Community is rooted in everything Dr. Zonram Liao does. As an Asian-American “parachute kid” in Southern California, his parents had to return to their home country of Taiwan to find work when he turned fifteen, leaving Dr. Liao to be raised by his community. The camaraderie of his neighbors inspired him and stayed with him as he eventually left for college in the Caribbean to become a veterinarian. He wanted to get back to his roots and support his community of pet parents through practicing veterinary medicine, and for five years, he’s been doing just that. But when the pandemic hit, the number of patients he could see in a day dropped from 30 to only 16. Dr. Liao knew this was the time for him to find a way to help his furry patients through at-home pet care.
Enter Wellnergy Pets—a full range of premium pet supplements for dogs and cats.
Wellnergy Pets isn’t your ordinary pet supplement company; veterinarians and veterinary nurses fully operate the company. “We’re veterinary professionals first and foremost,” says Dr. Liao. “Each product is formulated by veterinarians based on what pet parents say their pets are struggling with and what we know will help improve their pet’s health.”
Shortly after launching Wellnergy Pets direct-to-consumer on their website and Amazon in 2020, Dr. Liao signed up for RangeMe and started submitting products to retailers left and right. Unknowingly submitting to an opportunity he thought was for a retailer, Dr. Liao was selected to appear on Season One of America’s Big Deal on the USA Network. Soon after airing, he received a massive purchase order from Lowe’s Home Improvement, bringing the experience full circle. Read on to learn more about how Wellnergy Pets found retail success through RangeMe and what you can do to help increase your retail presence.
Pet supplements that put the well in pet wellness
“We developed Wellnergy Pets supplements on the feedback from pet parents in our community,” says Dr. Liao. “We listened to the struggles and concerns of pet parents like how difficult it is to brush their dog’s teeth at home or that their cat won’t eat their probiotic pill.”
Taking this feedback from pet parents, they developed a range of products like Dental Care Wipes and Dental Care Water Additive that take the pain and struggle out of brushing your dog’s teeth. They also developed a soft chew probiotic for both cats and dogs that is shelf-stable for up to two years—and most importantly, tastes good so pets will enjoy it.
Their other supplements include Hairball Control, Hip & Joint Care, Skin & Coat Support, Soothing Balm, and Joint Support.
Joining RangeMe to get in front of retailers
Wellnergy Pets launched in 2020 in the middle of the global pandemic, and as a company entirely run by veterinarians with no business background, there were some challenges and plenty of learning curves that the team faced. “We encountered many obstacles that any e-commerce business would face, and as veterinarians before entrepreneurs, we learned things as we went,” explains Dr. Liao. “This included building our own website on Shopify, making marketing decisions, learning how to build out lifecycle email journeys, setting up a subscription service, and how to build brand awareness during a pandemic.”
Once their DTC channel was set up, it was time to get Wellnergy Pets in front of retailers, so Dr. Liao signed up for RangeMe and got RangeMe Verified™ immediately to help increase their visibility with retail buyers.
“I’m the worst millennial in the world, super bad with technology. RangeMe made it so easy for us to set up our profile and add our products. Plus, we got one-on-one support from a Customer Success Manager who shared tips and tricks on how to succeed on RangeMe,” says Dr. Liao.
A surreal experience that led to a major retail opportunity
After setting up their profile on RangeMe, Dr. Liao started filling out submissions to retailers on his Premium Submissions page and through limited-time sourcing opportunities he received by email. “I was on RangeMe every day filling out forms, which is how I came across America’s Big Deal,” says Dr. Liao. “I actually thought it was an opportunity for a retailer. It wasn’t until they reached out saying I’ve been selected as a contestant that I realized it was a TV show!”
Dr. Liao and Wellnergy Pets appeared on the Season Premiere of Season One of America’s Big Deal on October 14, 2021. Immediately after the live episode aired, they sold out of $30,000 worth of products in less than an hour, proving the power of television still exists, especially when you have a product that provides a meaningful solution.
While they didn’t earn the big deal in-show, the day after airing, Dr. Liao received a call from the show’s producer saying Lowe’s Home Improvement was interested in working out a deal with Wellnergy Pets.
“I’m still at a loss for words. The whole experience has been surreal,” says Dr. Liao. “Lowe’s placed a $100,000 purchase order with us, and we’re going to sell in more than 100 of their retail locations across the United States.”
The pet industry is changing because pet parents are
As a veterinarian who works for a nationwide clinic with thousands of clinics across the U.S., Dr. Liao is seeing a rise in pet owners and pets with more health problems like dental issues, obesity, joint pain, digestive issues, and so much more. “I don’t think that this is necessarily new, but people are starting to pay more attention to their pets and caring more about them,” says Dr. Liao. “I love my job and that I get to help even more pets through Wellnergy Pets with the help of these opportunities on RangeMe.”
Learnings from Wellnergy Pet’s retail journey so far
To all fellow entrepreneurs out there, Dr. Liao shares some encouraging words– “I’m still grinding every day trying to improve and grow my business. Don’t give up. It’s not easy, and it’s going to be hard, but if you find joy in what you do and work super hard, things will spike one day. I’ve been rejected from more than 100 retail buyers on RangeMe, and I know I’ll get rejected from 100 more, but if you believe in your strategy and your products, it will pay off.”
What will Wellnergy Pets be up to in 2022?
The media opportunities for Wellnergy Pets aren’t ending with America’s Big Deal. Dr. Liao got invited to appear on Taiwan’s version of QVC and the Oprah Winfrey network. They’re excited to promote their new products, including a soothing balm that has honey in it as well as an anti-diarrhea liquid. Wellnergy Pets will also be available for purchase in small pet stores and animal hospitals across the United States.
“In 2022, we’re excited to get into more retail locations, meet with buyers, and we’re going to do it with RangeMe,” says Dr. Liao. “We’re ready to keep working and see what happens!”