Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Febra Alexander, Owner of Muffin & James Doggy Bag Treat LLC., located in Bay Shore, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is making handmade human ingredient dog treats. My customers are the pawrents that love knowing exactly what they are feeding their pups & dogs. These treats are made good enough that they can enjoy our treats if they ask their dogs nicely and are a good human!
Tell us about yourself
My business began as a fun let's try and make dog treats for my dogs Muffin & James. I had so much fun finding these recipes and adjusting them to suit their tastes and the ingredients I like that are safe and good for my dog's digestion and nutrition. I liked making them so much I would give them to friends and coworkers to try. I was told I should sell them, but I didn't think much of it until something said why not. My approach was to go to farmer's markets where something like this handcrafted dog treat would be a good fit, the same as the artisan food crafters for human foods. I attended pop-ups and eventually tried one farmer's market to see if I had a viable product. One market turned into two markets on the weekend, which then turned into 3-4 markets every weekend for the last two years.
What motivates me are the great pawrents and their dogs that I get to meet every weekend, and the absolute joy of doing something good for these beautiful pets is everything to me.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is just realizing I have what it takes to create and build a business from scratch. Discovering my unrealized talent and love of baking dog treats.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things in being a business owner is the actual business and legal stuff that must be handled and understood to be a proper business. There is so much to know, and aside from the creative fun part of my business, the "grown-up " part of it must be managed. I have learned recently that in order to grow my business, I have to hire those that know aspects of business management that I am not well versed in or have the time to do. My business is still young and is still in side hustle mode, so lack of enough time and physical energy, and sometimes resources can be a challenge, but funny enough a welcomed challenge that has taught me a lot about myself and what I am willing to do as a business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start...Don't wait... Once you start, then you adjust based on each day and step you take.
- There are multiple resources out there for what you need. Ask all the questions you need to before you decide on anything for your business, and if you don't understand, ask until you do and it resonates with you.
- Most of all, have fun, keep a positive mindset and know that there is abundance and room for all of us and you are not in competition with anyone else. Do what feels right to you for you and your business.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.