With water levels rising, polar ice caps melting, and the average temperature of the Earth increasing, protecting the environment has become a big concern for consumers and business owners alike. Many pet product companies are making biodegradable and recyclable products, and one pet toy company has decided to take things one step further. From the Field, a company based in Rainier, Washington, makes most of their products from hemp.
Pascal Bedard, co-owner of From the Field, did not start out with the purpose of entertaining dogs and cats. His passion is hemp, a versatile plant that can be used to make paper, fiber, fuel, oil, cloth, and more. In 1999 his entrepreneurial goal was to start a hemp retail store and create all kinds of hemp products to promote the business.
His business mentor suggested that he start small by manufacturing goods from his home instead of jumping headfirst into the retail industry. Inspired by his cat, and assisted by his mother and her sewing machine, Bedard launched the first products by From the Field and put his business on the map.
Now, sixteen years later, he runs the company with his wife, Aimee Ross, and the company offers pet parents a line of more than 50 dog and cat toys and products. Their products are sold in more than 1,500 independent pet stores throughout the United States and Canada. A vast majority of the toys are made out of hemp.
Bedard feels strongly about sticking with independent retailers, although he has been approached by big box stores numerous times. He believes that sticking with the smaller stores is what has helped the company succeed and grow over the years. Another key to their company’s success is that all their products are made in the United States with all natural organic materials.
Bedard also links the recent string of recalled pet products and documentation of pet’s becoming ill from contaminated products to their fast growth over the last few years. Just four years ago the couple was running From the Field out of their home, and Ross was still working a day job. He said that it was around that time when reports of contaminated dog food from China and pets becoming sick from the chemicals on their products started popping up all over the news, and the business saw a huge increase in sales.
Bedard continues to be fascinated by hemp and all the amazing products that can be created with it. He is hoping to spread awareness of the plant’s benefits through his company. He also hopes that the success of From the Field will inspire other manufacturers and entrepreneurs to use the plant and its popularity in the U.S. will grow.