Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Cargnoni.
Christopher, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In early 2017 I started to realize there was a lot more younger people owning dogs. At that time, I’ve always only had a family dog, all the benefits none of the full responsibilities. But I noticed these younger people around my same age were taking on the full responsibilities of owning a dog. So I started to research the pet market, and everywhere I looked there were major publications saying “Millennial generation is shaking up the Pet Industry!”.
So I became very intrigued and it triggered my passion which is brand building, specifically in niche categories. So I tried so hard to find a pet brand that would match my specific aesthetic or vibe per se. I couldn’t find a single thing, I literally couldn’t force myself to buy any of the products on the market sold by major retailers.
Coming from the fast-fashion industry where streetwear apparel brands would literally make a t-shirt within 24 hours to hop on a trend, I realized there was a major gap to fill in the pet industry. There was no brand that applied an on trend millennial fashion sense to great pet products. The moment I realized that I had a built-in, niche audience ready and waiting, I decided to create Fresh Pawz.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all! Probably my biggest hurdle handled literally a month after launching the brand. I had a 9-5 at the time, and this brand would have been my 6-12 type of thing until I could build it up. Well, I was fired from my 9-5 due to conflict of interest with me building out the brand on the side. I think being fired unexpectedly Is a major blow to anyone but being fired while just investing all your money and savings into a project right beforehand was a very big blow for me.
Crazy enough, it ended up being the best thing to happen to me. The thought of finding another job and doing interviews selling myself to people just to have them decline me or offer me what they thought I was worth was literally driving me crazy. My experience was doing sales for last four years, so I decided to start a sales consulting agency where I help scale brands through my relationships in the retail world. This allowed me to have the freedom to continue building Fresh Pawz, and make money to pay my bills and help build the brand. So I overcame this challenge by looking within myself, finding my true talent and finding a way to monetize it.
Now I’ve learned to never put all my eggs. In one basket, I will always have multiple streams of income now. No matter how hard you work and how good you perform, you can always be let go. So for me, I’m always going to look out for myself first. If I take on a job, I always give my all, but I’ll never let myself be in a position where I could just be fired from somewhere and be stranded with no other means of income. So thats why I always say now, being fired was the best thing to happen to me as it unleashed the Beast per say within myself.
Fresh Pawz – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Fresh Pawz is the first-ever pet brand dedicated to the streetwear culture. There’s a huge difference on creating a brand vs just selling a product and thats how we had to set our self apart. The pet market has been full of boring “Products” based on need, you need a leash, you need a collar, so here’s a pink or black one take a pick. For us, we are built to connect the lifestyle of the owner to their dogs. There’s a reason why we are sold in every major retailer from Target to Petco to Macys & Zumiez, etc. There’s a DNA to our brand, there’s a voice to us that can be heard with everything we do. Not only have the major retailers noticed to us, but we’ve had the great pleasure to work with major brands like MLB, NBA, Spongebob, Death row records and many others to create their pet products. We’ve been featured on major publications such as Hypebeast, Cosmopolitan, People Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine and others. The recognition from these major publications, major brand collaborations, and major retailer support are all signs we are on the right path on our journey.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
For me looking back, I think I’m just so proud of the fact that it’s possible to even accomplish what we have. What I mean is, it’s literally possible to have an idea from scratch and turn it into something and be sold across the world. It’s insane to think about the opportunities in front of us. We can accomplish whatever we set our minds too.
- Website: www.freshpawz.com
- Phone: 734-645-3633
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/freshpawz