Annabelle Poovey ’27 wants to spread the word about rescue dogs and uses her love of baking to do so! Her inspiration? Minnie and Lokie, her two rescue pups who helped her realize that she can share the treats that all dogs will enjoy while also making a positive impact on Charlotte's rescue animals.
Where did this idea to start a business come from?
One of my biggest hobbies is baking, and as I grew up, I always loved to make and sell treats. On any given summer day, you could always find me running a lemonade stand in my neighborhood. I loved the independence and creating a product that people could enjoy!
When COVID-19 struck, I was able to be in my kitchen and bake some of my favorite goodies. My family also got two rescue dogs, Minnie and Lokie, whom I absolutely adore! When I was baking, Minnie and Lokie would come into the kitchen, wagging their tails, which got me thinking: why not bake something they could enjoy? That is when I started experimenting with making dog treats for the first time. The first time I shared my treats with the pups, I knew it was a success since they wouldn't stop wagging their tails and begging for more!
When the Winter Market approached last year, my mom told me I should sell my treats, which really sparked this hobby into becoming a real business. At first, I was unsure what to expect, but I ended up selling out in the first hour. I had no idea my treats would be as successful as they were!
What is the hardest thing you have had to handle about your business?
Making dog treats is so fun, but it is also labor intensive. The process is lengthy and repetitive, as I make each treat from scratch, but I am doing what I have always loved, making it fun! Because I make all of my goodies from scratch, I know everything that goes into them. My treats have five main ingredients, and even humans can eat them! Not that I recommend anyone doing so, but it is mostly to say that these are really clean treats. I stand by the idea that a healthy dog is a happy dog!
Another challenge That has helped me grow was how to increase exposure of my business to the broader community and distribute the products as well; this is all new to me! From marketing to efficient distribution, I have been pushed to navigate these challenges.
What is something you were not expecting?
I am not one of the most social people in the world, yet at the Winter Market, I realized how much I loved talking to people about my business. Communicating with people about my business has been a great learning experience for me. Through talking to people at the Winter Market, I learned the most effective ways to communicate the main points about my business. For example, when greeting potential customers who came up to my stand, I was able to raise awareness for Catering to Cats and Dogs: a no-kill, pet rescue, spay & neuter organization.
Catering to Cats and Dogs is an organization that is very near to my heart, as it is the rescue organization where my family adopted Minnie and Lokie. When I look at my pups, I am reminded of the importance of animal rescue. Many dogs are out there looking for a home, and I have always known that I want to help make a difference in their lives. My profits from Love Your Pup Treats go towards fundraising for supplies and helping with medical costs for rescues at Catering for Cats and Dogs. So many pups out there need a forever home, so I am happy that I have the opportunity to support this organization.
How do you balance school and running your own business?
One of my strengths has always been time management, and I pride myself on being future-oriented and planning ahead. Creating my treats is a two-day process. On the first day, I set time aside to bake, and the next day I package the treats. I always make time to get my schoolwork done.
Any piece of advice for PD students wanting to start a business?
It can feel daunting to start a business. It takes time, effort, and strategy to make the business successful. I would say to any student that the PD community is here to support you. When I started, I was so new to the business world. I was used to making treats for only Minnie and Lokie and realized that so much goes into a business. I am fortunate to have the resources that PD offers to students starting a business. So, to any student thinking of starting a business, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help because a lot of people in the PD community will support your entrepreneurial endeavors!
Interested in purchasing some treats for your pup? Contact Annabelle at email@example.com