Interviews, insight & analysis on Ecommerce

How We Built It: Oliver Bristowe, Founder of Pets Purest

Pet supplement brand, Pets Purest, has taken advantage of rising pet ownership and the growing trend of ‘pet humanisation’  to gain more than 500,000 loyal customers in four years and hit £6m in revenues in 2021. Run by a young husband and wife team, it’s totally in step with the times by offering 100% natural treats & supplements.

Can you give us the elevator pitch. Tell us about your brand

Our 100% natural pet care products make pets happier. We’re a family business from the UK and we believe pets should be treated as one of the family. We never use nasty chemicals and we use the best quality ingredients.

What inspired you to set up your company?

My wife’s family dogs suffered with allergies and itchy skin so we researched ways to improve it. Having exhausted the available options in the UK to no avail, we changed tack. We quickly realised that an approach of a more natural diet, combined with certain natural supplements, was the way forward. We gave them salmon oil and their skin cleared up – there was no looking back after that. So we set up Pets Purest to offer other pet mums and dads the same option. 

What was your biggest challenge in year one?

Finding reliable and trustworthy suppliers was and still is a big challenge. We had loads of ideas for products in the beginning but finding people to manufacture them was the problem as we didn’t have the knowledge of how to formulate ourselves. So we have to balance new product development with the ability to find reliable suppliers. But for our existing range, we have brilliant partners supplying the sort of incredibly high-quality formulations we want, and today we still work with some of the first manufacturers that we did when we started. 

What would you say has been your biggest marketing success?

I’d honestly say that we’ve not been hugely successful with our marketing to date. It’s one of the main reasons why our new partnership with Fearless Adventures is so exciting because they have such a great marketing team in house. To date, we’ve successfully leveraged Amazon’s marketing services to grow our brand within the Amazon ecosystem but we’ve not even begun to scratch the surface with our direct-to-consumer (DTC) site. So in parallel with our Amazon platform, the future of our marketing is really about growing that DTC site. That way, we’ll be able to get a deeper understanding of our target audience and buyers, and use digital-first marketing personalisation to connect with them. 

What has been the biggest mistake you made

It’s hard to define anything as an outright mistake because, as entrepreneurs, my wife (who is also my co-founder) and I face challenges all the time and we simply adapt, learn and improve constantly. That’s the journey common to all entrepreneurs; we’re so focused on making the business a success that anything difficult is an opportunity to learn and grow.

The way I view ‘mistakes’ is more about missed opportunities. So before I make a decision, I ask myself if there’s a potential upside that I would regret missing out on. I’m not sure that anything goes 100% to plan in any entrepreneurial journey, but by being upside-focused, I can adapt to challenges as they happen and keep steering towards a successful outcome.

Tell us about your plans for the future

We’ve recently taken investment from Fearless Adventures and we’re extremely excited for the next stage of our journey with them. We are on a mission to become the most trusted natural pet care brand on the planet. Practically, this means moving away from being a product centred Amazon brand to offering our customers an immersive experience through our DTC channels, and building a community of animal lovers who want the absolute best for their pets.

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