In this episode, I chat with Ann Greenberg, president and founder of A Pet with Paws, a company that designs and manufactures innovative pet carriers and accessories. Using recycled materials, Ann brings together safety and sustainability in super-chic products for animals that have what I can only describe as genius functionality. #Sorrynotsorry, they’re terr-woof-ic! Ann tells us all about her family of creative inventors, her professional journey that led her to the pet industry, and how she uses her already sustainable products to support the environment.
Today, Ann gives us the inside scoop on:
- her 360-degree approach to sustainability,
- how her handbag line informs her pet bags,
- a costly lesson in quality manufacturing, and
- how people, pooches, and the planet all go together.
On her purpose:
I’m Ann Greenberg and I’m president and founder of A Pet with Paws. The way I approach all my products is to try and merge fashion, function, and thoughtful, eco-friendly products.
The pet industry seemed to lack very sophisticated, chic pet products that were also sustainable. So I decided that I would launch A Pet with Paws. My whole purpose is to offer chic, innovative, eco-friendly products.
I had a lot of doubt but, no matter what it is, if you really believe in your product, you just have to push through. It’s like the book - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
On work ethic:
There are always going to be problems, obstacles, challenges but there are also always solutions. So you just keep working towards the solution.
You also have to be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goal.
I meditate twice a day, that’s number one.
Every morning you can wake up and choose either fear or faith; you make the choice.
I feel really good about my products now. Yes, I always believed in them but now it’s like really there in my gut how much I believe in them and feel that they’re right and feel that they’re making a contribution to people and the planet.
On filling a void:
I’ve been designing and manufacturing pet products that fill a void that I see in the marketplace.
People look at things and say why; I look at things and say why not? (Paraphrase, George Bernard Shaw) That’s my thinking behind everything that I do, all the designing that I do. So, when it came to the pet carriers, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be attractive or can’t be attractive, so I made them look and feel like a handbag.
Picking up poop obviously is not very glamorous but it’s certainly a necessity because of the toxicity that it’s contributing to the environment. So I came up with the idea of a very chic and fashionable poop bag pouch and wristlet that can attach to the leash or carrier and there’s a discreet hole in the back of the pouch that you can just pull out the poop bag and pick up the poop.
I look at things and I want to improve them.
Carrying a pet can often become heavy on your shoulder so I developed the patent-pending Pet-Trek which is a four-spinner wheel, foldable trolley or cart that works with our pet carriers.
I’m basically on my own but I work with a business coach. She has my back.
I also work with a publicist who is amazing. Of course, my husband is very supportive and my family.
I also find and found that the people in the pet industry are so much nicer and friendlier than the people in the fashion industry. People are much more willing to help one another in the pet industry.
The idea is that by having these stylish products that are very necessary, that people will limit the toxicity and become ambassadors for a cleaner environment.
I think it’s important to want to make a contribution. I partner with Trees for the Future so that for every item that’s purchased, a tree is planted. I’m benefitting so I feel it’s important to give back.
Keep in touch with Ann Greenberg:
Ex.: APetwithPaws.com – stylish, sustainable pet carriers and accessories
Ex.: LegalZoom – Legal solutions and legal documents for small businesses.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – a book about conquering fear by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
Trees for the Future – helps communities plant trees to restore life to degraded land