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Pet Chinchillas Save Family Business



Pet Chinchillas Save Family Business

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Josh Paulson acquired his grandfather’s pet accessories company in 2015 when it was losing $25,000 per month. Three months later it broke even. The company, Quality Cage, manufactures products for pet owners and veterinarians.

When Paulson arrived, the company had 2,000 SKUs across multiple pet verticals. Focusing on chinchillas provided the long-term turnaround. “We niched down into only chinchilla products,” he told me.

Paulson and I recently discussed his journey, addressing custom manufacturing, organic marketing, and more.

The entire audio of our conversation is embedded below. The transcript is edited for clarity and length.

Eric Bandholz: What do you do?

Josh Paulson: My company is Quality Cage. We manufacture small animal cages and accessories for the pet and veterinary markets. Our primary market is pet chinchilla owners. We build a lot of cages and products that cover all the needs of a chinchilla through its 20-year life. We manufacture on-demand. You place an order on our website, and we make it and ship it. We carry about 60 days’ worth of raw materials.

The company is 55 years old. My grandfather was the previous owner. I purchased the business in September 2015. We manufacture everything. We do powder coating, woodworking, welding, and machining. We even cut our own cardboard boxes when we can’t get the right sizes.

I had no idea what a chinchilla was when I started. I had to learn about the different animal markets. Chinchilla was the one that kept popping up because there were no big competitors. All the existing companies had crappy products just built to make a profit. Nobody was solving the problem that chinchilla owners had. After about nine months in, we niched down into only chinchilla products.

Previously I was in food and beverage manufacturing. I made beer, wine, and cheese for about two years, and was trying to start my own business. I had a culinary mushroom-growing business on the side selling to…

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