2023 South Dakota Small Business Exporter of the Year Alisa Turner
Roto Mold LLC, dba Ruff Land Performance Kennels in South Dakota, has been in business for over 23 years. Initially, the business started as a custom rotational plastics molding company in a small Quonset building until Roto Mold LLC expanded into its superior dog/pet products. The company has since purchased four buildings totaling around 40,000 square feet and enlisted two additional molding partners to help produce the kennels. The company is proud to be able to employ 26 people with competitive benefits, flexible schedules, and continuing education. They use only the safest materials and keep items affordable yet still of the best quality. All of their products are made in the USA.
Ruff Land Performance Kennels received SBA funding in 2017 to purchase a building during a time of rapid growth. They have also utilized the services of the South Dakota Export Assistance Center, a Department of Commerce division, and SD Trade to assist them in connecting Ruff Land with a market analysis for Australia to gauge interest in products. Recently, they have had interest from distributors and local pet affiliates in that country. Ruff Land plans to utilize the STEP program to travel to Australia for one of the country's largest dog shows/events. They are also looking into assistance with government contracting as they recently signed a contract with AAFES and hope to get an audience with other government entities, particularly police units and search and rescue missions.
Expanding into international markets has allowed the company to get its brand and unique style of kennels into the hands of everyone who needs safe, affordable, and durable pet crates. Implementing software technology called Zonos helps direct international customers to their site to see the total landed cost for duties and taxes. While the percentage of export sales remains relatively small in comparison, an increase in daily orders to places outside of the US through this software continues to grow into markets such as South Korea, England, and, most recently, an opportunity to connect with a dealer in New Zealand.
Ruff Land Performance Kennels always strives to give back to their community by attending charity events, donating to habitat restoration and preservation, and supporting law enforcement and military personnel with product donations. The company also supports local businesses during dock diving events, hunt expos, fundraising, and sporting events. Co-owner Alisa Turner was named the 2023 SBA South Dakota Small Business Exporter of the Year.