After years of using and testing her prototypes in her home with her own children and dogs, our founder, Janelle Fitzpatrick, took the leap of faith in 2015 and launched Better Options LLC and its first brand, The Stair Barrier.
When Janelle first set out to manufacture her stair gates, she was told repeatedly that she would need to produce overseas, fill containers and commit to large quantities. Having grown up in Michigan in a proud "Ford" family, she had no interest in building a business where she couldn’t be a part of the day to day or see the product being built. After almost a year of hard work and persistence, she found a way to do just that with a manufacturing partner in North Georgia and supply partners she sourced from all over the US.
Over the last 10 years Janelle has built a trusted network of supply partners and service providers, all of whom she calls friends today. While these relationships are the foundation of her business, she has learned lessons along the way in both her successes and failures. She has literally worn every “hat” required to manufacture and sell a product including shipping and customer service. As her expertise in product development and direct to consumer sales grew, so did the number of inventors and entrepreneurs she met needing a better way to bring their products to market. Janelle's experience and deep network led to a partnership with the inventors of Lazy Dog Loungers and to an introduction to the distributor of Keenz Stroller Wagons.
Janelle met Chris Carroll the owner of Paradigm International and the exclusive distributor of Keenz in North America in the spring of 2019. The two quickly recognized the power of a partnership that combined Janelle’s experience of building a brand, manufacturing, and direct to consumer sales with Carroll’s decades of experience distributing products across the globe. Together they created The Better Options Company, home to The Stair Barrier, Lazy Dog Loungers, and Keenz Stroller Wagons.