A new pet accessory called the Mookie is set to take the industry by storm. The product, which is the brainchild of legal expert Patricia Stephens, can be used as both a grooming brush and massager.
Launched on Friday, the Mookie has already created lots of interest, and Patricia is excited about its prospects both in the UK and abroad.
With its cap on, the Mookie acts a gentle massager to help relax pets and therefore owners. With the cap off, its specially designed, plastic bristles detangle sensitive areas of fur. The product is designed for use on medium to long-haired cats, dogs and rabbits.
"The idea first came to me when I realised there wasn't a 'fun' dog brush on the market that wasn't intimidating to dogs, who don't like conventional grooming brushes,” said Patricia.
Patricia is a Cambridge-trained lawyer who worked for various London city firms after graduating. After her son was injured in a skiing accident she moved to Bishops Stortford in 2001, where she lives with her two dogs, West Highland Terrier Doddy and Spaniel-Schnauzer-cross Ella. She now works from home as a consultant to the medical profession.
Patricia took time out from her hectic schedule to talk to Pet Trade Xtra about the development of the Mookie.
How did you come up with the idea?
It was my West Highland Terrier who hated being brushed with conventional brushes so I decided to have a go at designing my own.
Is the Mookie based on your design?
Yes completely, I hold almost worldwide registered design protection. I have a file showing the progression of the design to the final article.
How did you turn your design into reality?
The whole project has taken over four years from the initial conceptual designs, prototyping, design registration and latterly finding the right product manufacturer and packaging company in this country. The manufacturing process itself took over two years going through various material and colour sampling stages including amazing collaboration between the manufacturer and the colour suppliers who went through many weeks in their labs to get the right colour mixes for the material the product is made of. At the moment I am only selling on line but I had an approach from a pet shop this morning which I am following up on.
Would you like pet shops and garden centres to sell it?
Where did the name Mookie come from?
It was the name of my Aunt’s cat in France.
Are there more pet products in the pipeline?
Yes, there are designs for another groomer/massager which will be called MookieMax but as I only have trade mark protection at the moment I cannot divulge any more. We are also thinking about other accessories within the brand for the future.
How do you fit your legal work around developing the Mookie brand?
My main job is my legal work, but I manage to find time for the Mookie as well. As I work from home it is a very good fit.
You must be proud of the finished product?
I am extremely proud that this lovely product has been designed and made in this country and to an exceptional standard. The manufacturer, Elbmar Ltd of Swindon, has been absolutely fantastic.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
The handle is made from a material that it is very squidgy and tactile – it actually feels like velvet. The material is FDA approved so it will not harm children or pets if put in their mouths.
For more information on the product or how to contact Patricia visit www.mookiepet.com