We got up close and personal with advertising companies across our publications, and we want you to know them too! Discover their favorite and most popular products, and find out what they had to say to our questions.
Straight Arrow Products, Inc. and Cowboy Magic provide top-notch equine and human hair and beauty supplies. Straight Arrow first developed the infamous Mane ‘n Tail hair care formula, and continues to please customers with tried and true, quality products. Hear what Devon B. Katzev, CEO of Mane ‘n Tail, has to say about the company.
Question: What was the original inspiration for your company?
Devon Katzev: In the 1970s, my parents had an Arabian horse farm in New Jersey, and they were disappointed with the grooming products that were available at the time. Many groomers were just using dishwashing detergent to clean their horses. My parents discovered a niche in the grooming market and came up with the formula for the Original Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner and eventually followed it with the Original Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo. We started making everything on the family farm and Straight Arrow Products, Inc. was finally born. Eventually, we moved to a manufacturing space in New Jersey, and then across the Delaware River to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Question: How did you get started?
Devon Katzev: Basically, [my answer to] Question # 1 answered this question. We have now expanded to the personal care industry by word of mouth, which happened in the mid-’80s and ’90s. Horse people shared the “secret” of their beloved Mane ‘n Tail products and people started using it on themselves … the rest is history. Not only are we in tack stores today, Mane ‘n Tail products are widely distributed throughout the world, in grocery, mass, drug and beauty supply stores.
Question: What is your main target group of customers?
Devon Katzev: Well, having our start in the equine grooming industry, it was horse owners, groomers. Now that we have expanded to the personal care industry, it is mainly females anywhere from pre-teen to mid-60s … with a heavier concentration in women in their late 30s to mid-40s.
Question: How do you want customers to benefit from your products?
Devon Katzev: We want them to first realize that we make everything ourselves, so that when a customer uses any Mane ‘n Tail product, they can rest assured that they are using a product that not only performs, but we back it up with absolute customer satisfaction.
Question: How does being family owned and operated make your company better?
Devon Katzev: Being the business owner of a family-owned and operated company has me involved in every aspect of the business. I have a vested interest and concern with the quality of the product that we ship out every day and truly care about our brand image and how we interact with the end customer. Our motto is still the same as when we made the products on the family farm: “Satisfy the customer.”
Question: What do you think is different about a company that is family owned and operated?
Devon Katzev: As a family-owned and operated company, the “entrepreneurial spirit” stays alive, in that we are very “hands-on” and involved with every aspect of the company. We don’t have to deal with a lot of “red tape” that many large corporations have to, which gives us a different perspective and helps to keep the inner workings of the company more streamlined and communication better.
Question: What is the main “mission” of your company?
Devon Katzev: “Satisfy the customer”: A simple but true statement … our family’s tradition and mission here at Straight Arrow has always been to do just that! All of our products are designed to stand the test of that tradition and live up to our quality standards and meet the same performance challenges time and again. While we don’t manufacture on the family farm these days, we still take pride in the fact that we produce all of our products right here in the United States. We have made it our goal to have our consumer affairs department answer any questions that our customers may have, whether it be on the phone, via email or any other written correspondence. We actually care and go to great length to let our customers know how much we care!
Question: How has your company impacted the industry?
Devon Katzev: Basically, we are the little horse shampoo company that could! Not only did we become a strong force in the equine grooming industry, but by word of mouth and grassroots PR, we became well known in the personal care industry and have solid distribution with customer loyalty.
Question: What is one unique thing about your company?
Devon Katzev: Well, we started in the equine industry and just by word of mouth have grown into an international personal care company … there aren’t many shampoos out there that have our history [of] starting out as a horse shampoo and making the cross-over for people!
Question: What makes your company loved by customers?
Devon Katzev: It could very well be our unique brand image … and the fact that we deliver quality products in both industries for a reasonable retail price.
Question: What is your best-selling product?
Devon Katzev: The Original Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo, and then The Original Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner is a close second.
Question: What is your favorite product?
Devon Katzev: The Original Mane ‘n Tail Conditioner, because I grew up making it since I was a kid. However, all the formulas are near and dear to my heart.
Question: What would you like customers to know about your company that they might not already know?
Devon Katzev: We make everything right here in the United States, in our own production facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Question: What do you take into consideration when developing new products?
Devon Katzev: Wow—so much goes into the formulation and development of a new product. The first part of the equation is the need for that specific product in the marketplace, no matter if it is on the grooming side or the personal care side. Then we test ingredients and different ratios and combinations for the specific formula. Quality is key and we don’t skimp on anything to give our customer the best quality product that we can produce. Then it goes through tons of testing and other processes to make sure we know how the product performs. Nothing goes out of the building that I haven’t personally tried.
Question: In what ways do you see your company growing in the future?
Devon Katzev: We are growing in so many ways already! In the past year, we acquired another family-owned equine grooming line called Cowboy Magic, previously owned by Jim and Charlotte Cummings. This was a perfect fit for our business model and we intend to keep their family tradition and core essence of the Cowboy Magic brand going strong, as they had wanted. We are also expanding our production facilities… we have grown out of our existing building and recently purchased a much larger space a few miles up the road in Forks Twp., Pennsylvania. As we continue to grow, new products will certainly be added to the different lines… we see tons of growth on the horizon.