Interview: Lorraine Walston CEO, Woodrow Wear – “Power Paws”

by Mary Haight on November 2, 2010

Woodrow Wear is a really inventive new business on the block and was celebrating its Anniversary at the H H Backer Christmas Pet Products show. I spoke with Lorraine Walston, President and CEO who shares with us the beginnings of her business success and the passion that drove it, the love of her Rottweiler, Woodrow.

Woodrow was getting on in life and needed help getting up and down. With nothing but heavy boots on the market, Walston was forced to come up with her own product, and the non-slip, won’t-fall-off sock was born.

What was interesting and noteworthy from a business perspective was that Walston tried for more than a year to get a maker in the US to produce the kind of sock she wanted, that would stay up on a dog’s legs.  Walston really wanted that “made in the USA” label.  She went through dozens of companies…yes, dozens.  She finally was forced overseas, through Europe, South Asia and finally to China.  Even then she had taken her product to more than a dozen makers before she found one that would follow her pattern in the materials specified that resulted in the product according to specifications.  She is currently looking into setting up her own manufacturing plant in the US.

Woodrow Wear has a program for shelters and rescues that reduces an already low-cost item with a discount and also has a shelter/rescue donation program for returned and used “Power Paws”.  These no slip socks for dogs have many uses: senior dogs, arthritic dogs who can’t get up without a prolonged struggle, three-legged dogs, dogs needing added traction after surgery, walking on ice or hot sand, protecting feet from allergens, sliding on hardwood floors, in RVs, boats, and more. Restoring confidence to a dog’s sense of control over their own body is no small gift. Made of cotton and elastic, the socks are washable in cold water and last about three months with indoor use guaranteed.

Another example of what can be done with the power of persistence and the magic of passion for your product, idea or mission!   Many thanks to Lorraine Walston for her time. It was a pleasure interviewing someone so enthusiastic and happy in her work – it was positively infectious!

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