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In this podcast episode, I interview Gila Kurtz, co-owner of Dog is Good. Dog is Good is a worldwide lifestyle brand for dog lovers to celebrate the dog/human relationship.
About Dog is Good
Dog is Good is a lifestyle brand for dog lovers to celebrate the dog/human relationship. The company features gifts, home decor, apparel, an online dog community, and more.
What Gila enjoys most about what she does
Gila enjoys the creative side of things. She also loves that everyone can bring their dogs to work.
Advice to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur
- Know what you want.
- Have clarity about your dream.
- Know your “why.”
- Know what success looks like to you.
- Find a mentor.
Greatest challenge as an entrepreneur?
Gila’s greatest challenge as an entrepreneur is squirrel syndrome. Squirrel syndrome is when your attention gets pulled in different directions.
When did Gila know she was an entrepreneur?
After becoming a military wife, Gila needed a career that would allow her to continue making money every time she moved.
Lifestyle – she loves the opportunity to impact the lives of others to live life a little more inspired by dog.
Gila also wants to leave her mark… just like dogs 🙂
Favorite internet resource or app
Podcast app because she loves to learn and feed her mind.
Gila’s Bucket List
- Visit Costa Rica.
- Hike higher mountains in California.
- History vacation across the U.S.
- Travel and speak to audiences.
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Welcome to the show Gila Thank you very much, Cindy. Appreciate the opportunity to talk with you today. Tell us about yourself outside of your business. Since my business is about dogs you can imagine I am a dog lover, but I am also a highly energized, motivated person that loves to do things outdoors. anything physical from hiking, walking, running love anything health and fitness related love the performing arts and just really enjoy spending time with my dogs and my family which consists of my husband and one two legged child daughter 18 who we just sent off to college earlier this year. Tell us about your business and how you got started. dog is good is a lifestyle brand for dog lovers. People hear the name and often think it has completely to do with the dog itself. But it is actually a company that celebrates the dog human relationship and we create products specifically for the person at the other end of the leash so the human and we design very clever and original sophisticated designs for a variety of products from gifts products, to home decor to apparel products, and we market and sell to stores around the world. We also have an online e commerce
And we’ve been very fortunate to license our designs to other companies who produce a variety of products as well. What do you enjoy most about what you do the creative side of things. I love coming up with concepts and messages that really resonate with a dog lover. Everything that we do really highlight the relationship that people have with their dogs. So I love coming up with those kinds of ideas. I also really enjoy creating marketing campaigns and providing our stores with sales and marketing strategies to help them grow their businesses. And then the other thing that I really enjoyed to is the fact that not only do I get to bring my dog to work every day, but my employees do as well. So I get the opportunity to hang out with some very cool people and they’re very, very awesome dog. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get started in the pet industry? The first bit of advice I would ask is What is it they want to get into? Are they looking to manufacture develop a new product? Are they looking to open a store? Are they looking to create a service based business such as dog training, dog walking, pet sitting? Have a doggie daycare facility? That would be my first question because based on what their answer is, is going to determine a lot of the steps that I would recommend that they take. But as with every entrepreneur, I think the basis for success really is founded in clarity on the dream so really understanding the passion and the impetus behind what it is you want to do and deciding right from the get go what success will look like to you what is your target I would also suggest right away that they create a system that enables them to be creative but also to have focus on all the key areas that they would need to grow market and sell their business and lastly I would highly recommend surrounding themselves with all the right people so networking seeking
The advice and mentorship of others who have achieved what they’re trying to achieve and just getting started, just jump right in and get going. Great advice. Think what is your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur, I laugh because I deal with this every single day, not just my greatest talent is probably suffering from squirrel syndrome and get very excited about a lot of different things. And I find with so many moving parts in the large company where we’re not a large company, but in a growing company, so many moving parts that my attention often gets pulled in a number of directions. So I have to stay very disciplined and utilize very conscious, focused approach to getting things done it so that I can end the day having accomplished what I needed to do. Yeah, I think that’s something that a lot of us struggle with. You try to plan out your day, but it just doesn’t work out. No, it doesn’t. And I think one of the biggest challenges
For many small business owners and solo printers is having that discipline to not only time block, but to protect that time block from interruptions. I think that’s a challenge and something that we all probably need to do more of. Oh yeah, I actually tried to do that. I try to schedule my time in blocks. And then I get a phone call from a client or a potential client and it kind of throws off my whole schedule and then everything gets pushed. And sometimes at the end of the day, I just have to shave off whatever didn’t get done. Exactly. And so my recommended solution to something like that would be during that particular time period depending on what you’re focused on. Maybe you’re working on a project that you would commit to yourself you wouldn’t even answer that phone call for that one hour or so that they would leave a message and you can call them back but it’s hard to do to me i get i get pulled often is to put out fires Yeah, and what I do with my business Yeah, it’s usually what it is with me it’s a
An emergency, somebody’s going to launch something and it doesn’t look how it’s supposed to look. And then it’s like, oh, gotta step aside from writing a blog post to do that. So that’s part of the business, right? So when did you know that you are an entrepreneur, I feel that I really became entrepreneurial by necessity. My true love and background is in education. I had pursued a career in high school education and had the pleasure of teaching at the high school level for a couple years before I married into the military, and then proceeded to move about every two years to new location. So in order to do something productive because I couldn’t get teaching jobs, every time we moved, I started to pursue different entrepreneurial ventures that I could market implement, immediately gain results and either choose to do it again in the next location or pick up something different. I would say that shortly after getting married I pretty much became a serial on entrepreneur. And it was at one point that I became a professional dog trainer, a very easy career to move, you know, wherever we were. And it was through my love and passion for dogs and working with people that my current company was born dog is good. So aside from not wanting to work for someone else, and aside from your family, what is your y, the Y is about lifestyle. I do what I do, because I love the opportunity to impact the lives of others. I’ve had more and more opportunity to do that as we’ve successfully grown our business and to share my message of living life a little bit more inspired by dogs. And why I do what I do it is to give me the chance to impact the world around me. I’m very motivated to make a difference to feel like I’m giving back and then I’m making a contribution and in the words of one of our sentiments here at Doug is good.
Want the opportunity to leave my mark just like dogs, but in a way that truly makes a difference. And that’s why I do what I did. So what’s on your bucket list? The first thing on my bucket list is a trip to Costa Rica. I just have always wanted to go to that country. I feel compelled. I don’t know why. But I just really wanted to explore and experience that country. A couple other things on my bucket list would be to hike some of the higher mountains here in California on the west coast. I’d love to do a history vacation because I’m a history buff. So travel across the United States hitting every major historical spot and learning about that. And I’d love the opportunity to really begin to travel and speak to large audiences around the world, giving me opportunity to work and play at the same time. And what’s your favorite internet resource or app to be honest with you? It’s not something that makes my life easier but
It’s just the apps for downloading podcast, the podcast that I love to utilize my time to continue to learn and to feed my mind so whenever I’m walking my dog whenever I’m working out I typically or even if I’m just sitting down or in the car for a long drive I just click on that app so I can get my podcasts and get my education on on a daily basis yeah that’s what I have playing when I’m working always have my podcast going so what’s the best way for listeners to get in touch with you and your business listeners can get in touch with me personally by going to Gila gi la at dog is good calm but they can really explore and have fun as a dog lover going through my website which is dog is good calm and there they can not only find great products but they can participate in our dog lovers community they can enter
Some of the great monthly contest that we promote, they can also submit Dory about them and their pets. They can also provide a tribute of their best friend as a memorial to a pet that they may have was in their life at one point, but it hasn’t passed on leaving, you know, only great memories. It’s a great way to Qatar typically deal with the loss of a pen. So there’s a lot of different things that they can do on the website as well as Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, of course, we do Periscope and we I’m trying to do our Facebook Live, if we can get that back, but number of ways that they can get in touch with us. And typically, people really enjoy the entire community that comes with the brand Gila. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. Oh, you are very very welcome.
Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.