Given the miserable weather in the UK over the last week or so, this week’s Small
Business Spotlight has come at just the right time! HOWND make a range of wonderful grooming products including shampoos, body mists, paw balms and more; perfect for this damp and dreary British weather. Before we tell you what we think of them, here’s Mark to tell you a little more about the business, their products and why their products are so special.
Hi Mark, thanks for joining us today. What was the inspiration behind HOWND?
When we first launched we were called Butch & Bess, but after running into a silly trademark dispute we decided it was best to change names and HOWND was born in early 2015. We were already producing the best dog grooming products available on the market so it was just a matter of changing the branding and packaging. I know I’m making it sound easy but it was really hard work. We chose the brand name HOWND as we knew we wanted to build a range of products covering all things ‘doggy’ and also wanted a name that people got right away. The ‘w’ was required to trademark the name, but we tell everyone it’s because it stands for winner, wonderful, and wow!
What makes your products different from other doggy grooming products?
It’s so difficult in today’s world to remain unique just because of the number of products available on the market. But we always look at a group of features that together keep us unique such as our 100% Cruelty Free International certification, our accreditation by The Ethical Company Organisation and the NatureWatch Foundation, and the fact that many of our products are innovative, award-winning, and contain natural and vegan ingredient alternatives to what’s currently on the market. A perfect example of this is the use of Candelilla Wax instead of Bee Wax in our Skin Nose and Paw Balms. We don’t believe in using commercial bee farms so have an incredible alternative sourced from a shrub which grows in the Chihuahua Desert in Northeast Mexico. Also, our new Miracle White & Bright Shampoo contains a natural alternative to the bleaches and optical brighteners found in most other whitening products.
Why is it so important to you that you use high quality, natural ingredients?
It’s what our consumers are asking for. We have all read about the humanisation of pets, and our consumers want the very best products for their dogs just as they would want for themselves and their children. Natural ingredients are better for you, it’s plain and simple really. And it doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive either and it’s all becoming more mainstream. We like to see our brand as being ‘affordably premium’ – we know our products are loved by dog owners and professional groomers – but it’s also important to us to not overcharge just for the sake of it. We have some very expensive ingredients in our products and use them because they make a difference to the skin and coat. Everyone picks the space they want to represent and ours is based on creating products that keep your dog’s coat healthy, rejuvenated, clean, moisturised and smelling great. And all our grooming products are vegan as well. It’s a win for everyone.
Can you tell us a bit more about your new Hemp by Hownd range?
Hemp by Hownd will be a new range of hemp seed oil based products to include shampoos, treats, supplements, and the skin nose and paw balms which we have just launched and won a product innovation award for. Hemp Seed Oil has been around for thousands of years and boasts incredible health benefits for pets. It also contains the perfect ratio of Omega-6 (linoleum acid) to Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, meaning your dog can’t produce them and needs to get them in his diet. A good balance of these Omega oils is critical to your dog’s health because they work synergistically in the body. Hemp seeds are also high in an essential Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which helps fight cancer, reduce joint pain, and improve skin and coat.
Which is your personal favourite HOWND product?
I have two personal favourites. One is our Yup You Stink! Shampoo. I love the fresh clean smell of it and the formula can handle just about anything thrown at it. My dog rolls (and eats!) fox poo, loves getting muddy, and loves stagnant water ponds. And Yup You Stink has never let me down. I also love our brand-new hemp balms as they can be used on the skin, paws, and nose and contain such amazing ingredient goodness. It’s like a jar of pure health!
What has been your proudest HOWND moment so far?
There has been quite a few I must admit – it’s amazing to watch our business grow and more importantly see all the amazing reviews from both dog owners and the trade. Last month we were at a large trade event called PATS and we took home two gold awards on the night which was incredible and totally unexpected. One was a product innovation award for our new hemp seed oil balms, and the other was for marketing campaign of the year for our annual ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day’ fundraising event which happens at the end of June each year. To win the top awards for both product and charitable campaign was awesome and proves that hard work and passion does pay off. These two awards totally encapsulate what we are about as a brand.
What does the future hold for HOWND?
Exciting times lay ahead that’s for sure. We are about to go through our first funding round will which help us grow more aggressively and enable us to bring so many new and innovative products into the hands of dog owners. Early 2018 will see our first non-grooming products introduced and then we will push on from here. We are so proudly a made in the UK brand but understand the benefits of growing our exports and partnering up with the right people. Hownd will always remain an innovative, fun and personable brand which will offer products to improve the wellbeing of your dog.
Doodle Review: HOWND Shampoos and Body Mists
HOWND very kindly sent us a selection of their products to test, we’ve saved a few for another post so keep your eyes peeled for that very soon! Today we will cover the shampoo and body mist sets we received from their ‘Got An Itch’ and ‘Yup You Stink!’ ranges.
To test the Got An Itch shampoo we enlisted the help of Desmond who lives with my Grandparents. Des has perpetually itchy skin, the humans have tried a number of different shampoos, creams and supplements to try to ease this but still he keep itching. Over the last few months it has been so bad that the hair on his legs is starting to discolour, as you can see in the pictures, from where he uses his teeth to scratch his itches which also leaves his coat smelling slightly yeasty. This made him the perfect candidate to test the Got An Itch range! The Got An Itch shampoo is designed to protect and moisturise the skin with a formula rich in wheat protein and argan oil, as well as rose, orange and bergamot essential oils. It has a pH-balanced formula containing wheat protein, oat kernel, argan oil and aloe vera leaf juice – all of which nourish, condition and soften a dog’s coat for easier grooming. The delicate scent of the rose and bergamont essential oils is fresh and floral without being overpowering. Once Desmond was out of the shower, and thoroughly unimpressed as you can see, the unpleasant smell from his coat was replaced with scents of the oils and although still present, some of the discolouration was reduced which was a pleasant surprise. In the days following the use of the Got An Itch shampoo Desmond was definitely significantly less itchy that usual – that’s a win in our books!
Along with the Got An Itch shampoo we also received the Got An Itch body mist which can be used after the shampoo as a complementary product to prolong the fresh, floral scent or as a stand alone product when grooming. The body mist is designed to help soothe and nourish dry and flaky skin, whilst giving it a gleaming, static free and refreshed coat. The humans sprayed Desmond generously after his bath in the hope that it might prevent the musty coat making a return and Miss Rhapsody also stepped up to help with the testing! Rhapsody’s coat, as with a lot of poodles, has a tendency to become a little dry in between baths so the humans are always on the look out for conditioning sprays that will reduce the number of baths they subject her to. Trust us, it’s not a pleasant experience for either party! Thankfully the Got An Itch body mist did exactly what it said on the bottle, her coat was lovely and soft and a bath was avoided for at least another week. Phew.
Unfortunately I was not so lucky. As the resident ‘mud magnet’ as my mother calls me, I was clearly the only one with the correct skills and love of filth to test out HOWND’s Yup You Stink! range. Now, the Yup Your Stink! range is designed to help deodorise dogs using a combination of eucalyptus and cedar wood essential oils and gentle odour neutralisers. It is formulated to absorb strong odour from fox poo, cow dung and all other manner of stinky stuff that us pooches just love to roll in! The Yup You Stink! conditioning shampoo is not only designed to remove bad odours but also to deeply condition and moisturise, my human said that my coat was even softer and shinier that usual after my bath – I was too busy sulking to notice. The smell of this shampoo (and body mist) is extremely clean and fresh, like a basket of freshly laundered sheets and once scrubbed and spritzed I smelt just as good, much to my dismay.
Our favourite thing about HOWND (other than the fact their products smell amazing!) is that all of their products are free from harsh chemicals and are Leaping Bunny certified by Cruelty Free International – we love a company with good morals that have the best interest of all animals at the heart of everything they do!
All the HOWND products featured in this review retail at £9.00 per bottle/spray and can be found online on the HOWND website, other online retailers such as Fetch and Amazon or in pet shops across the country including some Pets at Home stores.