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Meet Elisabeth Penaque of French Paws

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elisabeth Penaque.

Elisabeth, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m your typical Parisian girl, born and raised there. Loves having hours-long dinner with family and friends. I moved to L.A with my pups almost 3 years ago as a teacher and now I’m a young entrepreneur.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. First off, it takes some time to get used to the city. L.A is so wonderful and crazy at the same time. Then, there is that moment where you decide to take that leap of faith and start your own business. The hardest part for me was to go way outside of my comfort zone and putting myself out there.

I didn’t grow up in the poorest but not the richest household either, so it has always been very important to me to be financially secure. But when you want to open your business you have to forget about that steady income, you have to dive into your personal accounts, plan differently… etc. It is especially hard when you do not come from a family of entrepreneurs but also, coming from a country like France, where that entrepreneurial culture is not ingrained like it is here.

But I’m very lucky and grateful to have a great supportive system all the way back home and here in L.A. Especially my dear friend, Fred who has been the 1st one here to know about this project. From day one he has been and still is amazingly supportive and helpful. There is also a big community of French entrepreneurs in Los Angeles which helps a lot when you’re looking for advice or just want to hang out with other Frenchies. That’s how I met Emelyne aka the Unicorn. She is our Visual Content and Media Manager, and we’re very lucky to have her on board.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with French Paws – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The idea behind “ French Paws “ was born in 2009 when I got my very 1st puppy. He is a French Bulldog who like many other Frenchies, has very sensitive skin.

For bath time I would use a dog shampoo for sensitive skin which was way more expensive than regular dog shampoo. We were both still frustrated because his skin was still dry, his hair dull etc… so one day I looked into the ingredients and realized the shampoo was full of bad chemicals and other things that did not seem right. After tons of research, I decided to stop using them and started making my own.

Now, we have a store in Downtown L.A where you can find our products and where we also offer amenities such as daycare and grooming. As consumers, we are more aware and careful about the things we eat, the things we buy, our environmental impact for ourselves and our family. A lot of people consider their pets like a regular family member and only want what’s best for them. That’s why it is extremely important for other pet parents like me to have a brand they can trust for the quality of their products but also a brand with which they share the same vision and values.

French Paws’ ultimate goal is to be the pet products company guaranteed to be: Organic, Eco-Friendly, Cruelty-Free and Made in the USA.

We’re very proud of our sustainability program, called RYB*2 (Refill Your Bottle/Refill Your Box) which promotes the end of the single-use item by refilling them in-store and/or online. Customers can save 30% on regular prices while protecting the environment. All credit to Thierry Mugler who created a similar one almost 30 years ago.

It is estimated that 2.300.00 bottles and cases are saved each year. Those numbers clearly show that high-quality products and eco-responsibility can perfectly work together.

As a young company we get inspired by more established ones that share similar values and so we set up a 10% Give Back Program (in reference to 1% For The Planet). Basically, each month we are donating 10% of our profit to a different animal rescue or environmental groups. Working alongside rescue groups, we will also be hosting adoption events at our store throughout the year.

We really aimed to be the ones to offer amazing pet products and services that promote sustainability, a sense of community, and happiness for everyone. We want to create something that’s more than just a brand but also a lifestyle. That is why our motto is: “Better products, happier families, healthier planet.”

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Like everyone else, I would say: ” traffic “. It is insane, here!!! But the scenery, the food scene and the quality of life makes it all worth it. I love that the energy and creativity in this city is like nowhere else. No matter what your dream is if there is a place it can come true it is L.A and this is priceless.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ella DEGEA Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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