position to really take advantage of, you know, of a real robust B2C platform, and then the pandemic kicked in. And this was our first year, really, you know, having those kinds of sales, direct-to-consumer sales, and it went through the roof.

So, we’re going to continue to build on that and continue, you know, because of the things we do. We get requests on a weekly basis. People sending us their products, inventions that they have, and we test them on our own, you know, on our own pets, and so, just continue to expand our horizons in terms of, you know, more eco-friendly products, things that help animals and expand our platform.

It’s evolved. It’s done really well, and I don’t think I want to change the ingredients now. It’s kind of working for us.

 

Chris:

Yeah, I was going to say I mean, when you look back on where you were 10 years ago, I mean, did you ever imagine that you would be where you are today?

 

Larry:

You know, no matter what I’ve done, looking back, it’s always been an amazing journey and I mean, I’m not a person that likes to settle for mediocrity, so anything I do, I try to aim high, and I’m never surprised when things work out.

I’m always very happy, and, you know, I’m very grateful and thankful for everything. But my philosophy is, if you have the right kind of business or the right kind of platform, you just work harder than anyone else. And I had to do that throughout my life when I traded and athletics and other things.

And it’s just… the only way I know how to do things is to work hard. And if you work hard, good things are gonna happen. So, you know, I’m not gonna say I’m surprised. I’m pleased, and I’m not satisfied where we’re at yet. But we’re getting there.

 

Chris:

Yeah, not done yet. I like that, though. I mean, I think that’s a good way to state it.

I mean, you know, you’re working hard, and you deserve what you’re working hard for. So, this is really cool.

If people wanna learn more, Larry, where should they go? Tell us the website. How do they learn more?

 

Larry:

Well, our core website is www.thegreenpetshop.com, and you could learn, you know, most about us. You can read about us. You know what our pasts have been, you know, read about my son, myself, and our pets.

And the CBD site is www.thegreenpetshopcbd.com. And the name of that product is CBD Pet Care, and that, you know, we have to create a separate page for that, a separate website for that, because of the government regulations and all the rest.

But, yeah, that’s, you know, that’s starting to go well, too, so, you can learn anything about us in either of those two places.

 

Chris:

Very cool. Well, thank you. I really appreciate you coming on. Is there anything else you wanted to tell everybody before we wrap things up?

 

Larry:

Nah, I’m good. If you have no more questions, you know, anything, we’re open books. Or anything, anything you want to ask us, we’ll talk about.

 

Chris:

Yeah, I’m really impressed. It’s an amazing journey. And I really like the innovation that’s going into this stuff and really thinking about how you can solve problems like you talked about.

So, you know, really, the only other thing I was gonna do is remind our viewers, right? If they’ve got an idea for an innovative person that I should talk to, that they could just go to www.innovations.show and let us know.

So, if it’s a product, a service, or even just an idea, ways that people are innovating to help animals. Certainly, we want to hear about it and help to raise awareness. So, thanks again. Larry. I really appreciate you coming on today.

 

Larry:

Thank you. We really appreciate what you guys are doing, too. It’s, you know, just to bring the awareness, you know, of these kinds of things and these kinds of products, you know, to the masses.

That’s a great thing you’re doing, too, so we appreciate you just as well.

 

Chris:

Well, thanks, Larry.

 

Larry:

All right, man, you take care.

 

Narrator:

Thanks for joining us for the Animal Innovations Show!

If you want to volunteer to help animals, check out www.doobert.com, where you can join tens of thousands of Dooberteers supporting rescues and shelters around the world to help animals.

And, if you know of something or someone innovative that’s helping animals, let us know by going to www.innovations.show.

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