Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Kelly Jansens. I am the founder of a natural pet company called Green Dog Pet Accessories. Green Dog produces products that are safe for pets and people while keeping the environment in mind.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I have always had a love for animals and volunteer for local animal shelters in fund raising efforts. Also, I have adopted a few fur friends from these shelters over the years. With my love for animals, I was concerned about the quality of pet products that were available. I found a lot of these pet products were toxic to animals and poorly made. I started Green Dog by buying a commercial sewing machine and coming up with products that were safe, my using materials that were recycled and non-toxic. Five years ago, I added cleaning and grooming solutions that are dye free, chemical and fragrance free.
Describe the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the product.
This process was a big learning lesson and sometimes very costly. I have a background in managing fabrication products and took what I knew from my past career over to Green Dog. RESEARCH, RESEARCH and RESEARCH again. This means research best manufacturing methods, materials and the vendors in which you choose to partner with. I have found that most other business owners are willing to help and want to see others succeed as well. Learn from them and perhaps you can help them as well.
Describe the process of launching the online store/business.
A lot of work….lol. Produced my products. I wrote my own copy, had to hire a photographer and web designer. The process took close to a year, however I was happy with the results.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Building the brand and a following is an every day process. Social media engagement, E-newsletters, videos as well as attending trade shows, markets and other media avenues.
I believe people want to meet the person behind the brand and feel like part of something.
At the end of the day, I ask “what value did I bring to the world today?” I want to be a difference maker not only in the products I bring to market but, to others and of coarse their fur friends.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Green Dog is doing well. Always looking into new product ideas and growth.
Looking for distributors and to get our product into more boutique type pet stores.
What’s your average monthly revenue today and what do you project it to be in next 6 months?
Our company is private. I would rather not answer this.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Owning a business requires a lot of work, determination and will to keep moving each day. Working for yourself outweighs working for others and it is rewarding to hear good stories about how a product worked for a customer. A satisfied customers make us happy.
Make sure to do your homework before you take on a new business venture. As a business owner there are so many thing to consider from concept, cost, packaging, marketing, accounting and the list goes on. Most likely someone has a similar business and /or there are retired business people looking to help out entrepreneurs. By exhibiting at industry trade shows I have received great advice from my peers in my industry. It is always nice to be able to roll an idea off someone that knows and appreciates what you are trying to do.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
No, not at this time.
Where can we go to learn more about you?