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Meet two women shaking up the luxury pet industry with Wild One Co-Founders Minali Chatani and Veronica Becchetti

by Female Startup Club
October 13th 2020
01:00:15
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Joining me on the show today are two of the co-founders behind the luxury pet accessories brand Wild One. Wild One is a one stop shop for everything you need for your cute pooch and they’ve got the... More

doing here, we're in month two of being part of the hubspot podcast network and I wanted to take a second to shout out another incredible women lead podcast. Being boss with Emily Thompson, if you're a creative business owner or thinking about becoming one. Being boss is an exploration of not only what it means, but what it takes to be a creative business owner, freelancer or side hustler. I loved Emily's episode on taking time off as a business owner. It's definitely a really challenging part of running your own business and I recommend giving it a listen, check out being boss wherever you get your podcasts. This is veronica Bocchetti and my knowledge. Tani for female startup club. Yeah. Hey everyone and welcome back to female startup club. I'm your host, june rasheen. And joining me on the show today are two of the co founders Behind the luxury pet accessories Brand Wild one Wild one is a one stop shop for everything you need for your cute pooch and they've got the kind of job we all dream about. Well, I dream about puppies in the office, puppy photo shoots and hanging out at dog parks, seeing what owners are into and talking about These two women and their third co founder Bill brought their unique skill sets together to build a brand and carved out a space for pets that didn't exist in the market before they develop products based on what they know their customer truly wants in cute colors and works to build a community of pet lovers by hosting huge events that bring people together and while I've got you here, if you've been loving these episodes, please take a moment to subscribe and rate and review the podcast.

It's what helps other is find us and keeps these incredible female founded stories being shared far and wide. This is manali and veronica for female startup club. Do explain. Mhm Yeah, it's safe to say that most of us have been doing more online shopping lately, right? And if you're in e commerce brand that means you might be seeing more first time customers, but once they've made that first purchase, how do you keep them coming back? How do you keep them connected to you and your brand? That's what Clay vo is for. Clay vo is the ultimate marketing platform for e commerce brands. Clay Vo gives you the tools to build your contact list, send memorable emails, automate key messages and so much more. That's why it's trusted by more than 40,000 brands including female founded businesses like curl, mix, hint and Campari beauty. Get in on the action to delight customers grow brand affinity and make some serious money, Clay Vo customers made $10.2 billion dollars through the platform last year.

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In the last 15 years their team has spent more than $100 million on performance marketing and they know a serious thing or two about e commerce. The course is designed to give you the tools needed to build a profitable and consistent revenue stream for your business. Whether you're just starting out or wanting to scale to the next level. You'll learn everything from winning ad creatives to identifying your target kPI S implementing retargeting funnels and deploying scaling strategies to increase your revenue to upwards of seven figures per year. We currently have an introductory offer on the website for $149.30 dollars from every sale is proudly donated to the Malala Fund, a charity that's working towards a world where every girl can learn and lead female startup Capri since veronica and Manali, thank you so much for joining female startup club today. I'm super excited to have you here. Thanks so much. Thank you for having us firstly, I think I should say I am so jealous of both of your jobs because I imagine you guys on puppy photo shoots.

I'm imagining you doing like product fit and testing on dogs and cute animals and cute animals like roaming around your office. That's exactly it. Although curveball veronica also has a really incredible like medium sized stuffed dog that she likes sometimes tested on. That's like our little office mascot. Oh my gosh, I love that. I guess your photo how cute. Sometimes we can't get the dogs to sit still for a fit. So I'll just use my little guy and I carry them around in my little travel carrier with me the most low. That's hilarious. Before we jump into the background story and what you guys were doing before you launch the brand. Can you just tell everyone who you are and what it is that you do and what your business is? Sure, Well I'm veronica, I'm one of the three co founders. That wild one, including Manali and Bill. I focus primarily on all of our product development, research and development, production, sourcing, manufacturing, quality control.

Um all things to kind of that do with products, so creating products, producing products, shipping product and that's really been my whole career of what I've done for the majority of my background in in this, this area. Yeah, and I'm an Ollie and one of the other co founders of Wild One, I primarily oversee our marketing and creative. So basically anything pertaining to our brand and the Wild One brand um which is again, my background is actually far more in the creative space over time, like just by nature, working at multiple startups have transitioned into kind of the hybrid role of creative marketer. So cool, so cool. And for everyone listening, your company sells pet products and pet accessories mainly for dogs, but maybe in the future for cats too, and other animals. Um and everything is super chic, really cool aesthetic, love it. Let's go back to before you started the brand and what you guys were doing that led to you having the lightbulb moment of wanting to launch something.

So I think for me, I've been in the industry of making products for a very long time for other people and it's allowed me to learn so many things about the industry across several different categories. I started originally producing, ready to wear clothes for a small town department store in the U. S. Where I learned how to match lab dips for a knit sweater and a knit shirt and some pants. Uh I then focused over to baby clothes, I've worked on furniture, I've worked on holiday decor. I've worked in water bottles and I've been able to kind of build this like fabulous structure of how you create a product. And for me, I've always felt so passionate about that and when I started in the industry, I didn't really realize what production was because I knew design existed, I knew buyers existed, but I didn't know there was this whole amazing world in between of creating something that was just on a piece of paper to what you see in the store.

And so for me, I had known about the pet industry, obviously was such a huge market and knew that there was a great opportunity there, we felt super passionate about what we had this idea to do and to have an opportunity to do it on your own, to have something that you could own. Um and do it with this family that you were kind of building through our co founders was an amazing experience for me personally to be able to kind of start it from the very beginning. Yeah. And bring your learnings to a new business into a new industry. Yeah, I think, you know, to piggyback off of that, a little veronica Bill and I were all kind of brought together by mutual friends of ours that run a kind of brand building startup platform. And so, you know, as we got together and we were talking about kind of the inception and this idea of wild one, we all had kind of our respective just like unsatisfactory experiences and pet, I've had pets my whole life. I grew up with like every possible type of animal that you can imagine like in my house from you know, being a toddler and like finding a snail and being like this is my snail in a jar.

Like I love this pet to like my family once, like, you know, indulging me and having like 25 guinea pigs to like right now, I know it was a little absurd, my mother is insane, it sounds like him and now it's having like, you know, to move into the city into getting my first like own pet, which was a cat and then foster mom. So I've always had this really deep connection to animals and the life of animals and so you know, as we started to kind of idea and think about, you know, these respective underwhelming experiences product really was kind of that central point product and retail experience. And so you know, for me it kind of came from the background of like Moving into my first New York apartment with this new cat, I had just rescued in like, you know, 500 square feet space where I now had to have like a cat tree and a little box out in the open and I couldn't find anything that looked good and worked well. And so like I think my first year being like my own finally solo pet parent went through hundreds and hundreds of dollars of litter boxes on like a junior designer salary and inevitably built one because I was like, I can't, I can't find anything I like.

And so that same issue that I was having also applied to the other, the entire pet industry, the dog space as well. And so being that, that was kind of the common thread. That's where we started. And the business really started from the idea of the products that we were going to make, which were these better designed, better functional products for dogs. Um, that were solving for a lot of the pet peeves, no pun intended, um, that people had with existing products on the market. So a good example of that is a relief right? Like you know, a standard leash that you buy at petsmart is going to be a nylon, like webbed material that holds odors that gets dirty and stand that dogs can very easily chew through that. You probably replace a few times a year and it becomes this like fast fashion esque turn type of product and that's really what we aim to fix as as soon as we started the company, we were like, okay, we gotta start there, we got to start with the basics and we got to just improve on what's out there and nail down like all the little things that people don't even realize they hate about their products and just make that better, wow, that's so interesting.

And did you have to go and find like other people to validate your idea through? Did you go looking for potential, you know, your ideal target customer too to figure out if it wasn't just you that had those pet peeves. We had a lot of friends in this space right now in the pet space, but we had a lot of people. Yeah, we have friends in the pet space and then we also had friends with pets. Um you know, we're exactly our customer and our our demographic and so you know, millennials like us often get pets before they had kids. And so a lot of our friends, we're also on the same path as us of like starting to adopt their own dogs and starting to get pets. And so as they were going through that experience, we were able to like kind of follow them along that journey even of that new kind of pet parenthood experience and say, okay, what is it about your shopping experience that you hate? Is it going onto amazon? And just being like overwhelmed by the amount of selection option and not really knowing what to do as a first time parent is it products issues. And so we were able to kind of survey what I consider to be like our friend close uh you know, a group of like insiders for insights on that.

That's so interesting. It's so interesting to have like a group of friends. It's kind of like quite lucky that there was all those people in that space. I read that you guys launched in 2018, but I want to talk about the time that it took before the launch and how long it took to start like developing, you know, products, how long it took to actually find your manufacturer and pulling all of that together and actually what happened at the very beginning? Like do you hire an agency for branding or do you just start by finding products? Like what actually happens in the beginning? Yeah, sure. So for us, we were part of kind of a brand building platforms. So we were able to tap into a lot of the resources that already had existed and, and when we kind of came on board to create, not just, you know, the idea, but the concept and develop prototypes with their suppliers overseas, we were able to tap into a lot of those resources that already existed. However, we were developing things that in the pet market never existed before. So we were disrupting things that our suppliers had never been asked to do before, had never been asked to die trimmed to match, You know, 10 different components before.

So there was a massive challenge in the beginning to really just get our suppliers on board to want to work with us and to really understand what the brand concept was that we were trying to accomplish for something that didn't yet exist and to get their investment and willingness to work with us on, you know, the challenging development requirements that we kind of put in front of them. So I think a lot of that before we even launched for things that we were doing and some of the challenges that we face, but I guess going back to your original question, remind me again if I didn't answer that. Well that that's part of it, but how long was it taking? And what were you doing in those? Like how do you start the business? How did you get started? It was about a year of product development work primarily and the chair towards the end of the brand work before a wild one was actually like put in the water and we launched the online website and I, like I said most of that was actually developing and testing product and making sure that we had the best, like best in class product out there and that we were actually achieving everything we wanted um from the brand side, you know, like veronica mentioned, we're really lucky as founders to have this platform behind us that really supported our launches a company and that platform has resources like a creative team or connections to a supply chain that we were then able to kind of that and push further and dig into more ourselves.

Right. And so we worked with an internal creative team to develop everything. We actually didn't hire an outside agency. My background is in design, I come from design school and it's something that like throughout my career I've been mostly focused on is branding and building brands and so that's kind of the luck of also the three of us. We have really great backgrounds at startups in completely different departments. So I'm in marketing and brand veronica's in product development bills and operations and finance and so we kind of like, you know by nature of coming together we became like the Avengers of like pet startup. Um and so there was a lot of just general like institutional knowledge and how to do this from the get go within each of our respective roles. This is probably a really silly question, but like what do you mean, branding, platform, branding development platform and like how do you become a part of a branding development platform and what is it? I mean we were lucky. Right?

So the platform that we work with is called very great. They're essentially like a micro um veronica, Maybe you can help me, It's like a like a small version of an incubator incubator, it was like also on my tip of my tongue and I was like, I know what you're saying, like it's like, what do you call those things, it's like a small micro incubator. The way we work with them is essentially the two kind of ceos of very great are essentially our investors and so it's how we're funded and they also provide us with these centralized resources that really helped us to kick start the company and the brand and we are again extremely lucky. We had met our investors through mutual friends and through the world of business in our respective previous roles and they knew all three of us and and put us in contact with each other. Um, and I've avenged us, right, avenged us together. You know, that's, that's my analogy for the three of us. Um, so, and so you know, it's not, I know that it's not like the most common kind of founder story and it's not, you know how traditionally, you know, garage startup style you here, but we're, you know, I would say there's always an element of luck and starting a company and I think ours was, you know, the luck of having great connections and great founders and, and people with, with a lot of experience in doing this to help guide us.

Yeah, absolutely. And so does that mean like they're kind of with you on the whole journey. Like you don't need to go elsewhere to raise money on going or you still can do that kind of stuff, but you just always got their support, no matter what kind of, we still can, you know, we're only in your tube, so hopefully that comes, but right now we're really focused on kind of, um, are kind of inception and early growth. Yes, I want to talk about the early growth. I want to talk about the time when you were just launching the business, like leading up to pre launch into that early initial finding your first customer phase and what you guys were doing to generate the buzz, get the word out there and kind of, you know, do all the marketing things, what was working for you guys. Well, for me, it was interesting because before we launched, customers didn't exist, nobody knew about Wild one. I had never kind of taken that leap in my career where I was part of a company that didn't have customer base yet. And so we had this really unique opportunity before that time to really brainstorm and identify who was that for us and what did that look like and how could we generate that buzz.

And I think, respectively, through each of our areas of expertise and just general, you know, experiences that we've each had respectively through the various startups that we've worked in kind of, were able to come to the table with a lot of different ideas. But one of the biggest things I think we learned pretty early on was just the general sense of community in the pet industry, you know, the dogs aren't buying those products, the pet parents are and the pet parents crave a sense of community. Think about when you go to, you know, the Tompkins Square dog park in the east Village and you see everybody kind of chatting with one another about, you know, whether it be dog products, politics, love life or whatever, there's a sense of community where people are kind of talking and I think when Wildland first came out, a lot of the people that were our friends and where our prototype testers and kind of had wild land in the wild before it even existed were able to start to talk to a lot of people to be like, what is that poop bag, what's that leash that you're wearing, what's that harness? I've never seen that before And on our behalf, be able to talk about our brand or our concept what we were doing and started to generate that buzz and excitement, of of what wild one was because at the time of launch back in 2018, nothing really existed in the category of business that we were trying to capture for pets across the essential buckets of categories that we launched in and have since expanded even further into.

So yeah, that's kind of what I would say, man, I feel free to add anything else there. Yeah, I think, I mean, I think you really hit the nail on the head with talking about kind of the dog park in that community really, we were able to identify that camaraderie that happens within like, like amongst pet parents. And so For us building that community and kind of that grassroots, like Wild one movement really came from trying to build that same feeling, but online, that feeling of being at the dog park and sharing what you, you know, your dogs doing or what your dog's wearing or this or that. And I would say like our first kind of big risks that we took when it came to customer acquisition and launching the brand was two weeks after we launched our website, we opened up a three month pop up on the busiest block in Soho. And it was like Incredibly aggressive in terms of just like timeline for like how businesses open retail stores. But it allowed us to very intentionally create a space for people to come with their dogs.

And the way that we designed the space was actually to be pretty minimal. In terms of retail, we only had 10 products. We displayed those products, but we also had an entire kind of like open seating area where we could host events where we could bring that community that we've seen at the dog part and that we've all experienced into an enclosed like indoor wild one space that introduced people to our brand allowed us for the first time to get in front of customers, find out more about them dig into who they are, Get feedback on our products. You know, at one. set up a desk like at the front of the store and had all had all our toy prototypes out there before we launched toys. And she was asking people like, what do you think of this toy? What do you think about this idea, What you think about that? And it was, it was really like, honestly just just incredibly valuable to be able to leverage kind of the new york dog park community that came in to the Wild one store too. You know, create that groundswell of brand evangelists that really kick started the business.

Yeah. And I imagine seeing people's reactions, it's just so critical to that process of seeing whether their eyes light up when they see the product or seeing it on their dog and being like, oh my God, this is something our best selling item came out of that pop up. Right? When we launched, we didn't sell kits. We sold an individual harness collar leash poop bag carrier. And we started watching how customers were shopping. We would literally sit in the store all day like we did not leave that store for three months. We truly lived there and we see and we watched the customer behavior, We watched the way people shop, we watched the trends of what they were buying and we noticed, okay, people are buying these insets insets, they're buying full outfits for their dogs, like let's trial a walk it. And it was so we opened the pop up early october 2018 and it was black Friday like cyber Monday weekend when we kind of started to to just talk about like putting together what we call now the walk it.

And so we said, okay, let's trial it over black friday cyber monday as when you buy all three pieces, you get a pretty significant discount on the item and see how it sells. And so we traveled it in store. It was wildly popular and immediately then after a few weeks later launched it online for the remainder of holiday. And now it's our number one selling item and our euro product, it's what we're known for, wow, that's amazing. That's so cool, so interesting. And I also read that you guys hosted something called the Dog day summer party. Can you talk a little bit about that And what that was? Yeah. So in in 2019, um we had, you know, we closed our pop up, we didn't have any retail plans on the horizon and we were approaching our first birthday and we have participated in a lot of events, you know, within the community, whether it be, you know, rescue pop ups or events with our rescue impact group out of Brooklyn, but we hadn't really done something yet of our own that year that felt like we were re bringing together that community that we had worked so hard to build in year one, Um or like late in your one.

And so we decided to throw a massive birthday party alongside the launch of our new toys. And honestly at first did not think anything much of it, We were in conversation with the William vale, They had really cool elevated outdoor park and so we worked with them, we said we want to throw a big dog party. Um dogs are usually not allowed in that space and so it was new and different to like to the pet community in new york to be able to take their dogs to the kind of like luxe, feeling like 3rd Floor Dog Park And lo and behold, we put this thing online for free because they were like, come join us for a birthday, it's casual. And within a week we had over 2000 people are SCP uh not to mention the additional 1000 plus dog RC piece and it ended up being, you know, a wildly wildly successful event in terms of bringing people together around their pets, allowing, you know, dogs to kind of just like hang out with your friends, grab some tacos, like grab a drink, just have a really good like outdoor summer day with your dog, which unless you're going to the park or you're organizing that yourself.

Like we live in new york city, like you can't take your dogs into a restaurant, you can't, you know, so they're limited opportunities for pets and people to really come together. And so that was the whole idea there was creating an event and creating a space where pets and that people can come together can have a good time to just relax and like celebrate wild on the brand, That's so cool. And did you have to like, what initiatives were you doing on the day to try and capitalize on the fact that everyone was there and trying to get people, were you trying to get them to buy like things on the spot or was it more the, you know, we have their email, we know they're going to love this day, let's reach out afterwards and like touch base then it was definitely more of the latter. We did have like a little booth set up with bucket hats and little fans and things like, you know, promo, any type of things, poop bags with back carriers, like small items that felt like these are necessities for a summer day, but no, we weren't there with like a full wild one store step. That wasn't the idea. It wasn't to like try and trap people and they'd be like, let's sell you stuff, it was definitely more of just a celebration of community, You must have been so fun to see all the dogs, like hanging out and having fun.

It must have been content heaven for all the pictures that you could have got. What what initiatives are working for you guys now when it comes to marketing, what are the sorts of things that you're doing to drive further awareness at this size of the business that you're at now. I mean I think outside of the traditional owned, earned paid media, which any brand or business is kind of constantly turning on right? We have our own channels of email and social and we're growing those and we communicate through those almost on a daily basis. We have a constant pr pitching going out and where we have our, you know, our network and our group of close media contacts who we kind of see new product to and are constantly talking to. Uh and then obviously like any e com business, we're on paid channels this year, we dabbled a little bit in tv which is super exciting, something that we're hoping to expand. But I would say and veronica can talk to this more but our product is truly always at the heart of our strategy, right?

We've done a lot of work building the brand and brand loyalty and I think people trust us because of our product ethos and the care and thoughtfulness that we put into every single thing we build like when you talk about acquiring customers and what really works for wild one, I think what works best is we've created a product that is unlike anything available anywhere else in the pet space. Right? I was giving you the leash analogy earlier, if you want an odor proof waterproof to proof, like easy to clean, looks good, like has a matching set leash, you're coming to wild one. Like there really isn't anywhere else that offers all of those things and checks all the boxes and the same applies for our travel carrier. And that's that's the product development ethos of Wild one that veronica is built. Yeah. And I think like the having that, you know, the word of mouth marketing built in because your product is just so great is something that I that I think the more women I speak to who have the same vision to do that.

Whereas sometimes I think people forget that sometimes I think you have products out there that aren't the best experience and you're like, hey, but why aren't you guys investing in the actual product instead of the marketing, you know? Yeah, I think, you know, it's, it's the fast fashion mindset, right? Like it takes you a while to kind of realize, you know that you need, you should or that you want to apply the fewer better things mindset to your own life, let alone your pet's life, right? And that's that's why we're here is we're here to make that, you know, higher quality, more durable longer lasting products accessible for you a pretty reasonable price point for something that you're using on a daily basis. And that is super cute, every business owner that I speak to obviously and every entrepreneur in general is obviously a problem solver. There's always challenges, There's always things that go wrong. What are the kinds of challenges that you're facing at the moment in your business? Yeah, well I would say, you know, obviously challenges are different every day depending on what's happening, especially with Covid, there's a lot of different challenges that we face, not only in the U.

S. But globally through our supply chain. So for us it was really, you know, working with our suppliers really, really early on when this global pandemic was taking place and making sure that those strong relationships, those strong partnerships that we had previously had in place were still there and that we could partner and work with them to support them in any way that they needed to help get through this crisis and ensure that they knew that we were still their partners and we were there to support them and vice versa. So for us that was, it was a unique experience and one that I've never experienced myself through my entire career and it was just so important and critical early on to make sure those conversations were being had with all of our suppliers to make sure that we had that relationship still intact so that we could continue to build a future together because in March and april nobody really knew what the future looks like and come may in june, we were able to really kind of come out of that moment and really start to build back into production and manufacturing and product development and innovation where that had kind of paused for a moment in time for us that we didn't anticipate.

So one of the things too that I've learned through, you know, what happened earlier this year is that the impact is a long term one, it's not one that for us in our business, that was an immediate impact. It was one that we're seeing now and we're having to kind of deal with in terms of inventory management, development, growth, um negotiations and onboarding new vendors and creating new categories that we're kind of seeing that domino effect of what happened earlier in the year. So getting extremely creative, working, you know, with both Manali in Bill to kind of brainstorm on how we can kind of get proactive and react where necessary to certain things that we couldn't have foreseen, that would have happened with, you know, peaks in production with our suppliers overseas and capacity and container ship ing's that are taking place right now, globally facing delays from that end. So I think it's to be expected and these are things that, you know, having been seasoned in in the industry, nothing really does come as a surprise anymore.

You have to expect the works most times and really just try to think all scenarios, what could go wrong so that you kind of have an answer to everything before it does or as it's happening and you can get ahead of it and make sure that, you know, your ultimate businesses still thriving through the challenges that happened behind the scenes that nobody else necessarily needs to know about. Mm Yeah, I think, you know, we did a really good job. The three of us are just being very in contact and nimble around everything that was happening this year. And part of that is our relationship with each other and veronica's relationship with our suppliers and our ability as a two year company to just be incredibly flexible. I would say, you know, a lot of businesses don't have that luxury, but when you're only two years old, you're almost used to it in a way. So it was just like, you know, the usual, you know, flexibility amplified. I think outside of this year, one of our biggest challenges and I kind of generally assume this for a lot of founders is, you know, the ability to kind of keep the blinders on and stay really focused according to like plan and goal and that is like so much easier said than done.

You know, when you have, you're year planned ahead and you know exactly what you're launching and you build out your marketing calendar and you're like, all right, we're all set. We know when we're going on a photo shoot, you know exactly what we need to do. And then all of a sudden like this little collaboration opportunity pops up or oh, we really want to make these because our customers are asking for them and like you really have to be able to vet each opportunistic moment that comes by and not close them off, but just know when to say no. Um, there's actually a really good podcast on this, the HBR idea calf. They did a podcast a couple weeks ago on the subtle art of saying no and it is something everybody should listen to, but really about like embracing opportunity, but kind of deciding when to decline projects or tasks or requests in a way that is, you know, evaluating the ask and determining whether you're going to go back with a strategic and uh, yes with a plan or whether with a really thought out.

No. And I think that that applies on a daily basis to a founder's life. Whether it's a small ask coming in from someone in your team where they're like, I really need 30 minutes of your time today to talk about this. But you have a back to back calendar and you really want to be president and you want to be there for them? You know, it's okay? No, today. But is this something I can get to you tomorrow. Is there something I can review overnight. Is this something that is super timely, okay then, maybe we'll make the time for it, but and then on the flip side even bigger, right? A perfect example of which that was something we said yes to was, you know, this is dropping tomorrow. So by the time this podcast makes it to help people who have already seen it. Um, but two months ago we were approached by MEREDITH koop who's Michelle Obama's stylist for the last 10 years on an opportunity to kind of contribute to this large collaboration drop that's happening for Michelle Obama's organization when we all vote. That basically encourages voter participation in every election.

But of course this year, above all, it being super timely and for us being really important To hammer that home and to communicate that to our customer? Like the importance of registering and getting out to the polls and voting in the November three elections. Um, it wasn't something that we could turn down and so, you know, I can't remember like getting off the call with her and calling veronica and being like veronica. I know it's holiday. I know we're like we're going and saying already and it's it's september but like how do we make this work? Like this is one of those things that this is one of those things that like morally we couldn't like we really wanted to do from, you know, a business standpoint, it made it completely aligned with our brand and it made a lot of sense for us to to put out something where we could raise money for this nonprofit, that's doing an incredible thing. So, you know, like I said, the subtle art of saying no really keeping your blinders on, having your filters on knowing when to say yes, but also knowing what the thoughtfully say no is a challenge. That is so exciting and so cool, congratulations, I'm so excited to see it tomorrow.

And I think that's also why it's important to master the art of saying no, because if you say yes to everything, then you know, the amazing opportunity that comes up, that's going to be a lot of work and it's going to be taking up a lot of resources. It's hard to then take that on and do it with, you know, truly meaningful and to create the best campaign that you can. So it's definitely something we all need to work on. I'm gonna listen to that episode for sure after this. And what's like, what's happening at the moment in the business? What's next? What does the future look like? I know you guys brought out the travel carrier recently, which is obviously just so cute and so cool. Um what does the future look like? Well there's a couple things I think Manali can talk more about it, but you know, last year when we launched the travel Carrier, it was a really exciting moment for us because it was something that was completely different than what was on the in the market. There were so many features and functions that we developed into that product we took over a year or two, develop it and test it and research it not only with our supplier but with our family and friends in our office and our creative team to really get that to a fabulous what we thought was a really fabulous place for the little list of details of sharing the shoulder strap into a leash when you're going through airport security.

The other thing too that, you know, coming from a brand where you had one product and you're introducing several different colors in a water bottle. I was super passionate about colors collaborations and this year we launched our first lilac color in our walk it, which was a major success. I would have never imagined how good it looked on every dog for color I've ever seen every dog no matter what their for color, like the most photogenic product of all time. It's unbelievable, it looks so good. And I was so excited to be able to prove out not only the six core colors that we do, but the new seasonal color that we introduced for the first time And really start to turn that into something as a brand that we can offer as collectors to our brand and people who are wanting to kind of build different colors into what it is that they're doing with wild one seasonally and so starting to introduce new colors and so I think I'm personally super excited to see the growth of that over time, there's a ton more that we're working on in Manali.

I'll let you decide which ones we want to share, which ones you want to tease out. Yeah, so outside of you know what veronica's talking about, which is like travel carrier and our walk kits and new colors which are really our brand builders, those are kind of the hero products at Wild One. Um we put a lot of work this year into our consumable products and I think the goal is for a wild one to be a place that everyone can come and regularly shop for their essentials and the things they need, not just these higher tier, you know, once a year types of purchases or company colors you want maybe more on the brand builders but having this line of like everyday essentials and consumable products that are better than you know what you're able to get maybe down the street at your local pet store or higher quality or more thoughtfully produced like are biodegradable poop bags and so we've done a lot of work in that space this year with two new lines that are coming out, the first being a new line of treats that drops next thursday and those are, you know, we have existing treats on the market that are more premium treats, their single ingredient there transparently sourced.

If you look on the back, it shows you what farm the ingredient comes from. Yeah, it was really taking the mindset from like human food and applying it to the pet world, which haven't been done before. And then our new line of treats are actually biscuit treats their incredible value. It's about eight bucks for 60 treats in a bag, which is nuts. Um and something that you could regularly purchase and feel good about because they're plant based and they're USDA Organic and you can look at the biscuit and see the little specks of like vegetables and stuff in there, They're really awesome products and so we're very excited about those. Of course we already, earlier this year, last year launched a grooming line, we have our poop bags and then early next year we will be launching a line of supplements that were super excited about. And so I think the future for us is really rounding out this one stop dog shop that we've created right everything from the hard goods through the daily essentials through wellness And making sure that Wild one is a curated place that you can go or you trust the brand, you know what it is you're looking for and if you don't you're not overwhelmed by a million different choices.

There is the best of everyone thing in its category. Absolutely, for sure. Maybe the next stop will be pet insurance, another one to tackle. Honestly, I'm so funny. So I've actually switched my pet insurance twice this year because there are a couple of new brands that have launched and I'm like, oh my God, maybe you're better, oh my God, maybe you're better. Yeah. Here it's a really um kind of booming industry at the moment from what I've listened to online, what advice do you both have for women who have a big idea and want to launch their own thing? I think anybody who kind of has an entrepreneurial mindset throughout their entire life, whether they're four years old, 40 year olds old or 80 years old always kind of has an idea in their mind. And I think the thing that's important is to not be afraid of the idea and to run with it and to use, you know, the resources that you have available to you along with the experience that you've dealt with, whether in accounting or product or retail or design and take as much of that respective field, that field that you're an expert in to apply to your idea and not be afraid to go with it.

Like, you know, my sister always comes up with different things. I gave her like an idea notebook, you know, write it down, don't be afraid to just, you know, think that it's a silly idea run with it. And also when you have an idea ask a lot of questions, you know, reach out to people in the industry, don't be afraid to reach out to other brands that are doing something similar and ask for advice of how they did it, you know, I think as a community of startups, I think we all kind of had that have that camaraderie where we are all kind of supporting each other and want to support each other in any way that we can, even though we're each kind of doing our own thing for me, you know, this is my first time ever being a founder, so it was kind of like super exciting, so if it's something that you think that you want in your future, something that you feel that, you know, is something that you're very passionate about, don't be afraid to go for it, and, you know, create a roadmap of what that looks like for you, it's not gonna happen overnight, but try to put milestone step by step in front of you to help you get there. Yeah, I think to piggyback off of that, Likewise, this is my first time launching a business, and there's a whole lot of stuff that I did not know that I have weren't on the fly on the job from veronica and Bill, but there's also a huge leadership component to starting a business, right, especially if your plans are for that business to grow and so I think specifically like in in that realm for me, like it's been, you know, I've spent a lot of time asking a lot of questions, you know, taking veronica's advice and I would say, don't ever feel like you should be afraid to admit when you don't know something right?

Like that isn't a weakness, that's just part of the journey. And so whether it's directly to an investor or to someone else who's doing this, or like you don't have to put yourself in a place where you feel like, you know everything right, you don't always have to fake it till you make it. Which I think is terrible advice, frankly, I would say it's it's almost better. Like even when I'm interviewing people, I love sitting in interview and almost like sometimes not asking anything until almost the end, I love hearing the questions that people ask and understanding like what people know and what people don't know. And I think that every mentor or boss or you know, person I've had in my life that I've looked up to that I seek advice from has given me that same advice and I passed that on to just not have the chip on your shoulder that you feel that you need to know everything or that you think, you know everything because the chances are you don't and the only way that you could is by asking a lot of those questions Yeah, by asking and going through it Absolutely for sure.

And I think it also, you know, being able to have that courage to ask because a lot of people are afraid of putting themselves out there and looking silly or sounding foolish or something when yeah, I guess it's a skill that you just need to master, having the courage to put your hand up and be like, I need some help, I need some answers. We are up to the six quick questions part of the interview, and I'm conscious of the time, so I'm thinking I will run through, like, all the questions that are, like, individual questions, and then maybe one of you can answer the, you know, the marketing moment question kind of thing. So number one is, what's your y um I guess I'll go, yeah, I mean, it's an interesting question and sometimes hard to answer, but, you know, why do you do the things that you do for me? I think back, like, you know, to just my passionate about creating products, I think back to when I was a kid, and I want to bring your daughter to work day, and I kind of learned a little bit about the business world and what that looks like and how I could be a part of it, and it's funny because I look back and I think about the things I used to say on a profile which are my favorite part of Mr Rogers is when he went to the factories only in, you know, later on to realize that that's kind of the career I've set up for myself over time, and so I think the things that are small indicators that you're interested in, that you're if you're able to find a career out of it and and build, you know, your day to day life around that thing that you feel super passionate about is amazing, and for me that's kind of I think why I love doing what I do and creating new things out of nothing.

Yeah, for sure, and human ali couple things, I think, you know, you said it earlier, all founders are, but I'm a problem solver by nature. So in coming up, you know, against a problem that I was facing in my life obviously strikes a passion of like, how do I fix this? Um and then on the other hand, like, I love animals, right, I've always been a pet person, I've had pets my entire life, I told you earlier, you know, a ton of guinea pigs, they had birds, they've had dogs, they had cats, had weird insects, they look an ant farm growing up, like, so I just already always loved having fed and the idea of creating a brand that was a resource and support to pet parents. Um just inspires me amazing question. Number 21 of you can choose to answer this is what's the number one marketing moment that's made your business pop.

Um so we talked a little bit about this earlier, I would say the first one was that pop up in soho again, like very aggressive for a two week old business, they decided to open a store, but getting in front of our customers was invaluable. I mean it was, it was one of the best decisions I think we ever made to put ourselves in a spot where we were vulnerable to feedback and open to hearing what people had to say about our product and for the first time ever really uh learning about our customer firsthand rather than this like idea or like um you know, customer, we have built in our brand book or in our minds and the second, I would say it was last november with the launch of our travel carrier. The product itself was in development for over a year. We put a lot of effort into making sure that we created something that was not only best in class, but unlike any other carrier on the marketplace.

And so when we did drop that product, we made a huge deal about it, it obviously flooded our own channels. We had a you know significant about the press behind it. We also, we're really strategic in the timing of the launch, we launched it right ahead of holiday and thanksgiving, which we know is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and that a lot of people would be either traveling for thanksgiving or going home in general for the holidays. And so we wanted to make sure that it was just timely in its release and then you know that it just took off. It was kind of like at that point we had, we had all our ducks in a row, we set up all our channels, we see the two influencers, we did what we needed to do just from like the marketing checklist and at the end of the day, like I said before, the product was the hero in that situation, we created the best travel carrier for dogs point blank and it had its own kind of morality and spin after launch. It is certainly extremely cool.

That's for sure question # three is where do you both hang out to get smarter? It's a good question. I don't know. I mean I hang out everywhere to get smarter, whether it's a bar, it's a pet store, it's our, our pop up, our office. Um, but I travel a lot for work and when I do that, I always have had an opportunity to do that throughout my entire career and every time I do do that, I come back home with something that I would have never thought I could have either experienced book personally or professionally, but I come come home with something that I've learned, whether it's, you know the nature of how you can build a relationship with a supplier or the way you can develop a product or how you can kind of innovate on something that you never thought you could have innovated into. And so I think for me it's kind of just just exposure to the world, exposure to learning about how people are, how it's made, how are people doing other things and how can you kind of idea, wait on that to create something that's done in a more efficient, better manner to really apply that to your business and your products.

Yeah, I think likewise to veronica's original statement, not really necessarily any one place, but more of just having the general openness and mindset that you know, you don't know everything and anywhere you go and anywhere you sit down and whoever it might be next to you that you have something to learn from that person. I think that I am very fortunate to have a lot of friends who are a lot smarter than me and co founders who are a lot smarter than me. And so I'm learning a lot just on a day to day basis through conversations. If I were like you asked like, where am I actively going to to see new information? I spend a lot of time on the internet, you know, being a marketer, just reading case studies and looking at trend reports and trying to understand specifically like the pet space in our area of business a lot more in our customer, a lot more. I'm a little bit of a podcast junkie, so excited to be here. Um but you know huge fan of how I built this, I get my news from the daily or NPR news. I recently uh started listening to a mentor, Mind launched her own podcast, it's called the Fahrenheit podcast and her mentor was on it the other day and I listened to that episode and it just like, you know when your mentors mentors talking to you just kind of blows your mind um picked up the Michelle Obama podcast recently and then one that I am actually very excited to start is the HQ trivia boom bust podcast that I have heard really good things about in the last few days, so I'm excited to start that one, I haven't heard about that.

Yeah, the name speaks for itself, it's just about like the boom and bust of HQ trivia um which you know, if you know you were, I guess, I don't know where you have to be specifically I guess if you were like, especially for me like I was in new york in a big office and you know a few years ago and I remember that like you know the three, I think it's like three o'clock or 11 o'clock or whatever it was, where you would want to stop working and be like, oh my God, it's a few trivia time, we have to like tune in and then all of a sudden it disappeared. So I'm excited to learn a little bit more about that business. I started listening to Hillary Clinton's podcast today and I really enjoyed the first episode. I highly recommend question number four is how do you win the day? And that's around your AM and PM rituals that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful. Mm You want to go, I'm nervous. I don't like work life balance questions. Um, I am too, how do I win the day? Um, I think that being a founder is all encompassing and you are never not thinking about your business and I aim to find which I'm very lucky has not been difficult, but winds every day that I can be excited and proud of and for me, from a business standpoint, that's how I went today, right, is making sure that every day there's something that I'm either looking forward to or really excited about.

I think this morning I was slacking all of our hope, our founders chat and I was like, guys, I'm so giddy because everything is back in stock and like that I want today. Like I love that. And so that's kind of the mindset that I try and apply to each day because their days were like, you don't feel like you want and then you take that as a founder and it's really difficult not to you take that home, right? I mean I'm in my bedroom right now. Like it's hard to not take work home, especially this year. And so I think it's really important to, to have something within your business that's getting you excited. That's making you feel like you want every day. Even if it's a little thing. Ain't that the truth completely agree. Do you have anything you want to add? Veronica? No, I mean I would say that's 100%. It, it's the little things in the day for me that helped me win my day, whether it's, you know, a container that just shipped or something that just arrived or getting something back in stock or confirming a new color, you know, just having those each day, whether they're small or big, I think helped just contribute to the, you know, day to day success of what we really thrive and crave as co founders.

For sure for sure. Question number five is if you only had $1000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it easy? We throw another party. I like definitely. I mean, I think that if you're at the point where you only have $1000 in your bank account like that money should be dedicated to like a going away party like last, having some fun. I don't think we'll ever, I don't want to think about getting to that point. But uh, but yeah, I think we throw a big bash and just celebrate everybody who participated in wild ones. Yeah, I love it. Great. Everyone will show up to a dog party for sure. And question number six, final question is how do you deal with failure? And that can be around personal experience or just your general mindset and approach? Sure. I mean everybody is slightly different but right? The saying goes, you learn from your mistakes, right? You know, I find myself and I found my, my first boss in new york, we said we're not brain surgeons, you know, and you know, things happen, whether they're big or small, they happen and you have to learn from your mistake and you have to put checks and balances in place to make sure that those things don't happen in the future and it helps you grow smarter and it helps you grow more proactive to have kind of option a B C D E F G in place for when things do go wrong.

So I think it's just so important to know that you know, failure failure sometimes does happen and to be able to react calmly to it and kind of put some structure in place to, you know, avoid it in the future is I think a major win, amazing and human ali do you have anything? Um yeah, I think, I think what veronica said is honestly perfect and perfectly sums it up. I think the one thing to note is that if you do fail, whether you're a founder or not, it's just to never be so silently and I live by that, right? Any time I screw up, the first thing I do is I'm slacking or calling Bill and veronica and I'm saying this is an issue we have, like, this is my fault. I really need either support or help or, you know, answers on how we go forward from here and you know, in general, just lucky obviously to have co founders, because if you fail, you're really also failing alone.

You always have a support system. Yes, that's definitely true. That's a really nice way to approach it for sure. Well guys, thank you so much for sharing your brand story with me and what you've been building and I am just such a fan of what you're doing, Everything is so chic and so cool, and I'm getting my dog soon, so I will be placing some orders for all of the cool things. Thank you. It was awesome to be here. Thanks for having us. Hey, it's just me here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast. If you want to hear more, head to my instagram at Dune rasheen to see my filmed interviews with incredible female founders, like Erica from fluffy beauty Greta from drop bottle and Sammy leo from breeze bomb, and if you like what we're doing here, visit our website and sign up to female startup club dot com to get all of the good stuff delivered straight to your inbox and lastly, subscribe to the Female Startup Club podcast.

Yeah, yeah.

Meet two women shaking up the luxury pet industry with Wild One Co-Founders Minali Chatani and Veronica Becchetti
Meet two women shaking up the luxury pet industry with Wild One Co-Founders Minali Chatani and Veronica Becchetti
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