Recently I attended the Field Market here in Joburg. It was my first one, but I know that I will be attending more in the future. Their description is what really drew me in: “At our open-air market nestled along the Braamfontein spruit life is unhurried. Stroll underneath the trees through stalls that lure and inspire with local handcrafted goods. Then stay a while to enjoy a variety of food & beverages, live music and the relaxed atmosphere.”
Doesn’t that just draw you in to go exploring & see what is on offer? I loved that it was only locally made goods, & the fact that it is pet friendly is an even bigger bonus! I didn’t take my girls with me this time as I wanted to suss out the scene & see if they would be comfortable there – which I am sure they would be as it is not overcrowded or too hectic. In fact it is a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, & although I was on my own I was greeted by random strangers & made to feel completely at home. Oh how I love a good market!
One of the stores that I stumbled across was Happy Paws – an organic dog product company. My chihuahua has had a terribly dry nose ever since we moved from KZN to Gauteng & I just have not known what to do. I have been using coconut oil on her nose & have been adding this to her food, but to no avail. When I mentioned this to the lady at the stand, she immediately recommended the balm to me. I bought some, (along with dog treats, because these pooches are pampered!) & returned home to try it out. My Jack Russell also gets a reaction to grass on her belly, so I decided to apply some of the balm to this area too. Well, it really worked! Lola’s nose is much smoother, & Stella is no longer scratching herself raw. And the treats? Well, even my cat wanted in on the action. They all adored them!
Your name: Karin Kruger
Your business name: Happy Paws organic dog products
Social media handles: Facebook
Tell me a bit more about your business: All organic, hand made spoils for doggies. People have changed the way they treat their furry friends…thank goodness! We no longer just see them as dogs, but they have become a part of the family. We all love spoiling family, so why not our fur babies. They give us unconditional love, and we want to return the favor. I’ve done extensive research on all aspects of caring for our furry family members, and want to share my knowledge (and products) with as many people as possible.
Why did you start this: A few years ago our senior dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis & was border line diabetic, I was convinced the dog food we were giving him was just making things worse. I started my research…. I started making home cooked (doggy friendly) meals for them, and I thought “hold on, what else can I do better than the products at the supermarket”. I took a step back and started with the simple things….organic shampoo? Why not? I made it, tried it and immediately knew I was on to something great!
What makes your products so unique: Organic, home made, proudly South African, eg. the beeswax in my paw balm is locally sourced from a 14 year old beekeeper.
What are the most popular products: Great question, this depends on the market. At The Field market the treats sold out, this was because people were there to picnic and wanted treats for their doggies. On average I would say the paw balm. This product is not just to moisturize their paws, but can be used on any itchy, irritated skin….dry noses, insect bites…a miracle balm.
Do you make this all yourself, & how did you decide on the ‘recipes’: I make it all myself. I would research recipes vs ingredients. If there’s harsh chemicals, salt, sugar or ingredients I know are toxic to dogs I know the recipe is fake. If I would NEVER use an ingredient on my pups, or have them try it, I won’t use it in my products.
Why do your animals mean so much to you: They’re our babies. They are part of our family and we’ll do anything to make their lives as comfortable as possible. This does mean that we have no couch, bed space or privacy.
Where can people buy your products from: “Your Dog’s Party”, an online shop. Send me a direct Facebook message, or follow my Facebook page to see what markets we’ll be attending.
Do you make custom treats for dogs with dietary requirements: I’ve never had to, but I do have recipes should I get specific requests.
Quote you live by: Love is a four legged word
And so, I leave you with this… Take care of your animals the way you would wish to be treated. Show them the life that they deserve, & try give them as much love as you possibly can. They don’t deserve anything less!