Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Angeletti, founder of Pom & Chi Pet Boutique, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
POM & CHI is a pet boutique that makes minimal aesthetic goods for the eco-conscious small dog. We specialize in making zero-waste dog beds and bandanas with natural materials. All our products are made in small batches, right here in Vancouver, BC.
Our customers are primarily dog moms who care about sustainability and appreciate high-quality materials and understated luxury. And who only wants the best for their pup, of course!
Tell us about yourself
POM & CHI (or the idea of it) started back in 2020 when I got laid off from my job and decided to get a Covid puppy, Bear. Bear is a Chocolate Pomeranian, and the cutest, tiniest little fluff ball, which only weighed 1.7 lbs when I brought him home. He was unlike any other small dog I had ever met. He was bursting with energy, loved to get dirty, and absolutely hated being put in a purse.
I found it nearly impossible to find any pet products that were his size, let alone anything that fit his vibe and my aesthetic. PLUS, I realized there was a serious lack of sustainable product options in the pet industry. It was out of this frustration at the lack of options that it clicked for me: why not create a store for other small dog parents like myself who were also having a hard time finding the right products for their dogs? I could make minimal and sustainable goods with small dogs in mind! It was really important to start a business that reflected my values of making products with sustainable materials and applying ethical business practices, all while having small dogs' comfort and style be top of mind. So that's exactly what I set out to do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment I have as a business owner is overcoming all the struggles and challenges leading up to the launch of my business. Primarily, my crazy journey to finding a sustainable and small-batch manufacturer to make my products. Being so new to the industry, no one took me seriously, and it was near impossible to find anyone that would even respond to my calls and emails, let alone want to work with me. So when I found someone that said yes, I jumped on the chance right away.
Unfortunately, it did not work out. Neither did it work out with the second studio. Nor the third! I spent a year running on a treadmill going no where, and felt pretty defeated. I almost considered giving up. With a LOT of hard work (and a little bit of luck), I was introduced to the studio that makes my products today. Not only is the studio run by a kick-ass, kind-hearted, and talented woman entrepreneur, but she specializes in sustainability and zero-waste production! Clearly, it was meant to be, and I'm so proud of myself for staying persistent and not giving up.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is not giving up on yourself. You will face challenges. You will face what feels like a never-ending supply of roadblocks. And it can be really hard when you're a solopreneur and working alone! But when your dream (and business) is at stake, you'll figure out ways to make things work.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You will never be 100% ready to launch your business. Stop waiting for everything to be perfect (and for the stars to align), and just go for it!
- If you're risk-averse (like I am), get ready to start taking some risks. Fortune favours the brave.
- Find your community. I found an incredible group of women through the Forum weekly connects and have met some awe-inspiring women entrepreneurs through that group that are so supportive and motivational!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We have a few pop-up markets coming up in Vancouver and would love to meet you and your dog in person! Check out our upcoming markets at https://www.pomandchi.com/pages/pop-ups.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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