Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kim Hehir, Co-Founder and President of Brutus Bone Broth, located in Owings Mills, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are Brutus Bone Broth - all-natural, human-grade bone broth for dogs! Our broth is crafted to boost your dog’s overall health with added nutrients you won’t find anywhere else on the market. Fortified with chondroitin and glucosamine to support your dog’s joint health, as well as turmeric to combat inflammation, Brutus Broth is a great way to get these nutrients into your dog’s existing diet at an affordable price.
Additionally, every batch of Brutus Broth goes through two strict rounds of quality assurance that is governed by the USDA, so you can be confident in putting Brutus Broth in your dog’s bowl. Our customers are dog moms and dads that care about what they put into their 4-legged friends’ bodies.
Our mission is to nourish your pet while giving back to the community, and we love supporting hundreds of shelters, animal welfare organizations, and non-profits across the US!
Tell us about yourself
Our story began on Thanksgiving Day 2016 when a family member asked what we attribute Brutus’ longevity to. The answer: “Love and Grandma’s Bone Broth.” As a pup that led a very active life, he had a number of health issues most senior dogs face. We found that adding Bone Broth to his diet not only provided him with a tastier meal but gave him added nutritional benefits. Not only that, he loved the taste, and adding the broth to his dry food made it more easily digestible. The challenge was finding a way to share these benefits with other dogs.
My sister, who is the co-founder, and I spent thousands of hours researching the pet market, speaking to experts in the industry, testing and tweaking recipes, designing packaging prototypes, and working with ingredient suppliers and manufacturers, amongst other things, to assemble the best possible team to help bring Brutus’ Bone Broth to the market.
We are motivated daily by the messages we receive from our customers telling us how the addition of Brutus Bone Broth has changed their pups’ lives for the better - whether it be added daily nutrients, solving picky eater problems, or helping a pup dealing with an ailment - knowing we’re changing dog’s lives keeps us going.
Additionally - we are super motivated by the fact that we are a female-founded, all-woman team. With less than 1% of female-founded companies growing beyond $1 million, we are inspired by our team and all that we want to accomplish!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have been in the market for 3 1/2 years. We are proud of the fact that we took our mom’s recipe and turned it into an extremely high-quality (human-grade) commercially viable product that has helped thousands of dogs. Brutus Broth is now sold in over 7,000 stores throughout the country, including Target, Petco, Walmart, and a number of regional retailers, boutique shops, and large grocery chains. We are also really proud of our sustainability and philanthropic platforms, including forming our Kids Committee, which teaches kids about philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Not to mention that we also underwent double mastectomies during that time and kept our business thriving during a global pandemic. It hasn’t been easy. But it’s made us stronger, more resilient, and even more driven entrepreneurs.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Fighting off burnout. It’s really easy to let the stress and hustle of building a business wear on you. Knowing how to balance your time to find ways to make your mental health and wellness a priority is hard. I could not have done this without Sue. We work really well together. When I have a bad day, she picks me up, and vice-versa. There are so many ups and downs as an entrepreneur, so it is REALLY important to have a support system in place!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don’t take no for an answer. Instead, we look at it as a “not yet” and do our due diligence to follow up as much as we can to stay top of mind.
- Make sure you love what you are doing and believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can make great things happen, no one else will. And if you don’t love what you are doing, you will burn out quickly!
- Find time for yourself in all of the chaos. For me, I schedule my daily exercise like a meeting, so it happens!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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