Since the inception of Pet Qwerks in 2003, our efforts have been focused on providing unique and interactive toys that hold the pet’s attention for hours on end.
Pet Qwerks was founded with the introduction of the Babble Balls in 2004. Those were our first products and they remain our flagship today.
Our focus has always been innovation and enriching the lives of pets. While the heart of Pet Qwerks remains in the interactive category, we have grown to manufacture plush, rubber and now an exceptional line of Made in USA Flavorit dog chews. As always, our products are different from the rest.
More than anything, we are still a small, family owned and operated business that takes great pride in our ability to offer exceptional value and service to each and every customer.
Pet Qwerks was founded by entrepreneur and pet owner James Gick in his pursuit to solve his dog Koko’s broken toy dilemma. After moving on from a successful craft business to a real-estate business that he didn’t find fit for him, Koko was a constant companion.
One day Koko brought him a stuffed toy which had talked but was broken. “He had that look on his face: ‘Please, fix it,’” Gick said. The toy sat broken in the garage for a month or so, and Koko would look at it every time he saw it. It was but natural for him to reciprocate to Koko’s need. He knew what would make his pet happy. As he was going through an old toy store, he found a ball- shaped yo-yo. He cut it apart, made a little motion switch for the components of the broken toy, he stuffed it inside and glued it together. Upon seeing the new toy, Koko’s eyes lit up with curiosity. He went wild and chased it all over the house until he was exhausted. It was his favorite toy by far.
This isn't just a regular plush toy, but something more high-tech. Most pets go into a frenzy with them the moment they hear them talk. One consumer said her ferret adopted the little kitty ball and carried it around like a baby. Another lady sent me a picture of her hedgehog playing with one.
From this hand-crafted stuffed ball shaped toy with a motion switch, a new riveting high-tech pet toy was created. A year and several prototypes later Gick introduced his first pet toy the Babble Balls in 2003, an interactive toy technology which had an automatic function to make sounds. This colorful ball, which seems as if it's alive to dogs and cats, has already reached over $1 million in sales in a multibillion-dollar market. It can produce up to 12,000 sounds before running out of power.
With his new product, Gick encountered a few glitches in the first set of the Babble Balls, like separating at the seams, which cost him about $80,000 to make right. Starting off as a one-man band it wasn’t easy getting into the market as he ran the ads in magazines, went to pet trade shows and pitched his ideas to stores.
It wasn't easy. I ran ads in trade magazines and went to pet trade shows," he said. "I'm constantly pitching the balls to stores, and I get new customers and reorders every day, but it took me over a year to really get rolling.
Today as he captures the attention of pets and pet owners around the country with Pet Qwerks products, he continues to exhibit his toys and develop his product line growing the family owned business into a very stable employee-owned pet toy manufacturing company.
It's typical that pets, especially dogs, become quite excited with the balls. The physical workouts provide all the benefits of healthy exercise. The Babble Balls have opened new worlds for pets that are blind or have poor eyesight, too. Pets with separation anxiety or that are chronically bored have perked up remarkably. Unlike toys that motivate activity by dropping out unhealthy treats, the Babble Balls are just good healthy fun. – Jim
James Gick was born in Burbank, California. A son of a metal tools and leather crafts designer, he grew up in an inventive and entrepreneurial family environment. Working for his father’s hobby shop business, it was but natural for him to venture out on his own and start up a company specializing in gift products which successfully branched out into gift and stationary products. After selling his stationary business in 1997, he found himself in real-estate. Years later, as an entrepreneur he pursued his passion of creating toys for his pet dog Koko and for other pets across the country. Today, he continues to grow his business as owner of Pet Qwerks.