Meet the Four Women Behind Pride+Groom, a Beauty Brand for Dogs
From New York, with Love
Pride + Groom, the first dog grooming brand to launch under a beauty platform, was developed by four women in New York who wanted to bring their dogs the same level of luxury skincare and beauty that we, as humans, experience ourselves. The products feature all-natural ingredients and are tailored for dogs’ skin and coats with type-specific products (i.e. shampoo for shedding dogs, non-shedders, sensitive skin, etc).
We just had to learn more about the women behind this brand. Keep reading to get the lowdown on their origin story, support of rescue shelters, and which brands they turn to for their own beauty routines.
I really like the story behind Pride+Groom: four women coming together from different backgrounds to create a brand. How did this happen for you all?
Jane Wagman and Regina Haymes first met at Vogue magazine over 20 years ago where Jane worked in the art department and Regina was in Fashion. Regina introduced Jane to her longtime friends Heather Perlman and Patricia Machado because she believed their shared love of animals and backgrounds (Heather in Advertising, Patricia as a chemical Engineer, Jane’s side hustle is being on the board of Animal Haven) would make the perfect team of partners. And guess what? It did! With any start-up, everyone is going to wear many hats (we only recently removed our shipping facility from Patricia’s garage) but we each lead certain aspects of the company and we speak/text/zoom about 5,000x a day.
Did you really formulate your products in a clean beauty lab and a fragrance house?
It was important to us from inception that our products have all the frees (no sulfates, parabens, silicones, dyes, toxins, gluten) in addition to actually being helpful. Not being harmful was not enough for us. That should be the baseline. It’s like saying someone is “nice” – isn’t that the starting point? We sourced essential oils that are specifically beneficial to the different types of coats and skin of dogs (just like humans!) Our scent, which is less of a recognizable specific scent and more of “fresh and clean” in a bottle, was developed by us in a fragrance house. When we think about a clean product for our dogs (and for ourselves) we think about the simplicity and efficacy of natural ingredients. Manufacturing a beauty line has a lot to do with trusting your manufacturer and making sure that the ingredients are ethically sourced. Shampoos are very simple to produce after you find the right formula.
What is your advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Choose your partners wisely, be ready to work 24/7, and wear many hats. A small company doesn't have office hours! Talk to anyone who wants to talk to you. You never know who is going to give you that one invaluable nugget or say “I know exactly who you need to speak to…”
What sets Pride+Groom apart from other dog grooming products?
We are the first company that really has a clean beauty line for dogs. Yes, there are lots of dog shampoo brands, some extensions of human brands (not focused on the dogs), and some that might do the job of washing. We clean, beautify and benefit our furry friends. After a bath with Pride + Groom, our four-legged customers smell great, have moisturized skin and a soft, shiny coat, and the result lasts for many days and even weeks. Each of our products contains a carefully selected blend of essential oils.
- THE SHEDDER shampoo is very moisturizing and helps to release the undercoat of the dogs who shed. When the fur is released during a bath, there will be less on your furniture!
- THE NON SHEDDER shampoo contains Marshmallow Root, Avocado, Flax Seed, Coconut, and Jojoba oils. This is a powerful combination that gives the dog’s coat and skin the best treatment possible.
- THE SENSITIVE ONE shampoo is formulated with ingredients aimed to soothe and regulate the skin and follicles of these gentler souls.
- THE FINAL COAT conditioner untangles any coat and locks in long-lasting shine and manageability.
In addition to our outstanding formula, we decided to use a cone-shaped, control-flow applicator (ala hair colorists) that allows for an easy one-handed wash. Bathing a dog can be stressful for some dogs and their owners. The ease of our bottles allows you to hold your dog with one hand while easily applying product directly into your dog's fur and massaging (or styling) with the other.
I love that you all are giving back as well. Tell me more about the special two-in-one shampoo and conditioner "The One for All" you make exclusively for shelters.
The One For All is a two-for-one (shampoo and conditioner in one bottle) developed exclusively for rescues, as we knew they don’t have the time for any extra steps. We don't sell this formula, we only donate it. A rescue dog’s first bath is often the first act of caring they have ever received and we are extremely proud to have a hand in their path to finding a forever home. We ask our customers to recommend their favorite shelters for us to donate to.
What common pet care mistakes do you see people make, and how can they avoid them?
When we researched the grooming industry, we asked many dog parents what they used for washing their dogs. The answers ranged from Dawn detergent to Oribe shampoo. Both extremes are big mistakes! Dogs' skin is significantly more alkaline than human skin. Products for dogs need to have a more neutral to alkaline PH, so human shampoos will not be beneficial for dogs, not even baby shampoos! Many of our customers thank us because after using our products their dogs are less itchy, don’t have flaky skin, and smell amazing. When you wash your dog with products that are more acidic (designed for humans) and contain harsh ingredients, along with the dirt, the product will wash out all the good oils that are naturally part of your dog’s skin. These oils help to protect against bacteria and washing those out will make the skin more vulnerable.
At Influenster we are all about connecting people to the right products for them. Which beauty products are you reaching for in your own routines?
REGINA: BYREDO Blanche Eau De Perfume. I love the smart clean design of these products. The smell and feel of clean sheets which is a favorite of mine :) Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C+ Collagen Deep Cream. This cream has a slightly lighter, but just as nourishing feeling as La Mer. It’s the perfect night cream.
JANE: I have spent so much time and money undoing the sun damage of my youth. My current obsessions are: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen (I have sensitive skin and this one really is “unseen” and “unfelt”); Thrive mascara (it’s simply the best); and Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment with SPF30 (super soft and moisturizing while adding just a hint of color and sunblock.)
PATRICIA: I am from Brazil and I love the sun, so I use vitamin C from Nuori to help minimize the effects of the sun. I also try to keep my skin moisturized, I love Sisley All Day All Year Essential Anti-Aging Cream and Vintner’s Daughter Active Essence.
HEATHER: Sara Happ The Lip Slip. This lippy is really dense and moisturizing. It’s just the right amount of shiny, and I don’t know why but it takes the creases out of my lips and makes them look a lot like they used to. Erno Lazlo Shake-it Tinted Treatment. I started using Erno when I was 13 and I still love the smell. This neutral-toned Shake-It has a little astringent in it so it reduces pores and evens out your skin without looking like makeup.
How important are online reviews and customer feedback to the success of your business?
Customer reviews are what make us wake up in the morning! It’s like a game for us - which one of us can see the Amazon review first and send it in the group chat. We launched in July 2020, when it was not possible to interact with our customers in person. It’s incredible to see how generous our customers are with their time, letting us know how much they love our products and the joy Pride+Groom brings them. When we launched, we knew our family and friends were going to tell us they loved our products as they had to! It was when we started to hear from the people we DON’T know that we realized we had truly created something amazing. We will leave you with a few of our favorites:
- “I sent Pride+Groom to my aunt and she immediately gave her Dobermann Elizabeth a bath. She said both Elizabeth and her house smelled like the Four Seasons spa afterward.”
- “I used THE SHEDDER on Zeus and I’ve never taken the vacuum cleaner out less. Not to mention he smells so good my girlfriend now thinks he’s her best friend.”
- “You’ll be pleased to know my neighbor just texted and said ‘did Elvira just come back from the first floor at Bergdorf’s? She smells amazing!’”
We want to see your puppy pics! Share your photos in our #FurryFriends Gallery and be sure to review the food, treats, toys, and grooming products you've tried. (Influenster app required to upload photos to galleries.)