We made it! Thoughts from 2020... and looking ahead to 2021

Well, that was crazy!

We made it.

December 2020, in a year none of us will ever forget with memories, happenings, and stories that will be shared for generations to come. Truthfully, it's hard to look back at everything that has happened this year and wrap my head around it all...the year flew by, and at the same time, it didn’t.

We all rushed out and bought toilet paper and beans, only to have a pantry full of toilet paper and beans. For many of us, this has been an incredibly challenging, introspective, and life-changing year. For some, life seemed to go on as usual, and for others, it came to a screeching halt.

For me, it was a year to reflect on all the things I’ve accomplished and all the things I look forward to accomplishing in the future. It became a time to tighten my belt, buckle up, and take stock of everything life has to offer. For better or for worse, 2020 has brought new meaning to business, family, and relationships.

One thing for sure, we did learn that the saying “it takes a village” could not be more true. I think more about my family's well-being and safety, but it now extends to my company family, community, and partners.

In February, the team and I attended Global Pet Expo in Florida. We built a beautiful new booth to welcome in the new year, showcase our new products, and visit our retail partners. Today, that booth sits in storage, just waiting to be “open” again for business. One thing that’s been especially hard for me is to not see our store friends. Many of them are now like family, and while we chat on the phone regularly, being able to visit their stores and see them at the annual trade shows is something I’m looking forward to in the future.

The spring was really hard. We were preparing to launch the new line of botanical tinctures (which we did in June), and it wasn't easy to see where the country was headed. Being in Seattle put us at the forefront of the pandemic. As a team, we decided to use the time to work on building and nurturing relationships with customers and retailers. I am forever grateful for those many zoom meetings, emails, text messages, and phone calls.

We also moved to a new warehouse and built an in-house laboratory to create all of our tinctures. It’s been exciting to see what we can do when we’ve got time. During this creative period, we prepped to reformulate our entire classic line of tinctures, biscuits, and even the brand, which I’ll highlight later. Still, it too became a much-needed task and allowed us to put a great deal of energy, resourcefulness, and thoughtfulness into making the absolute best products on the market.

During this time, we also partnered with Packer Mellem, the nationwide broker team, to support and represent Austin and Kat with our distributors and retail partners across the US. This is a relationship I am so proud to have developed, which allows us to reach more customers and, in turn, help more dogs. Helping as many owners find health, happiness, and calm with their pets is our primary focus.

In July, I took a brave (and scary) flight to New England to pick up a bundle of joy and fluff from dear friends in Vermont. Little Miss Lady Harper joined our growing pack and has been a welcome diversion to the isolation Tim and I have felt. She’s given us that “puppy-like” feeling of joy, newness, energy, and happiness, and it’s evident by the way I wake up every morning ready to take on the world.

As fall approached, it became clear that we weren’t yet out of this “mess.” Again, we continued to do what we do best (or I feel we do best), nurture relationships, innovate and get ready for an epic 2021. In November, we came together in Seattle (socially distant) and spent a week reinforcing our culture and who we wanted to be as a company. The outcome was a clear focus on our passion for creating the best of the best.

In the coming weeks, we will be relaunching our Classic Collection. It’s been a labor of love that really goes back all the way to 2014 when I started this journey. As companies grow, sometimes they forget about why they started in the beginning, what their ethos was, and why wearing your heart on your sleeve was really ok to do.

The relaunch of this line meant more to me than most can imagine. I started Austin and Kat in my kitchen after having recently gotten divorced. This was my second chance to do something extraordinary. So when I knew it was time to refresh the original line, I knew I needed to go back to my roots and build and create something I would once again be incredibly proud of.

So, here are the finer points of the updates, refreshes, and amazing additions we’ve made to the Classic Collection. We listened to you, our partners, and made these changes while always making sure ingredients matter. We paid the strictest attention to the latest scientific evidence and created products developed to use nature as it was intended.

Our new classic chews are made to my original recipe with simple, natural ingredients now softer, easier to portion, and with some key improvements like:

  • Using Treehouse proprietary hemp extract ~ it’s even richer in powerful cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Added LONGVIDA optimized turmeric extract ~ the safest and most effective turmeric available, and it’s been studied around the world
  • All of these ingredients work TOGETHER to keep your dog healthier, happier, and calmer
  • We’ve moved from a 2mg to 2 ½ mg chew, alongside our most popular 5mg and 10mg (the only SKU change is the 2 ½ mg)

Our classic tinctures are made with minimally processed hemp extracts by Treehouse.

  • Plus, powerful antioxidants like CoQ10 from Kaneka
  • Include a full spectrum black pepper extract to prolong and enhance the entourage effect ( aka the effects of CBD on the body)
  • Remember, the CBD and botanicals are key to effectiveness...but most of the product is the carrier oil; we’re the only company to use an optimized blend of carrier oils, including omega-3 rich hempseed, to unlock the full benefits of CBD
  • Our carrier oils work with the body to deliver CBD most effectively

I’m excited to share these refreshed and updated products with you and your customers. The packaging is gorgeous, designed in-house, and made here in the US. Our suppliers and partners have been thoroughly vetted, and we are confident that we have the absolute best CBD wellness products on the market, and well, my name is on the package, so suffice to say I proudly stand behind everything we make.

I’m excited about 2021! The team we’ve assembled aren’t just my coworkers, but they are my family and friends, and together we are here to support and grow with you. As we look towards the future, you’ll see some great new innovative products coming from the team. Just stay tuned.

And finally, Happy Holidays to you and your families. Here's to 2021 filled with joy and celebration and to seeing (and hugging) one another once again.

All the best, stay safe, and please wear a mask.