Kamloops woman's invention for dog poop goes international, headed for Dragons' Den | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops woman's invention for dog poop goes international, headed for Dragons' Den

Nicole Duff (left) with husband Neil and family in Kamloops after receiving their first production order of WALK STAR Dog Waste Caddys.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Nicole Duff

A Kamloops entrepreneur saw her invention hit local pet stores in Western Canada last month, and this week the product has been picked up for international distribution.

Nicole Duff said she is excited to watch her business growing in leaps and bounds, and intends to take the WALK STAR Dog Caddy to the TV show Dragons' Den in January.

The caddy was three years in the making and is designed to carry and dispose of used dog poop bags in an easier and less smelly way. The bottom cup part is made of silicone and the top half has a sealable cap designed to prevent odours from escaping.

READ MORE: How a Kamloops entrepreneur's invention makes dealing with dog poop less smelly and gross

“We just signed a contract with an international distributor and are already getting our product into stores in France, the U.K. and one in Florida,” Duff said. “We are now doing local product demonstrations so we can interact with our customers. We love meeting people.”

Duff said sales have been steady but there is a need for more marketing and brand awareness. She wants to push the product as a Christmas gift idea.

“The caddy is in stores but a lot of people haven’t heard of it yet,” she said. “The big goal now is to make sure everyone knows about it so they don’t just walk past it."

A dog in Kamloops wearing a WALK STAR Dog Waste Caddy around his neck.
A dog in Kamloops wearing a WALK STAR Dog Waste Caddy around his neck.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Nicole Duff

Duff auditioned for Dragons' Den last spring and heard back from a producer of the show who said she loved the idea but at that time Duff did not have any sales history. Now armed with a sales history, Duff intends to audition again in the coming year.

“I did my audition online because of COVID,” Duff said. “The producer said she pitched to the other producers and they asked me to come back again next year. They open in January for auditions and I’m really looking forward it.”

READ MORE: Kelowna's Lane Merrifield leaves the 'Dragons' Den'

She has had a lot of people supporting her on social media by posting photos and videos of themselves using the product.

“We love seeing customers using the caddy and enjoying it,” she said. “We have received many encouraging testimonials from customers telling us they won’t walk their dogs without it.”

Duff and her husband, who is a partner in the business, will be demonstrating the WALK STAR Dog Caddy at a few Kamloops stores including Petland on Oct. 23, Nuleaf on Oct. 26 and Purity Feed Nov. 20.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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