A Dynamic Approach
Ernie Katris, managing partner for Elive, discusses how the company utilizes passion and creativity to develop a diverse range of products that solve problems for pet owners.
PB: Elive’s focus on both the dog and aquatics categories is pretty unique. What drove this approach to product development?
Ernie Katris: At Elive, new product development is not limited to one product line or category. Our office is a very dynamic place to work, where we encourage creativity, desire and true out-of-the-box thinking to evoke origination across all networks. This type of atmosphere really fosters innovative thinking and an inspired approach for our team to follow their passions. We have a wide skill level among our people that range across the aquarium, dog, cat and reptile categories. We harvest this ability to drive improvement where there is an opportunity to solve a problem and appeal to the masses in whichever category presents itself.
PB: What separates Elive from other pet product manufacturers?
Katris: Our ability to develop high-quality products to solve problems while enhancing consumers’ success with their pets in a very short period of time is really what makes us different from other companies in this industry. Our motto since the beginning has been to be first in service, first in innovation and first in quality. Another important characteristic of our business that makes customers want to partner with Elive is our understanding of market trends. Being able to quickly capitalize on these trends is crucial to our success. In today’s world, we find it imperative to be adaptable to change and quickly respond when an opportunity presents itself.
Unique, solution-based products are fun and easy to sell. Pet customers are obsessive people who want to do what is best for their animals. When a retailer has Elive products on their shelf, they always have a great story to tell their customers. The story could be about an Aquaponics filter that uses a live plant to help naturally filter their aquarium, or a new LED Aquarium light that allows one to customize the spectral light output and optimize the appearance of their aquarium.
PB: What are Elive’s newest introductions?
Katris: We recently introduced a line of interactive dog toys that combine launching a tennis ball with a treat-dispensing handle to properly train your dog for the ultimate game of fetch. The treat dispenser holds 10 Elive Training Treats. The launcher and treat combo is unique, as it allows the consumer to train and reward their dog while enhancing their play time together. The launcher also comes with a High-Def tennis ball that is yellow and blue in color. These specific colors are the most recognizable to a dog’s vision, allowing the dog to see it easier on any background.
At SuperZoo, we will be introducing a line of small decorative Betta Filters. The filters combine an air-driven carbon and sponge filter with a plant or resin ornament. The filter helps to clean and aerate the aquarium water, while the décor piece helps to hide the filter. It’s designed for aquariums from .5 to 3 gallons. Betta fish are the No. 1-selling aquarium fish in the U.S., and most of these fish are put in small desktop aquariums without filtration. The Betta filter will help improve the color, activity and vitality of fish by improving the water quality. Retailers have a huge opportunity to finally recommend a filter small enough to service the many small aquariums and fish bowls that are sold every year in order to make the consumer more successful and keep them in the hobby.