Posted June 17, 2015 in Ruth Jeffers Blog by Ruth Jeffers
At Jeffers, we are frequently asked if we sell “vet supplies” online. In fact many of my friends I grew up with think of Jeffers as a vet supply, and I was surprised to find that one of the most frequent terms people use to find the website is “Jeffers Vet”. The reason so many folks think we sell vet supplies online dates back 40 years.
When Jeffers started in the basement of our West Plains, MO home in 1975, my Dad was selling supplies for cattle. At that time, folks referred to their cattle products as vet supplies. When Dr. J released the very first little catalog it was called Jeffers Wholesale Veterinary Supply. There were probably less than 20 products in it, from Combiotic to d-CON Rat Bait. Despite the name, there were no prescription products for sale. However, most of the companies at that time had “Vet” or “Vet Supply” in their name, Valley Vet and KV Vet, just to name a few.
As Jeffers continued to grow, my Dad dropped the “Wholesale” from Jeffers Wholesale Veterinary Supply. I remember thinking how much smaller the sign looked without it.
Fast forward a few years, and the words Jeffers Veterinary Supply were shortened to Jeffers Vet Supply. In the late 80’s we started carrying more equine products and printed a flyer called Jeffers Equine. The separate equine flyer really started to grow, and soon became its own catalog. In the early 90’s I wanted to start a pet catalog, and it became Jefferspet.
Not too long after, I asked my Dad if I could buy some domain names in case we ever needed a website. I found lots of well known companies who had their names available, but to our surprise, Jeffers was not. Instead, Jeffersonline, 1-800-Jeffers, and Jefferspet were available, and we bought all three.
Jefferspet was our first website. It cost about $200,000 to build and had 1 graphic of a cheetah running on the home page (not really running, just moving its legs back and forth) I really believed the new internet was the best way to market pet supplies so the initial focus was on pet. Since we owned the name Jefferspet, the original website contained mostly pet products. We later bought Jeffersequine, and Jefferslivestock, but, because Jefferspet had been around the longest, Google liked Jefferspet the best.
This past summer we finally became the owners of Jeffers.com, but it was after the new website had launched, so the new website launched as Jefferspet.com.
We’ve come a long way from the basement in West Plains, Missouri, and the name Jeffers Wholesale Veterinary Supply. Our name may have changed throughout the years, but our goal has always stayed the same–work hard to provide our customers with the best quality products at the best price, with the best customer service. Click here and see how far we’ve come from our 20 products in 1975.