This month’s spotlight features a business that began out of Kelly Icon’s passion for dogs and cooking. The small cookie Company, officially launched earlier this year as a way to ensure that Kelly’s West Highland Terrier, Abbey, was getting a healthy diet.
It has since evolved into a company that researches, tests, and develops all-natural omega-rich dog treats with fresh, human-grade ingredients. Their treats also incorporate “superfood” chia seeds. A small cookie, located in Pinellas County, FL, sells the majority of its treats through retail, online through their website, and through local trade shows.
A small cookie has developed a brand that attracts those who love their pets as much as human family members. To capitalize on this, they have implemented a marketing idea where fans can submit photos of their furry friends for a chance to be named “small cookie of the Month”. Abbey, below, was the first winner and has since been promoted to Mascot and Chief Tester. She even has her own Interest account!
Secrets to Small Business Success recently sat down with Kelly to learn more about her journey to small business ownership. Read on for Kelly’s secrets to success:
Did you always want to go into business for yourself?
Yes. I have worked for very large corporations from which I learned a lot. However, I have always felt that I had some great ideas that went unheard. Having my own business gives me that freedom. It has been very rewarding and satisfying.
Were there times when you second-guessed your decision?
Absolutely. Traditional weekend relaxation and vacations are not part of the equation at this point. Life and work have become the same thing!
What helped you overcome any obstacles?
The good news is that I really love what I do, and I believe 100% in our product. We have a superior product that we lovemaking.
What has been the most fulfilling part of owning a small business?
The great feedback we get! When we hear a customer or a shop owner tell us about how much their pooch loves our treats or how great they feel about one of our products, it makes it all worthwhile.
What has been the hardest part of owning a business?
As we grow, we are balancing supply and demand with creating our product. We are currently utilizing a commercial kitchen, but are considering alternatives, like co-manufacturing.
What advice do you have for other would-be entrepreneurs?
Follow your heart, whatever your love, whatever passion. And, of course, utilize practical things like a business plan, market research, etc. If you’re doing what you love, it will show in your product!
What is your most important consideration when it comes to day-to-day business operations?
Sales and marketing We effectively utilize social media to communicate, but we are continually exploring new ways to share our product with the dog-loving public.
What three traits do you think an entrepreneur needs to be successful?