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Cindy Dunston Quirk on How to Be the Big Dog at a Trade Show

SuperZoo, America’s largest pet industry trade show, wraps up this week. Let’s recap.

Cindy Dunston Quirk is the owner of Scout & Zoe’s, manufacturers of all-natural alternative chews and snacks made from antler for pets with allergies, stomach problems and more. And check out her “cage” at SuperZoo!

See more highlights from the event here and here.

Dunston Quirk shares the in’s-and-out’s to events like this and how to bark up the right trees.

Get your foot in the doggie door.

Completing an online application for the show is just the first step. Dunston Quirk says exhibitors need to apply early because SuperZoo regularly sells out and this year was no exception. “The show has grown so large, it is moving to an earlier date and a new venue to accommodate the increased demand for exhibit spaces, ” says Quirk.

Purrfect that pitch.

Dunston Quirk said that she arrives with a mission to introduce Scout & Zoe’s products to as many retailers as possible. Another way to peak retailers’ interest is to teach them something new. She like to talk about different and new protein sources aimed for customers who have pets with special needs (allergies, intestinal sensitivities and more).

And wowsa! That puppy is growing!

Dunston Quirk said that she experience major growth through “dogged grass roots determination (pun intended) on my part and grass roots support” for the products she offers. She uses her pets to guide her marketing and product decisions and when she saw holes in the pet market, she looked to fill them.

Her advice for women looking to start in the pet business?

“Find something you really care about and develop that passion. I didn’t start Scout & Zoe’s because I thought I could make a lot of money; I started the company to solve a problem my dog Zoe had — and the company growth has been exponential,” said Dunston Quirk. “And don’t forget to have fun with the store owners — being in the pet industry is such fun!”

With her eye on the prize, we know this sheBOOMer will keep climbing. Looking for more industry events, she suggests Global Pet Expo coming again to Orlando this March.