A Doggy-Dog World

May 03, 2013 No Comments
1. Tell us how you usually describe R-U-MyLitter? Tell us about
how the process works.
R-U-Mylitter is a unique networking service that offers dog owners the
opportunity to match their dogs with their siblings. You simply go on our
website at www.rumylitter.com, click on the Instant Match box, it will
then take you to the Registration sign up where it will give you a few
prompts – name, email address, dog’s name and breed, gender, date of
birth and the kennel’s name and address. After it’s completed – which
takes less than a minute, you submit the information and that’s it!
2. How did this idea come about?
 
After the difficult decision of having to select just one puppy from a litter
of four, Wendy’s daughters and her could not get over the image of
Bentley’s twin brother crying in his cage, because they were taking his
believed brother with them. Time did not make the image disappear,
rather it was quite the opposite, contacting the breeder was a dead end, because she would not share any contact information. This made Wendy even more determined because surely there would have to be another method for connecting littermates. Researching left her with more questions than answers, so she decided if it didn’t exist she would create. Wendy approached her good friend, fellow dog lover, now business partner Maria Ongaro. She felt just as passionate about the idea in finding her dog’s siblings and so a business was born.
3. We know the owners of R-U-MyLitter are Wendy Margolis and Maria Ongaro, how do you two know each other and why did you decide to go into business together?
We were both newly separated and a mutual friend thought we could be supportive of each other, as we both were sharing similar struggles.
After having been stay at home moms for many years we both had to re-enter the working world and could relate. Wendy completed an entrepreneurialship program that was sponsored through the Government of Canada. She had come up with this idea and felt that in order to bring it to fruition she needed a business partner who’s strengths complimented hers. Wendy works on the marketing, networking creative aspects, whereas Maria has a more financial and technical background and speaks four languages.
4. How long has your company been around? And describe what makes your company unique.
Our company was officially launched this past November 2012. We are the only digital business that offers the service of connecting dogs to their litter mates.
r-u-my-litter
5. Tell us about some success stories that have come from RUMyLitter.com?
We have been able to facilitate several lost dogs being reunited with their families, making all the long hours we have put into starting our company worth every minute.
Nothing will make us happier then when we can share joyful reunions with our fellow dog enthusiasts. We knew right from the start that it would take some time before we could actually begin to make successful litter matches.
We have been very fortunate to receive several media interviews and have been able to connect with breeders and rescue organizations (that receive too many unwanted litters of puppies). This combined with word of mouth is helping to get dog owners on board registering their dogs. The larger our data bank increases the more likely matches will be made. We welcome everyone to help us spread the word!
6. Do you have future expansion plans for your company once it gets to a certain point? If so, would you like to share what they are?
Not only do we do the litter connect but we have expanded our website to already include rescue dogs, lost dogs, obituaries, and in the very near future we will be launching our market place which will feature artisans selling handmade dog products.
7. What did you both do professionally before opening up this company?
Maria used to work as a currency strategist for a Canadian Bank and is a licensed realtor. Wendy’s career background lies in retails sales and office management.
8. What were the 5 first major steps you took to start this company?
We researched the dog industry.
We came up with a name.
We wrote a business plan.
We worked with a logo designer.
We hired a web designer.
9. How long did it take you to create your website and logo and overall business plan or concrete vision of your company?
 
We used our networking skills to connect with a graphic designer – Sunny McGaw Co Founder of (Trumpet&Tribe). We met with her in person where we discussed our Company and our visions for our logo. We needed it to visual communicate what type of business we were in because litter is a synonym. After receiving several options we all worked together to fine tune the final product.
With regards to our website, we once again relied on our networking skills by talking to other digital businesses and their experiences with working with their web designers. We had several meetings and narrowed down our search going with Amit Jethani, a freelance web designer. When selecting a web designer it is very important to get someone with all the technical, communication, media and design skills. Interestingly enough, we rubbed off on him, because he started off dogless and is now the proud owner of a puppy, Pixie the Eskie!
10. What’s it like to own a business with a partner?
We have been very lucky to date that we have no major issues to deal with. To keep the partnership successful we know that we have to respect eachother and communicate in an effective manner. We balance eachother and are good at delegating according to our strengths. As with any single working mom, we understand the work/life/kids balance is a challenge and some days one partner needs to cover for the other and we understand and appreciate each others current situations.
11. Tell us about a particular obstacle you both went through but proudly overcame with R-U-MyLitter.com?
We have had some technical challenges. Our largest one was not too long ago when Maria unintentionally deleted five years off of Wendy’s Facebook page, while in the process of setting up an R-U-Mylitter Rescue page. Needless to say, Facebook doesn’t offer any phone technical support, which Maria hadn’t realized at the time. She ended
up communicating with a call center in Mumbai who stated they provided technical support for Facebook when in fact it was a scam. After many long hours of struggling to understand Facebook’s pages and pages of Help features, Maria got Wendy’s 5 years back. We’ve got to say that if Facebook wants to improve their technical support area, Sheryl
Sandberg should contact us! Lessons learned!
12. Describe your love for animals.
Maria grew up with animals and now has two dogs, three cats, a gecko, a tree frog, boxed turtle, and hermit crabs. She has never been without an animal and finds them to be a source of comfort and she couldn’t imagine her life without them. The animals have provided her kids with countless hours of enjoyment and adventure.
Wendy grew up being afraid of dogs. She always admired animals from a natural setting, more from a National Geographic T.V. point of view. Several years ago her children launched a relentless campaign of “I want a dog” and in a moment of weakness she found herself bringing home a Shorkie puppy. Life has never been the same. Not only has Bentley been a wonderful companion and therapy dog for her youngest daughter, he has provided Wendy with unconditional love.
 
13. What would you like people to know that they may not know about your company?
From the registration to the connection it is a free service. We pride ourselves on respecting dog owners privacy and we do not exchange any personal information of dog owners other than the email address for connection purposes. It’s up to the dog owners on how they chose to proceed. It can be as simple as a quick email or exchange of dog
pictures.
14. Assuming you are heavily involved in the doggy community, can you describe what this community is like and how one can become involved in it?
We have been very fortunate to make some pawsitive connections with some breeders and rescue organizations. We have learned that people in the dog world are very passionate about dogs and very knowledgeable. It’s a tight knit community and it takes time to get to know everyone. Dog lovers are always on the go and looking to help out in all related dog causes.
15. Your best advice for a woman who would like to get into the doggy business.
One great way for someone wanting to get into the doggy business would be to volunteer with their local dog rescue organization who are always looking for a helpful pair of human hands. Spending time with other fellow dog lovers at meet up groups and dog parks as well as visiting local dog businesses such as groomers and dog stores within their community. Taking the time to get involved and making valuable networking connections within the dog world will contribute to the makings of a successful dog business.
R U MY LITTER
Cities, Los Angeles, Novelty, She Walks The Talk
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