Devon B. Katzev Rides Family’s Mane Secret to Global Success

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Devon B. Katzev, the President of Straight Arrow, is a no nonsense kind of guy; he’s honest about his product, its origins and seems as astonished as anyone that the shampoo his parents made to groom their Arabian horses back in the 1970’s has become a global phenomenon.

Having the opportunity, to speak with Devon, in a recent phone interview he doesn’t cover up the fact that Mane ‘n Tail is as it is billed: the first horse to human cross over or their popular hand and nail therapy, Hoofmaker,  is also from part of the horse grooming concentration created by his parents.

No longer in just the "tack and ag stores" Mane 'n Tail, has moved to the Red Carpet and become a staple and swear by for both Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The following is an expert from our interview:

Janet Walker: What differentiates your Mane ‘n Tail Hair Care line from others?

Devon Katzev: I think the biggest thing that differentiates us is the fact that we’re different. We’re a horse product that has crossed into the human market.  And the way I’ve always sold it is when you look at a horse’s mane the hair is like almost three times thicker than human hair and if we can do a really good job cleaning up horses and getting them to look their best it becomes a value to people at that point. And I think a lot of the consumers respond to that and then the product performs.

Janet Walker: Hoofmaker, also has a storied history; tell me a little about the product, how it came into being, and again what differentiates it from the more well known mega sellers?

Devon Katzev: Same thing. When you look at horses in general, the bulk of the time when ever they're doing grooming on horses, the bulk of the time its women. Women clean out the feet, and working with the hooves they’ve been the ones applying Hoofmaker over the years.  So all that happened there is they were applying it and applying it, and all of a sudden they were like Wow! And the way you apply it is it they dip into a 32 ounce jug and they would dip into it and apply it into the horse's hoof and work it into the frog and work it around the outside the horse's hoof and the outer Coronary Ban. So they kept doing this and all of a sudden, they were like 'Wow, my nails are looking great!' They’re absolutely getting stronger and they’re growing. So that has taken off in itself and Hoofmaker has been a success ever since with women for nail growth.

Janet Walker: What you find most challenging about conducting a global business?

Devon Katzev: The most challenging this about running a global business is just right now, filling the demand for the product. But other than that, I guess some of the other things could be too, getting people to understand the story. A lot of people come back and they’re just how does a horse product get interpreted to people, laughing, they know it’s selling and they know it has consumer demand, but they’re trying to figure out how to sell it too. It’s just funny sometimes.

Janet Walker: If there were anything you would want the world to know about your brand, your business and yourself?

Devon Katzev: I would want them to know is that when they pick up a bottle of Mane ‘n Tail what they’re getting we stand behind. And we care; we really care about what we do.  If our customers call they’re going to get a live body; not a mechanical voice that drives ‘em nuts. They're going to get a live body. We answer their questions and we help them out. The biggest thing we usually get called about is where to find us.

Mane 'n Tail Hair Care Products can be found, nationwide, in Walgreens Drugstores, who courted the company and also CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kmart, Sally's Beauty Supply Stores.

For more information on Mane ‘n Tail:


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