While I was at the Heart of Illinois dog show cluster Memorial Day weekend, I talked to Bobby Brandon, who runs the Mid West Pet Supply booth for its owner, John Williams.
Essential for All Breed Dog Shows
Mid West Pet Supply is a general dog show vendor, one that carries equipment and supplies specifically for dog show exhibitors. Almost everything in the booth is for grooming a show dog, traveling with a show dog, or actually showing a dog. Bob told me this booth travels to between 40 and 50 show weekends every year.
By Dog People, For Dog People
Bob’s been helping Mid West’s owner, John Williams out full time since he left working in construction due to an injury. Bob’s children and grandchildren show dogs, as do John’s wife and daughter in law. This intimate involvement in the sport means they know what kinds of products dog show people are looking for.
John Williams purchased this business, which was already an established dog show vendor about 15 years ago. The company has been in business since 1998. After he purchased it, John started producing his own show leads and collars as well as grooming products and tables under their private TruBeauty brand.
Focus on Personal Selling
Bobby told me that their primary marketing channel is their booth, which is out nearly every weekend of the year at dog shows. He was not aware of any social media efforts (I did find a Facebook page) and mentioned they were not very internet-savvy. The card he shared did had a website URL on it, but the site is not active. You can contact them via email or call to place an order. The company has an additional challenge if they do set up a more serious presence online in that its name is similar to Midwest Pet Products which is an established crate brand. But for now, Bobby is selling their merchandise at the shows – stop by if you need anything!
Cleo has been working with dogs and showing Bull Terriers at AKC events since she was a teenager. She is an AKC Breeder of Merit and was approved as an AKC licensed conformation dog show judge in 2018. Professionally, she has held marketing insights and analytics roles in a variety of industries, including automotive, advertising, and pet specialty retail.