All-Natural Pet Toys Create Niche for Woman Entrepreneur

PamWheelock_headshot-274x300Pam Wheelock is a hybrid entrepreneur with a social conscience selling back to the future products made in the USA. Why hybrid? She’s taken a cottage industry model and moved it to the next level via the internet.   She and her team are producing handmade cat and dog toys in an Indiana workshop next to her home in Chesterton. Since she first started making and selling pet toys, she’s set aside 5% of each sale to no-kill animal rescues and shelters. While toys typically contain plastics and other toxic materials made overseas that are sold by big box stores, hers meet a rigorous standard of all-natural products. She’s also an innovator, carving out a niche by creating, producing and distributing the first organic and dye free pet toys. Meet Purrfectplay, a firm she launched eight years ago with three designs. Today, she offers perhaps 40 products, produced by two part-time workers, plus four sewers. Inspired by the power of her idea, she didn’t a take a paycheck until two years ago, and launched her company without taking out a loan. Typical of startups, it was a situation of all hands on deck, and even husband Greg Munger helped with web design.  Among her legendary toys are little dust bunnies, producing 10,000 last year alone! Her overall sales are modest but growing. “I want to protect our pets and planet while making great toys for my customers,” she said.

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