Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Kahn, CEO of Mina + Pup, located in Calabasas, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am Natalie, the owner of Mina + Pup, a lifestyle-inspired pet accessories company. I pride myself on making accessories that are stylish, durable, and comfortable to use for both the pet and the owner. I am known for bright colors, lifestyle-inspired designs, and excellent and timely customer service. My customers are dog and cat parents who adore their fur babies and who want the best accessories available at a very affordable price. At the same time, my customers want to be a part of a fur baby community that makes a difference! That is why, as part of my business model, I donate a portion of proceeds monthly to a nonprofit pet cause.
Tell us about yourself
I am 14 years old and am in 9th grade. In July of 2020, my 34-year-old uncle Michael passed away suddenly, and my heart broke. He was my biggest supporter, and we were incredibly close. Michael loved dogs, especially my French Bulldog Angus. I wanted to turn my pain into a way to honor Michael's memory. I have loved animals ever since I can remember and loved dressing up my Frenchie Angus in order to create fun photos for his Instagram page, @angus_frenchbully. I noticed the pet accessories industry was lacking very vibrant and lifestyle-inspired prints, so I decided to launch my own company. I combined the first two letters of the name Michael (MI) and the first two letters of the name Natalie (NA), and Mina + Pup was born. The memory of my Uncle Michael and the beautiful pet community keeps me going and motivated every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the creation of a pet accessories product line that makes a difference for the pet owner and their pets. Many customers have told me how good they feel when their pet wears my products on a walk, and they get compliments from others walking by. My customer's walks that used to be boring are more fun, and the accessories I make are conversation pieces.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The road to creating, planning, and launching my own small business has not been a completely smooth one. It is difficult to start a brand-new small business at any time. However, doing it as a newly turned 14 years old and in the middle of a Global Pandemic brought its own challenges. I have had to learn to be patient with shipping, with making and sticking to budgets, with running my social media accounts, all while still being a teen and a freshman in high school.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- There will be ups and downs, and it is ok to feel like giving up but don't!
- Stay true to what you believe in and what matters to you as a business owner.
- There is not enough time in the day, so try to keep a to-do list, or you will get behind.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Making a difference in the pet industry and in the world in general matters most while maintaining my commitment to honoring the memory of my loved one and giving back. My customers matter the most to me as well. I pride myself on stellar customer service and customer satisfaction.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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