New products, strategic partnerships, integrated manufacturing open new doors
KINGFIELD, ME - Kingfield-based pet products manufacturer Dog Not Gone Visibility Products, LLC has introduced a new line of products through it’s partnership with L.L.Bean that offer built-in tick and insect repellency. The No Fly Zone Safety Dog Vest is now available at L.L.Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, ME and online at llbean.com. The product will also be prominently featured in the company’s upcoming Hunting catalog.
No Fly Zone technology enables a permethrin treatment to be bonded to the fabric to repel ticks and insects. The treatment is non-toxic and is designed to remain effective through as many as 70 washings.
The product’s official launch at the 2015 SHOT shooting and hunting sports trade event in January marked the conclusion of a nearly year long product development process and kicked off what is expected to be a break out year for the company, Dog Not Gone co-owner Julie Swain said. “This is an important step in our company’s history,” she said. “After eight years of steady and calculated growth, now is the time to take our products and our brand to a national audience with a highly visible retail presence.”
As the prevalence of ticks and Lyme Disease spreads throughout New England and the nation, pet owners are seeking new and innovative solutions. “The No Fly Zone vest offers the visibility and security that our products are already known for and adds a new level of tick protection,” Swain said. “These products will have a broad appeal for pet owners looking for the ability to protect against insects without have to rely on harsh chemicals and systemic treatments.”
In addition to creating and launching new products, Swain and her husband and business partner Bill Swain, have moved from contracted manufacturing to owning their own facility and employing the staff who work there. The couple created Maine Stitching Specialties, LLC to make Dog Not Gone’s products and to offer contract manufacturing services to other companies in Maine and beyond. It also is sells and and fabricates custom draperies for the hospitality and healthcare industries. “Owning our manufacturing capacity gives us added flexibility and resources to rapidly respond to changing sales patterns,” Bill Swain said. “Knowing exactly what our capabilities are gives us the confidence to seek high volume customers.”
Dog Not Gone’s signature Safety Dog Vest was first brought to market in 2006 when the company’s first commercial customer, Ugly Dog Hunting Company, placed an order for 200 vests. “We filled that first order by sewing them ourselves in our home,” said co-founder Julie Swain. “When we got that order finished, we knew that we had to find more sophisticated manufacturing if we were ever going to sell higher volumes.”
Contact: Bill Swain 207.812.5207 Bill@dognotgone.com
In 2007, the Swains approached Dirigo Stitching, Inc. of Skowhegan, ME for contract manufacturing services. This new partnership immediately enabled significantly higher volumes and achieved quality and consistency that was not possible through home-based sewing.
The relationship also enabled the company to actively seek larger customers, including L.L.Bean, which placed the company’s products in the flagship retail store and in the catalog/online channels. “It is extremely validating to see a product you make on sale at L.L.Bean, who’s 100+ year reputation stands for quality, function and value,” Julie Swain said. “When our product was on the inside cover of that year’s hunting catalog we couldn’t have been more proud.” That partnership has also succeeded in helping the company grow. “Working with L.L.Bean on this product helped open doors with suppliers and vendors that we may not been able to open ourselves,” Swain said.
Dog Not Gone, in conjunction with Maine Stitching Specialties, produces the No Fly Zone Dog Vest for L.L.Bean in two colors, Blaze Orange and L.L.Bean’s Dusty Olive. Both color options feature reflective striping and a double Velcro closure for a secure fit. “It’s an honor for L.L.Bean to carry your product,” Julie Swain said. “Being a manufacturing partner to produce a product that carries the L.L.Bean brand is a milestone at a whole different level and a new beginning.”
According to Swain the company is already in discussions regarding other products that are slated to enter the product development cycle in the coming months.
Founded in 2005, Dog Not Gone Visibility Products is a market leader in pet safety products for visibility, security and insect protection. With designs created by outdoors-people and a commitment to American craftsmanship, the company’s products have been embraced by pet owners looking for the most effective way to keep their dogs visible day and night. Dog Not Gone’s Safety Dog Vest features an exclusive double Velcro closure to ensure the vest fits perfectly and will not come off even in the thickest cover. Genuine 3M reflective striping glows brightly to ensure dogs are highly visible after dark when a pet owner is walking in the woods or along the road.
It’s products are sold by legendary outdoor retailers L.L.Bean and Orvis, online giants Amazon and Wayfair, and hundreds of independent retailers throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Products are available online at: www.dognotgone.com. For more information, contact Julie Swain at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.479.5500.