Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christian Martinen, co-founder of Max and Lilly, located in Austin, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Max & Lilly is an app-based community pet care and social network for pet owners. We connect local, like-minded pet owners who provide pet care to each other for credits redeemable when they need pet care. This innovative approach of trading time reduces the cost of pet care while connecting pet owners to each other. We believe connecting to others through our shared love for our pets is a perfect way to expand our circle of friends and ensure quality pet care. Our members are not motivated by financial gain but by their love for their pets and the support of the community.

In addition, it's a fun way to meet other pet owners in your city. Meet them on the app, chat with them, schedule in-person meetings, check out their profile and the profile of their pets. Maybe go on a hike, meet at the dog park, or how about enjoying a Happy Hour at a dog-friendly place? Giving back to improve the lives of animals is important to us. Max & Lilly gives a portion of each dollar earned to pet organizations local to our members.

Tell us about yourself

I love my pets but can't always have them with me when I want. I realized that kennels are not an option, and the cost of dog walkers or sitters could be exorbitant. I thought there must be a better and less costly option. I always wanted my pets to feel at home with whoever was watching them. So, we thought, why not get a bunch of friends together to help each other out when we each needed it. The plan worked very well. Max & Lilly was the culmination of that experience for the benefit of all pet owners. Max & Lilly provides a way to extend your circle of friends and family. It is also a great way to build strong bonds with neighbors and others in your community. Bonding over pets makes everyone family.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

To improve the lives of pets and their families.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

When things become difficult, the hardest thing as a business owner is moving forward each day regardless of obstacles that pop up in front of you. The best way for me to do this is to connect with my original passion and the reason for why I started my business. I believe so strongly in the power of community to improve the lives of all animals, and this carries me through all challenges. There will be moments when I feel overwhelmed and question my path, but I find connecting to the passion I had when I started allows me to persevere.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Work to be persuasive. You have to get people from all walks of life with different interests to understand and believe in your business. Your ability to be persuasive and have a strong narrative around why you do what you do is exceptionally powerful.
  2. Starting your own business is all about risk. With great risk comes great reward. Understand early on what your risk tolerance is and stay true to it.
  3. Be humble and never give up. This is something that should be practiced every day, with every conversation, and with every task.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

To download the Max & Lilly app via IOS or Android.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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