Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dana Ben David, co-founder of Healthybud, located in Montreal, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Healthybud is a pet wellness brand that makes healthy dog treats, meal-toppers & food. After the sudden loss of a family dog to cancer, we realized that we were feeding our dogs wrong. And, that our dogs can thrive from the same incredible healing foods that we feed ourselves, so we set out to reinvent the modern pet pantry to change our dogs’ lives for the better.
We founded healthybud based on the simple idea that good food heals. By pairing unique superfood ingredients with scientific research (backed by vets and universities), we help dogs live a longer, happier and healthier life. Our customers are millennial, health-conscious pet parents who believe that proper nutrition can change the quality of their dog’s lives. They want the best for pet pets and care strongly about what goes into their dog’s bowls.
Tell us about yourself
I’m the co-founder & creative director at healthybud, and a dog mom who’s absolutely crazy about her pup! I wear a bunch of hats from design, branding, content creation, marketing, sales, partnerships and more.
The story of how I got involved in the pet space is a pretty unconventional one! I’m a professional singer & performer with a background in Music Production and a bachelors in Architecture & Design. The common denominator between them all is a passion for turning creative ideas into something tangible that makes people feel something special, whether it’s through music, architectural design or…building a millennial pet wellness brand!
So how did I actually get involved? My fiancé Kyle and his close friend Adrien had the initial idea for healthybud when Kyle’s dog passed away 2 years ago. They needed some help with the aesthetic, creative side of the brand, so I helped out here and there. Shortly after, we realized that we each had really important, complimentary skills & personalities and that the healthybud team would thrive best with all 3 of us as founders. Now we’re here today with a brand that’s carried in almost 500 stores across North America, and a community of over 15,000 pet parents online!
What motivates me each day to do what I do? My goldendoodle Lyla, and our #healthygang community. Healthybud is really unique in that we’ve built an incredible, supportive community of pet parents from across North America, all on a mission to help our pets live their best life. We’re all passionate about health & wellness, and want to reinvent our pet pantry to include superfoods & healing ingredients. Each person in our #healthygang is like family to us and they’re trusting us to help them be the best possible pet parent. For all that our dogs do for us, this is what we’re doing for them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Figuring out how to mix business with pleasure. I went into business with my (now) fiancé and his best friend. At first, we were really hesitant as many people advised us against it but we knew were the right trio to bring this vision to life…and that together, we could build something really special. Navigating this dynamic obviously has its challenges and definitely requires continuous effort, but we keep figuring out how to make it work. We’re having a lot of fun with it and I think we get a little better each day! No risk, no reward right?
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is really difficult when you’re a business owner and it takes a lot of conscious effort & discipline. The work never ends, and you never technically ‘clock out’. It’s really up to you to create a healthy, balanced lifestyle that lets you recharge so you can perform at your best & avoid burning out. It’s something I’m always actively working on (and sometimes still struggle with!)
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1. Don’t quit your day job yet. Building a business happens in stages and if you’re stressed out financially, it will impact your ability to focus on the business. But, when the base business is there don’t be afraid to “take the plunge” - you need to commit to make it happen.
2. Take time to find the right partners to go into business with. It will set the tone and trajectory for your whole startup journey and it could make or break your business.
3. Know your strengths, weaknesses and values well. This will help you find the right, complimentary partners to work with, and will also help you make better hiring decisions when the time comes.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you to the readers for taking the time to get this far down the interview! If you’re a dog mom or dog dad reading this, connect with us online and say hi! (Instagram/facebook @healthybudco) We’d love to meet you. Also, if you want to spoil your dog with some healthybud products, you can use the code SUBKIT20 for 20% OFF your first order. www.healthybud.co.
Where can people find you and your business?
You can find us online (www.healthybud.co) and on all social channels!
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.