Founded | 2014
Headquarters | Southlake, TX
Top Executive | Roger Morgan, Founder & CEO
Products | Pet Products
Our story is one of unconditional love,” said Roger Morgan, Founder and CEO of pawTree. “A story of pets and how they love us unconditionally. This company is an opportunity for us to give back to our pets in ways that they can’t provide for themselves.”
Prior to founding pawTree, Roger was a long-time CEO of a pet supplies company, where the focus was set on keeping prices low in order to appease retailers—which became increasingly difficult year after year. In order to keep prices from rising, Roger found that the quality of the products inevitably had to be lowered. Cutting corners created a true quandary for Roger, as he felt forced to prioritize profit over the wellbeing of their end users: beloved family pets.
“After going through that experience many times with various retailers and realizing how much power they have, I knew I needed to control the quality of these products and not compromise,” Roger explained. “Not through retail stores, but through relationships, where people value the quality of our products as much as I do. I knew direct selling would be the natural sales channel for this concept. It would allow me to uphold the quality of the products while delivering outstanding results alongside people of like mind.”
With that realization, Roger set out to create a business that allowed pet parents to make better nutritional choices for their pets—and let the results speak for themselves.
The Happiness Business
To reciprocate the unconditional love that pets give to their owners, Roger carefully assembled a top-tier team of veterinarians and a PhD in Animal Science and Pet Nutrition to formulate the best line of pet products on the market. pawTree sought to develop products with no fillers or by-products—just nutritionally-dense food and nutritional supplements containing the highest quality ingredients and antioxidants. This holistic approach to pet nutrition would allow pets to thrive, while also acting as a proactive measure to avoid excessive and costly vet visits.
And just like that, pawTree was born: a company devoted to creating phenomenal products for healthier pets and happier hearts and homes. In addition to pet food, the product assortment includes toys, grooming and training products—each crafted with the same commitment to quality. The idea of unconditional love was woven into the fabric of pawTree, starting with their brand vision: To create a world filled with unconditional love where pets and their people thrive.
“When pet parents introduce our products, they see a transformation in the lives of their pets, as well as their own,” Roger said. “Because just like with our two-legged babies, when our pets are happier and healthier, we’re also happier. That’s why we say we’re in the happiness business. The pet feels amazing, and the pet parent feels amazing because they truly made an impact on the life of their pet. It’s a win-win!”
Director of Customer Support and Field Development Tami VanHoy agreed, “We get to help pets live their best lives, which makes the corporate team happy, too. And because pet parents see the difference in their pets after using pawTree products, our customer loyalty and retention is very strong. These are passionate pet people, so once they realize that better products exist, they become life- long customers.”
Leading the Pack
Since pawTree launched in 2014, the company has carved out a unique niche in the direct selling space. With beauty and nutrition largely dominating the industry, pawTree’s focus on premium pet products is a differentiator that has helped generate brand loyalty—from corporate to consumer. Their commitment to unconditional love doesn’t hurt either.
The entire corporate team is at the heart of the company’s success. With a shared vision, they view pawTree not as a job but as a way to make an impact. They’ve assembled a strong team across all departments.
Though pawTree’s home office leadership team has grown over the years to support the business, Roger reports zero turnover. “Our management team has the same loyalty as our customers do to our brand. We have attracted executive team members who were CEOs, founders and top earners from other direct selling companies, a product specialist from a top-tier competitor and so on. They see the impact we’re making on the lives of pets and people and have a shared commitment to our vision statement. Collectively, we see it unfolding in the lives of pets and people literally every single day.”
Director of Sales Melissa Davis agreed, “What makes the biggest impact in the lives of people and pets alike is the same thing: unconditional love. You see that in everything we do and in the quality of our product line. We get results! And when pet parents see those results, they become life-long customers, which also fuels our compensation plan and drives success for our petPros. The residual commission is very sticky and strong.”
Thanks to these factors, retention in field leadership is also very high. The team is comprised of a strong base of individuals in the field who joined in or near the beginning, and pawTree continues to add to that talented team as more people continue to join.
Sharing the Love
In pawTree’s eight years of business, they have launched a steady flow of new and innovative products, including the “Core 4,” which are flagship products that proactively address nearly 80 percent of the reasons pet parents take their fur babies to the vet. Core 4 consists of four products (Wild Alaskan Salmon and Pollock Oil, Gastro Pro Plus, Joint Support Plus and CBD Mega).
Based on their innovative products and impressive growth, pawTree has collected several prestigious awards over the years. The company won the Harvard Business School Regional New Venture Competition (where Roger also earned his MBA) and a DSA Rising Star Award. pawTree was also named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America list in 2021, having experienced 271 percent growth over the previous year. In addition, Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business named pawTree to its coveted Dallas 100 Entrepreneur Awards list for two years due to its rapid growth.
With all of pawTree’s success, Roger and his team remain focused on the brand vision, which naturally lends itself to giving back. pawTree’s philanthropic partnerships are perfectly aligned with their products and philosophies. For instance, pawTree has partnered with Smoky Mountain Service Dogs (SMSD), a non-profit organization that enhances quality of life for wounded veterans by providing custom-trained service dogs at no cost to the veteran.
“Our organizations share a vision of making a difference not only in the lives of pets, but also their people!” explained pawTree’s Director of Consumer Marketing Tammy Roseborough. “SMSD recognizes the impact that a service dog can have on a veteran who faces challenges due to military service. We chose them as a strategic partner because we personally visited, spoke with veterans and saw the unconditional love these dogs and veterans have for each other. The service dogs who support those who have served our country deserve to have the best. That’s why we have provided free dog food and supplements to these canine partners—so they can live long, healthy lives. pawTree and SMSD are a perfect fit because we are both driven by love and service.”
DFW Rescue Me is another non-profit partner that pawTree wholeheartedly supports. “They are a wonderful local pet rescue that we have partnered with over the years by providing free food and other pet products,” Roger shared. “They are our official rescue, and they even attended our pawTree launch party in 2014. My family was so enthralled with their rescue animals that we adopted one of them on the spot! DFW Rescue Me shares our passion for connecting people and pets, which makes for a meaningful partnership.”
Sit and Staying Power
Despite COVID-19, pawTree managed to double their business in 2020—and again in 2021. The company is on track to double their sales again this year. In addition, pawTree’s top income earners consistently break new sales records on a near-monthly basis. To maintain this upward trajectory, Roger is excited to add to pawTree’s already robust product offering with strategic product launches over the next five years. But even so, Roger brings the focus back to the reason he started pawTree to begin with: unconditional love.
“Our brand attracts a broad group of people who love their fur babies—plus breeders, groomers, pet sitters, dog walkers and more,” Roger explained. “But the one thing we all have in common is our passion for pets and a desire to see pets’ and peoples’ lives change for the better. People are emotionally connected to their pets, so when we help them, we also help a pet parent.”
Roger concluded, “Some people think selling pet food is what we ‘do.’ And while we sell premium pet nutrition, that’s not even close to what we ‘do.’ Thanks to this industry, what we ‘do’ is impact pets and people in a positive and profound way—as of last year, we were able to touch over 260,000 of them. That’s why pawTree exists. That’s what we ‘do.’ And we do it with love.”
From the September 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.