Lynda Winkowski, president and CEO of Angels’ Eyes, recognized the need for a non-invasive tear stain remover for cats and dogs in the early aughts. Having tried topical solutions on her own dogs, she felt the products were only temporarily solving the problem. “Every dog is different. Some dogs take pills very easily, some don’t. You can approach some dogs with a comb and they run,” she says. “We tried topical products that seemed to be irritating our dogs.”
Knowing what ingredient removed stains, she developed a supplement that could be sprinkled on food to eliminate stains and tried the product on four of her own dogs. “It took a long time to come up with before the packaging and marketing process, but it worked,” she says. “The dogs took to the product well.”
Established in 2003 as something Winkowski calls “a very mom-and-pop start-up,” Angels’ Eyes has expanded its operations and product offerings. Angels’ Eyes is a wheat- and dye-free supplement that uses tylosin as tartrate as its active ingredient preventing red yeast and bacterial infections that cause excessive tearing and staining. Available in three formulas–Beef Liver, Chicken and Sweet Potato–Angels’ Eyes uses tylosin to bind with porphyrins inside the body and aids in excreting them, either by shedding or through normal hair growth. Pet owners should see results in three to five weeks, depending on their dog or cat’s coat.
The Angels’ Eyes Natural formula debuted at the 2010 SuperZoo show in Las Vegas, meeting the need for pet owners who prefer natural products. A proprietary blend composed of cranberry powder, Oregon grape root and marshmallow root, owners can expect the natural formula to take three to 10 weeks before producing results.
The company is in the process of developing new products, that are expected to launch at the 2012 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla. “We have some other things cooking,” Winkowski says. The new products, which Winkowksi offered few details about, will make the current line more complementary. “We didn’t let our other Angels’ Eyes product come out before we were ready to go.”
Similarly, after much tweaking, the company was not officially ready to launch until 2005. Having industry sales experience and having attended pet trade shows, Winkowski and her husband understood successful merchandising tactics. “We made the packaging pretty, and then we went on our first outing at the Groom Expo in Hershey, Pa.,” she says.
Prior to the show, postcards were sent to groomers and stores in the Pennsylvania tri-state area to spread brand awareness. Customer response and product sales took Angels’ Eyes to the 2005 Backer Christmas Show–the show Winkowski says put the company on the map. From there, the company grew busier. “We went from a little four-foot table that we used to make product on, to about 10,000-square-feet now,” she says. The facility now has large food processors that mix and grind product and fill bottles, in addition to a larger shipping department.
Through growth, the company’s core philosophy has remained the same–the customer is always first. Angels’ Eyes is passionate about providing exceptional customer service to retailers and consumers. Displays and specials are available for retailers and support is available for consumers. “Maybe a customer is having problem administering the product, they are free to call us and we’ll help them any way we can and make suggestions to the them,” she says.
In addition to supporting consumers, Angels’ Eyes provides relief to sick animals surrounding its headquarters’ local area in Sunrise, Fla. The company works with several hospitals to provide financial aid for animals’ medical bills. “We’re taking care of the animals that are distress at the time instead of giving money to a charity,” she says. “If [no one] is going to pay for [the medical bills], then they aren’t going to treat the animal with the best possible care that they could have.”
As Angels’ Eyes continues its charitable efforts and product development, Winkowski made one thing clear, customers will be a remaining priority. “We started out slowly, but no matter what, we always want to make sure that our customers know how to use our product.”