Mary Young is an entrepreneur who turned her passion for dogs into a successful dog products company. Mary grew up around dogs and always ensured that her dog was happy and playful. In her free time, she would make her dog socks and other cute stuff just for the fun of it. This passion grew on her and as an adult, she would regularly make nice things for her dog and those of her friends. It didn’t take long before the orders grew and she decided to turn it into a business. She started the online dog products shop Doggykingdom, and in a few years, she has grown it into a successful business with hundreds of thousands of clients. Mary’s success as a business person is due to adherence to the highest levels of customer service. As a rule, Mary never sells a product that she would not comfortably use on her dog. It is for this reason that the company offers a lifetime warranty on dedicated products, and a money-back guarantee if a customer is not satisfied with a product. Besides running a successful business, Mary is also charitable and through Doggykingdom, has donated to dog charities across the U.S.
How did you get started in this business?
I would link my start in the business to a passion for dogs, a passion that developed while I was still a young girl. As an adult, I started making cool stuff for my dog Odin, and it wasn’t long before friends starting placing orders. That’s how the idea of commercializing my products came up, and Doggykingdom was born.
How do you make money?
Doggykingdom makes money by selling dog products online.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took about 6 months for the business to turn profitable. Since we sell all our products online, most of our upfront costs were mainly in setting up the website and advertising. These costs were not high and we were able to breakeven in half a year.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I was doubted that the business would succeed. I have always been passionate about dogs and fully believed in my products.
How did you get your first customer?
I got my first customer through a friend’s referral. It was such a big deal that it gave me the motivation to keep going.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We invest a lot in Google ads. They are highly targeted and give us value for every dollar spent.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I have made lots of tough decisions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. In all honesty, none is tougher than the rest.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I would pin my success on passion. It is passion that drives me to come up with amazing products and strive to meet, and exceed customer needs.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
That would be selling over 500,00 dog harnesses. It has been a huge validation of my efforts. I am thankful to all our clients for this achievement.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future is bright for the business. I continue to research on how to better serve our customers and expand our product portfolio.
What business books have inspired you?
I most inspired by the book 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be more open to changes. It’s only by embracing change that you can grow.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
At the moment we don’t offer a mentorship but in the future we plan to mentor others.