Written by: Stephanie Stone
Edited by: Tandy Tiramai
Since 1987, the beginning of March commences Women’s History Month, which celebrates and reflects on the contributions women have made to American society. We want to do just that and share the impact women have on the world by sharing their encouraging stories.
As a female-owned business, we must never forget the importance of this month, which highlights the progression women have made overtime and that women can really do anything. We must continue to foster an environment to make our mark on the world and inspire young women to chase their goals too.
In this blog post, we are showcasing strong business women and dog moms in the community, who demonstrate the tenacity, courage and fearlessness of a woman. We spotlight Jamie Morrison, Erin Ignacio and Ketana Chadalavada.
Jamie started her handmade accessory company, Maverick James and Co., for both dog and dog parents in June 2020. This business was inspired after she got her Australian Shepherd, Maverick. Her products include reversible pet bandanas with matching scrunchie and wristlet key fobs. She also makes macrame key chains, custom-made t-shirts and sweaters, and clay jewelry.
“Being a female business owner is empowering,” Jamie said. “I work hard for myself and for my small business so that it can continue to grow, and so I can continue to do what I love. This is a job that I love to do everyday and can really show my talents in.”
In addition to owning and running her own business, Jamie also got her degree in Early Childhood Education and became a teacher.
“I have been teaching kindergarten for two years now and started this business the summer after completing my first year, she said. “Initially, I started the business to provide income, as I was not receiving a paycheck during the summer and now had this adorable puppy to spoil and take care of! It soon became more than just a way of income, it was something I loved to do, it was an outlet for my anxiety, and I was actually pretty good at it.”
As a small business owner, Jamie said women have to continue to support other women in business and be the hype they need to continue growing.
“Yes, there may be other small businesses out there selling similar products, but they aren’t you, she said. “YOU are an individual, YOU have your own unique style, talent, and way of creating things. Don’t let the idea of there already being similar businesses out there hold you back from starting yours.”
Like Jamie, Erin has a similar mindset when running her business, PORTS + PAWS.
“Being a female business owner is very empowering,” she said. “It has helped me build more confidence in myself and my decisions in life, business and personal.
PORTS + PAWS, based out of Honolulu, Hawaii, is an online shop for modern accessories for dogs and dog-owners including dog bandanas and matching accessories for its owners. When shopping at PORTS + PAWS, Erin also gives a monetary donation to animal shelters such as the Hawaiian Humane Society, Paws of Hawaii, Fur Angel Society and more.
The shop opened in July 2020 but her journey began in March 2020, when she first got her puppy, Porter.
“I always wanted to start my own business,” she said. “There were many reasons why. One was to keep me busy and pass the time. Another, was to start this as a side hustle. But a big reason that really pushed me was to use this business as a way to give back to the dogs in our community here in Hawaii.”
With her business, Ignacio said she hopes more women follow in her footsteps and if you want to do something you are passionate about and makes you happy, just do it.
“I really believe we need more successful female business owners," she said. “It is so much hard work, maybe even harder because we are women, but it is so rewarding and empowering having this business. I also think it is important as women to build genuine relationships with other women so we can inspire each other on this journey of business and life.”
Lastly, we are highlighting Ketana Chadalavada, who started her own company called holisticanine. She started the company in Summer 2020 in Orange County, California. It is a natural and eco-friendly pet store. She said her mission is to focus on creating a space where you can get all your pet essentials and be worry free about any harm to your furbaby or the planet.
“I love being a female business owner,” she said. “I feel like it has really empowered me and made me more confident. As women, we are often treated so unequally in the business world and getting to create and run my own business from the ground up has helped me really feel like I belong and am capable.”
Ketana said she wanted to start this business as a way to provide safe products for your dog and environment. This involved her doing research learning about different products and ingredients, observing, and trial and error.
“I wanted to start holisticanine because I’m a cancer survivor, so I’m very particular about ingredients and have always been very eco-conscious," she said. “I had to do so much research to ensure I was getting safe products when I was getting my puppy. And it can take a lot of time and effort to do so, so I thought why not create a place where people can get guaranteed safe, non-toxic, and sustainable products.”
Ketana said as a female business owner it is essential to make a brand a reflection of you, not of what you think others will like.
“Being passionate and authentic with your business is going to be what makes you want to push through even on the toughest, most frustrating days,” she said. “Be you and I promise you’ll find a lot of other people who love you and what you stand for. You’ll never be perfect and your business will evolve as you evolve, so embrace the possibility of change and not having it absolutely right, and just start.”
Tandy, owner of West Coast Wag Co., had a few words to share to fellow boss babes, as well. "Running a small business on top of a full-time job has been a challenge to be frank, especially with the obstacles I encountered at the end of 2020. However, I look back at our accomplishments, including our feature in British Vogue and the amount I have learned about running a business from bookkeeping and accounting to marketing and customer service, and I realize how far I've come in such a short period. My advice to fellow female business owners is don't give up, rest supports creativity, always make time for things you love, and let go of competition and be authentically yourself."
Happy International Women's Day to all of the strong women kicking ass out there. We are rooting for you!