Nathan Chefetz and Cade Goldenberg, co-founders of Wigzi, became friends after several run-ins while walking their dogs Sonny and Wyatt. It didn't take long for Nathan and Cade to realize that both shared a passion for innovation and problem-solving. They channeled their business education backgrounds with their creative energy, and the ideas started flowing. Within a few months, neighbors began to share in the enthusiasm and encouraged Nathan and Cade to start a pet products company. They decided to take the plunge in 2007, and Wigzi was officially born. Today they both continue inventing new products and enjoy walking their pups around town.
They invented their first Dog Toy which was a total flop. Nathan's dog always loved wine corks and so he started melting wine corks together to make sticks with the help of Cade. Every single neighbor who was given a wine cork stick said their dogs were obsessed. They asked for more and the entire neighborhood eventually had their hands on them. It seemed like a fantastic idea to make odorless, FDA approved material safe for any human or animal. They applied for patent, found a factory in Italy and began making tooling for wine cork dog toys in mass production. They used funding from themselves and family to make it happen and shortly thereafter in 2008 Wigzi was born. "We had major accounts calling and emailing saying the material was incredible and dogs did actually love them" said Nathan. Thousands of toys were being shipped all over the country and they were super successful right out of the gate. Naturally they were soooo fired up and then reality hit. Wine corks are NOT DURABLE and do not stand up to chewing. How do you think a wine cork screw makes it into a cork haha. What was obvious, wasn't at the time.
-Sonny, enjoying his Wigzi Stick above
Surely that wouldn't be the end of Wigzi. What a great logo, packaging and creativity thus far! So back to the drawing board. They decided to research dog toy material and come up with a variety of shapes they could make that were unique and were interactive. The next few years Nathan and Cade invented toys and sold as many as they could by traveling to shows and stores. They sold in thousands of stores nationally such as Petco, Big Bad Woof, Pet Supplies Plus and more. The competition for dog toys was fierce and you really needed deep pockets to keep churning out more toys to stay different. Wigzi ultimately decided to not continue to pursue pet toys and moved on to try and create a more profitable product line.
-Wyatt jumping in the pool to fetch his Wigzi stuff n' throw toy.
It was clear the guys needed to get lucky and invent something incredibly different if they were going to stay in the game within the pet industry. After a few months of brainstorming and a bit of luck they invented what would become the first leash with a liquid-filled silicone gel handle. They sold this leash in more than 4,000 stores in the USA and thousands more abroad in Canada, Germany, Japan and Mexico. Things were getting very good for the team and they have made more sizes, colors and expanded their product line. More ideas continue to flow to this day.
-The Wigzi gel handle retractable leash
Despite the insanity of the trade war with China and a pandemic, Wigzi has survived and continued to boom. Wigzi is continuously inventing, fine-tuning and designing new products. Products may be found in more than 20,000 stores globally. We're still a small team of passionate people dedicated to making the best dog leashes. We love our customers and can't wait to see what's in store for us as we ride into 2021 and beyond.
Note: Our best friends Sonny and Wyatt are no longer with us. We were inspired by the two of them and continue to make products to this day in their memory.
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.
- Use left/right arrows to navigate the slideshow or swipe left/right if using a mobile device