Did you know March 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day? Frenchie Bulldog Pet Supply started out as just an idea and one dog -- and today, it's grown to an international phenomenon led by the amazing dog mom herself, Bridget!
In honor of this fun holiday, we sat down with our founder Bridget to discuss the origins of Frenchie -- and where we're headed next.
1. Where did you get the idea for your business?
It all started when I met my sister's baby French bulldog -- he was just too cute! I've always had an interest in fashion, and suddenly I knew I had to combine my love of fashion with my love of dogs.
2. What’s the “story” behind your business?
The story is pretty simple: About eight years ago, when my sister adopted her French bulldog, she had SO much trouble finding harnesses that fit him, without pinching his legs or hanging loose around his chest.
At the time, there were no harnesses for the small to medium-sized breeds. Or, if you found a harness that fit, it was a plain color or made of cheap materials that wore out too quickly. So, we worked together to create the first reversible harness -- two trend-setting patterns in one, with the best and most comfortable fit on the market.
3. What have you learned about yourself as a business owner, hard worker, human being, etc. since starting Frenchie?
I've learned that I am a perfectionist -- I won't settle for anything less than the best for our customers. I have learned that I'm so emotionally and heartfully attached to all of you! I see each of you as a member of my own family.
I never want to let anyone down -- I want to create joy in as many people's and dogs' lives as possible!
(Laughs) I've also learned that my gut feelings are usually right. I'm a manifestor and have a pretty cool gift for seeing things for what they could be before they are yet.
4. What have you learned over this last hectic year?
The biggest thing I've realized is that life is precious -- kindness goes so far and it starts from within. I've learned to love myself, which is something I never really understood. I learned that through it all, the community we have built here at Frenchie goes farther than I ever imagined.
We are so incredibly lucky to have this family of dogs, all our customers, and all those followers on social media -- you're my heart and soul! I've learned to take in each moment, breathe deeply, and trust in my own intuition.
5. When it comes to running the business, what do you think are the biggest sources of your success?
Our community, our passion, and our drive -- and of course, our PRINTS!! There's nothing quite like them on the market.
6. Looking back on 2020, what are you most grateful for in your personal life?
People who have been there for me. 2020 was a hard year for me mentally. It really brought a lot of my struggles to the surface, and I had to face them. I needed people this year more than any other year.
I am actually starting a podcast about that idea! I will be highlighting many of the people who helped me become a better version of myself during 2020.
7. How about in the business?
I started doing little "challenges" with you guys on Instagram -- like our squat challenge and the smile challenge. It felt so good to have your support in the smallest (and silliest) moments!
We wouldn't be here without our community -- I am forever grateful to you all for supporting our business, our mission, and our crazy unfathomable love for dogs.
8. What are your goals for the future of Frenchie?
OMG, we have so many goals!!! I've always had big goals for Frenchie -- it's been work to focus on the small moments and enjoy the journey, while keeping my eyes on the stars. We have some really exciting, top secret products we will be launching soon -- and I know you're just going to LOVE them all!!
Also, as we look into 2021 and beyond, we plan to find more ways to give back to our community. That is always our goal: To give back more each and every year.
9. What advice to you have to people like you starting or growing a business in 2021?
Trust your gut. Be AUTHENTIC, and enjoy every step of the process. Every part of your life is a journey -- the end will never feel the way you think it might, and it's all about those small tiny moments that make up the time in between. Those moments will define how you feel about yourself, your life, and the events within it.
On a more practical level, I'd say that the first three years of your business are the hardest. Be ready to GRIND if you want to make your dream a reality!
10. And a fun one – what’s your favorite Frenchie product?
Oh, gosh. Would it be a cop-out to say I love them all? If you're really making me choose, I'd say I love the Teddy Hoodie, the beige Leo Collection, and the Love is Love Collection. That last one is very important to me -- equality and love mean so much to me.
Another creation for a cause that I love is our "Save the Tatas" bandana. We donate 100% of the proceeds from that item to a foundation for breast cancer research. It's a cause that's so close to my heart!