Meet the Maker: Harry Barker
￼It takes real heart and soul to be in the pet industry. From leashes and grooming supplies to all the tricks and tips to keep your pet healthy, these companies understand that it takes a village. To launch our new publication, Gift Shop Pets caught up with some companies to find out why — and how they do what they do, and what makes them love it so much.
Gift Shop Pets: When was Harry Barker founded?
Carol Perkins, Founder/Creative Director: (In) 1997. When I started, I wanted to create friendly, functional, accessible and sustainable products for the pet and owner. Our original tag line was: ‘Harry Barker’ — ‘For Pets and their People.’
GSP: What can you tell our readers about the brand?
CP: Coming from a fashion background/entertainment industry (I was a fashion model and fire-eater on Broadway), I was highly aware of the influence fashion and design has on so many industries, including gift and home and the pet industry. So, using the transferable skills and insights I brought with me, I set out to create a brand of stylish designs that won’t look ‘dated’ as they are an investment for your pet and home. Our motto is ‘Beautiful Pet. Beautiful Planet. Beautiful Home,’ and I sure hope we have delivered on all benchmarks. Giving back has been a cornerstone for me, to always seek out and work with non-profits and those in need. To raise funding and awareness is rewarding on so many levels and will always be at the heart of Harry Barker.
GSP: What new products will you be releasing this year?
CP: New products I’m looking forward to launching (include) ‘Dog’ cross-stitch print bed and treat tin. I’ve been a needle worker since childhood and learned the skills from my mother and grandmother. I would tag along with them to their doll club and learn to make doll clothes and embroidery … so my busy little hands were always sewing and crafting. Plus, it’s a great activity for kids!
GSP: Can you share with us your favorite thing about the pet industry?
CP: My favorite thing about the pet industry — and the gift and home industry — are the people and how deeply they care about the wellbeing of their customers and their pets. We are selling happiness and solution-oriented products which should give pet owners more playtime outside …. or inside on the couch.
Meet other makers in the pet industry: