Today we’d like to introduce you to Paige Fix.
Hi Paige, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I couldn’t be more excited to introduce Shelter Pawz, a mission-driven small business! My name is Paige and I am the owner and founder.
While working as a youth programs specialist at a local animal shelter, I became incredibly passionate about finding ways to strengthen the bond between children and shelter pets. And what’s better than an adorable plush toy to snuggle, love, and learn from?! All of our stuffed animals are mixed breeds and were inspired by real dogs who I met during my time at the shelter. Oh, and the best part? 10% of our profits are donated to animal shelters to support their lifesaving work!
The purpose of this business is simple: we believe in bringing shelter animals and children together through love. Our hope is that the more kids are able to learn, the more likely they’ll be to make a difference in the lives of pets in need as they grow up.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When you start a small business, it’s no longer you and your big ideas anymore. Suddenly you are wearing many (well, really all) hats including: operations, marketing, customer service, quality control, design, bookkeeping…the list goes on! I spent three years working on this business before we launched and every step of the way presented major challenges. From dealing with an unethical businessman to 2,000 carriers being delivered completely damaged to struggling with Amazon’s dense sellers platform and global pandemic – it really has all been a challenge. It could have so easily tossed my hands up and quit, but what kept me persevering is the vision behind the business. The idea that I could do something great.
My dad once told me, “To be greater than you ever have been, you have to do things you’ve never done”. This quote has stuck with me through every obstacle. The thought that after each challenge lies a greater version of myself. When starting a business, it’s all things you’ve never done before. I am a Social Work major designing stuffed animals, creating a website, listing products on Amazon. It’s all new, it’s all challenging, and it’s all hard. It doesn’t get easier, you just become greater.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have always been known for my kindness towards others, work ethic, and positive attitude – a powerful trio. I care about the world, other people, and animals while being determined enough to make big things happen and doing it with a smile on my face.
That is why I initially chose Social Work as my degree in college. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people who needed it. During my time in college, I had a job as a Youth Program Specialist at a humane society. I loved bringing children together with animals in need. I resonate with children’s natural affinity towards animals and building on their empathy inspired me. Desiring to create a kinder world for children and animals is something most of us want and have probably thought of. What sets me apart of my passion and drive to really do something about it. I conceptualized this idea of shelter dogs as stuffed animals opposed to the few types of breeds that dominate the stuffed animal market. I thought it would be incredibly powerful to create a product that builds on the empathy children all have inside them and creates a better, kinder world for animals, especially shelter dogs.
I feel like I have moved mountains and defeated all odds of starting this business. Now it is launched and I am so thrilled and grateful for everyone who supports me through sharing my story, following my social media, and purchasing a Shelter Pawz pup.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
What COVID-19 taught me is to slow down and be patient. The pandemic came and such a crucial time in my business when I was ready to purchase and ship my Shelter Pawz pups to my house to start selling them. Then, out of nowhere, I had no control over the future and no idea when my business would be able to launch. I was so excited for the next step, and COVID-19 led to huge, unforeseeable delays.
What I have learned from this is to accept things as they come and in their own time. It’s so easy, especially in the face of COVID-19, to focus on what we and don’t have. I would spiral down thinking about the loss of my business and not being able to achieve the next milestone. What brought me back was reminding myself of everything I do have. I had to let go and allow things to happen at their own time.
- Each pup is $32.95
- Website: www.shelterpawz.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shelter_pawz/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shelterpawz/
- Other: https://www.amazon.com/SHELTER-PAWZ-Black-Stuffed-Animal/dp/B09QD4RZY8/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=WRyfa&content-id=amzn1.sym.e4bd6ac6-9035-4a04-92a6-fc4ad60e09ad&pf_rd_p=e4bd6ac6-9035-4a04-92a6-fc4ad60e09ad&pf_rd_r=QVV1ATV88TCKB4EVK86N&pd_rd_wg=jRNAB&pd_rd_r=5123bc02-27f9-4ae7-a2dd-0fdcae48db46&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_atf_m