Vintage Products - Melanie M, Oshawa ON
What's up dawg? We're here to tell you! Vintage Products goal is to provide you with more eco-friendly, non toxic ways to enhance your life and your pets.
How did your small Canadian business come to fruition?
I have worked with dogs professionally for the past 10yrs and found that the market was lacking in quality pet friendly products. I would constantly hear complaints from clients about products they paid good money for that just don't work or have too many chemicals. So one evening I decided to create a product that did work and we started with our Vintage Dog Paw Balm. I stayed up until 3am for most of the holiday season perfecting the formula and our clients were the first to test it out. Later that year I started looking into candles and creating a pet friendly line that was non-toxic, eco-friendly and smelled great! We've added numerous products since then.
What was the main goal or mission when you first started and how has your business evolved since then?
The main goal was to create quality products that work and won't break the bank. You shouldn't have to choose between affordability and quality. We've definitely expanded our product line over the past year into a lifestyle brand that we are proud of. We've expanded our candle line to include calming candles for both our dogs and their humans made with scents that have been tested in shelters and have had incredible results on the dogs well-being. We've also added a full line of room sprays and tick repellent sprays to the product line up.
What is the highest selling product that sets you apart from other retailers in the same industry?
Our Vintage Dog Paw & Nose Balm has always been a huge hit with dog owners. It's a stiffer product that works by coating the dog's paws with a thick layer to protect from the winter elements such as salted sidewalks. You put the paw directly into the tin and the scales pick up the product with ease and form a protective barrier. It's fantastic and it works! Next our room sprays are long lasting and have rave reviews. In the spring I do believe our new hit product will be the tick repellent sprays. Ive been using our repellents all year and it's amazing to see how well it works. We went from pulling 30 ticks A DAY off our dogs to maybe catching one or two every couple weeks. Once again, creating products that work. We don't want to waste anyones hard earned money and we'd rather you spent it on a fun day with your pooch.
Where can we find you? Are you selling in-store, online and at markets?
We are in a bunch of locations including: The Girl Gang, Markets By Dream Day Bowmanville and Pickering Locations, The Nooks Oshawa Center, K9-Pawvengers at Friday Harbor Innisfil. We are launching our official online store in early 2022 www.vintagedogproducts.ca
Where do you seek support on any off-days or when you're feeling a day of defeat?
Oh man, I think every business owner has up days and down days with probably more down days then we'd like to admit. I have a large family of dogs, 7 to be exact and they are literally my best friends and my favourite way to just freeze time. I just love hanging out with them and they remind us dog owners everyday to enjoy the moment. But sometimes we just need sleep to reset.
Tell us about your pets!!
This is a loaded question haha, we'll keep it fairly short. All our dogs are rescues and long term fosters. They all have incredible stories behind them and are amazingly resilient. Maggie was my first rescue and I always say, the reason for everything. Molly is literally The Princess and Anna is 'our little girl' because she's the smallest. Then came the boys Blue, Roger and Tommy. Sadly, last year one of my favourite dog walking clients passed away and he entrusted me with the most important thing in his life, his best friend Delta. I could tell you so many stories about these crazy kids and I love to share our adventures through instagram and tiktok.
What makes it important to support local small-business Canadians right now?
You are supporting driven and passionate individuals and these are the people you want to continue to help build up. That small local business may one day provide jobs for others. These types of jobs are important to small communities and we really want to support and give a leg up to these talented business owners. On a personal note, I absolutely love supporting anyone who wants to start a business. I want to see every small business owner succeed and live everyday loving what they do. This just makes for happier individuals and that has a ripple effect on those around them.
What goals or plans can we anticipate from Vintage products in 2022?
I am constantly working on new ideas and plans. Product wise I tend to get my ideas when I'm just walking my dogs or speaking with clients. I prefer to have product ideas come to me naturally rather than forcing a new concept. All my businesses have been driven by passion and need. You have to love what you do and what you create but there has to be a need for it as well. So I wait for the right idea to come and then just run with it.
We will be expanding into more locations across the GTA and north of the city next year which is super exciting.
What advice would you give to other owners like yourself transitioning through the COVID pandemic to keep their heads up and carry forward into the New Year?
Honestly, Do what you love and you will be the richest person in the world. Growing a business is not an easy walk in the park. It takes time, dedication and passion. The more you love what you are doing the easier it is to fight for it. Make sure you are truly doing what you love and your business will succeed. I have to keep telling myself 'It takes time' Keep pushing forward and you'll reach your goal.