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smith&burton Q&A

smith&burton Q&A

Nominated recently for The Prestige Awards, smith&burton is quickly standing out for it's innovation, design and research.  With a focus on natural ingredients centred around Manuka Honey and with a team of leading perfumery experts in Grasse, this one up and coming brand all discerning dog owns should have on their radar. 

THE GOOD PET HOME caught up recently with it's founder Sonya Berrigan to learn why smith&burton stands out from the crowd and why unconditional love matters. 

1) What inspired you to start smith&burton and where did the name come from?

smith&burton the company name and logo was first formed in 2011 and was inspired by my two dogs Smith and Burton.

Smith and Burton are the love of my life, and they are like my children, fully integrated into my home and lifestyle. The three of us do everything together. Smith is 10 years old and is a large creamy-white Goldendoodle who loves to get dirty as often as possible. I needed a safe, natural product that I could use as often as needed without stripping the oils from the coat, and leave it soft and healthy. Burton is a very active 9 year old black Standard Poodle. He would suffer from outbreaks of red, irritated skin. I didn’t like the continued used of medicated shampoos.

After using well over one hundred and fifty different grooming products available to us both locally and from overseas, we were left wanting. smith&burton was born out of a frustration with harmful, chemical-intensive, highly synthetic formulations, over-powering and often synthetic fragrances, so-called natural claims, under-performing results, uninspiring packaging and a general lack of transparency of dog grooming products on the market.

We asked ourselves, as dogs are becoming more and more part of the family and living in our homes, why isn't there an alternative? We wanted a dog grooming range which was premium, plant-based and felt as good as what we would use ourselves. This inspired us to create the most luxurious, health, beauty and wellness canine grooming collection we can.

2) What is unique about the brand?

In creating smith&burton we believe we bring a higher standard to the category, both at a local and international level. 

As with premium human skin and beauty brands, we apply the same natural product credentials and healthy lifestyle choices for dogs. Centred on a dog’s wellbeing to produce what we believe is the best a dog can get – without compromise.

Our range is naturally effective, not just natural for natural sake but is meticulously formulated and performs to a very high standard. We have many of New Zealand’s professional groomers, including internationally awarded groomers, who use our range. We balance the best of nature with science to bring a range of arguably the most luxurious formulations on the market, comparable to the highest level of natural human product equivalents.  Unlike other brands who have a few natural extracts and oils, our natural formulations are indulgent and packed-full of botanicals, vitamins and antioxidants.

We use unique, powerful and proven New Zealand nature found no-where else in the world. Combined with the best natural ingredients earth has to offer, such as pomegranate, rosehip, licorice, ginseng, and more. Many of our ingredients are not found in other dog grooming products on the market today.

We also lead the world and believe we are the only dog grooming range to use Certified 100% Natural fragrance, specifically formulated for dogs given their noses are around 40 times more sensitive than ours. Our fragrances are created using a unique and very technical design tool lead by our New Zealand perfumer and a leading team of perfumery experts in Grasse France.  A fragrance of Eau de Toilette quality is achieved that can also be safe for sensitive dog noses. They are light, delicate, layered scents that linger for days.

What we leave out is just as important as what we put in. We have the most extensive list of no nasties, full transparency and honesty around our products.  We believe you have a right to use products with safe ingredients and to know precisely what those ingredients are and do.

Our design aesthetic also sets us apart; with packaging you’d be proud to show off in any home.  As our dogs are family members too, we believe we have delivered a range to the very highest standard, giving dogs and their owners the luxury, safety and style they deserve — a more discerning range built on nature, performance, aesthetics, quality and absolute attention to detail.

3) Where do you source your ingredients from?

Our locally made products use the finest quality human-grade plant-based ingredients, ethically sourced and manufactured. We are committed to obtaining our ingredients locally from New Zealand when we are able to. Local ingredients, are also at the very heart of our product philosophy – New Zealand nature: bioactive native botanicals, flora, fauna, fruits and 'liquid gold' Manuka Honey.

Depending on what action we want the product to achieve, we hand-select the very best known natural ingredients with these qualities that are proven for their effectiveness and ability to deliver outstanding results. We don’t compromise on using anything but the best natural ingredients available.

Our range is centred around one of New Zealand's most powerful natural ingredients 'Manuka Honey' which I have used for numerous years with horses and dogs. It's world-renowned as a superfood healer and highly moisturising.

We have used over 64 different ingredients throughout our range. Many have multi-purpose qualities that bring various benefits to the overall wellbeing of a dog's skin and coat.

smith&burton dog grooming natural products

4) Where do you get your inspiration from?

First and foremost my inspiration comes from the love of dogs. Dogs give so much and are so much part of our families they deserve the very best we can provide them.  At the heart of our brand is ‘unconditional love’ (without compromise) and this is what fuels our passion to create the best a dog can get.

And of course Smith and Burton did not only give us the name of the brand; they are also the inspiration to my commitment and passion to create something better.

We are overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback from customers from all around the world saying there is nothing like our products in the market and thanking us for creating the range, this certainly inspires us knowing we are making a difference.

5) What's next for smith&burton?

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist we are continuously striving to design superior, innovative blends and formulations and progressive products so there is always something happening at the laboratory, in testing, along with new products in development.

We are looking forward to seeing our brand available to more dogs (and their parents) around the world. Now, more than ever, exporting is important for the New Zealand economy, as well as supporting local New Zealand businesses and brands, so being able to contribute to this in a meaningful way and showcasing the very best New Zealand has to offer on the world (dog) stage is important to us.

You can shop the smith&burton collection here.

LOVE. LUXE. LUSTRE.