Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Albee Zhu, general manager of Black Sheep Organics, located in Burnaby, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Black Sheep Organics' natural grooming products started at our own dog grooming studio ten years ago, wanting to have natural, bio-degradable, cruelty-free products made with limited ingredients that were locally sourced. We are still a small Canadian business, even after moving from our little dog grooming studio to a GMP compliant facility to deliver our natural dog products to more. Integrity and honesty are what matter to us and guide us along the way in business decisions. Our customers are people with minds alike. They are health-conscious and support organic or vegetarian and feed their pets raw, organic meals. They want to select only the high-quality products for the health of their four-legged family members, at the same time, with an eco-conscious mind. We source ingredients from reputable sources. A step further, we were registered and licensed under the leaping bunny cruelty-free program since 2011 to ensure no animal testing in production.
Tell us about yourself
I was a loyal customer of this brand before becoming the partial owner and the management head. Our founders enjoy experiencing the great outdoors with their dogs by hiking and camping. I just feel we share a lot in common. Especially the passion for animal welfare and the environment. Although there were a lot happened during the past three years due to the virus. Many challenges were faced like soaring costs and delaying logistics; I think it is very meaningful to keep a trusted brand and beloved products in the market no matter what. Do not disappoint our loyal and new customers, I would say, is the key that makes me energetic each day at work. Making gentle, natural, cruelty-free dog grooming products more accessible simply makes me feel meaningful and fun at work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We were out of stock in 2021 due to high demand and logistic delays. I managed to find solutions and anticipated more stable inventory management going forward.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Since we are a growing company, I would say time management as a manager is the first challenge; second to that is finding the right personnel for each role.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Do the research on the industry and analyze the potential. Make sure you like the thing you will be doing. Find what you do best and give the rest to the right teammates.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Hope more people choose cruelty-free cosmetics.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.