Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Cassera.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Gary. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
3 years ago I had a dog a client wanted to relinquish to me for adoption. My first thought being an entrepreneur my whole life is, how do I get ears and eyeballs on this dog. I started to research different sights, platforms, tips, tricks, and large humane organizations online. Frankly, they all made me feel very sad by the end of my exploration. The pictures were not well done, the stories were emotional and not based on reality, and the lack of resources to the rescues and shelters to create better material must be lacking.
How could I help? In 2016 I took the first steps to solving the many problems I have witnessed first hand, stories friends clients and strangers have told me, and what causes many organizations not to thrive like they can.
I thought long and hard about how I could help and my answer is a mobile application geared towards content creation for the shelters and rescues. I am creating a platform that will empower better trying telling which increases interest, sharing, and attention also removes the emotional stigma attached to so much of the content. My joke when I meet with investors is “have you seen that commercial at 2 am with Sarah Mcglocklin singing that depressing song.” The opposite of that is our goal. To me, that is the problem too much emotion, not enough knowledge.
In the past two years we have gotten our 501(c)(3), started a blog educating people about what their dog’s think, and a clothing line The Dog’s Side all supporting our cause. Also this summer I am finalizing plans to ride my electric skateboard 500 miles from San Fran to LA taking animal portraits at shelters and rescues, and spreading our message. It was planned for April but my father just passed away two weeks ago so I had to postpone it.
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 smooth at all. I have never run a technology company before nor a non-profit so it has been fun learning about these ventures.
I had to learn so much about technology from the lingo like sprints or wireframes, developer languages, the difference between UX and UI, off sure development teams, project managers, hiring good design and developer teams all without understanding what they were saying most times. I am still learning so much today.
It’s taken me two years, I’ve raised a few 10,000’s of thousands of dollars and we are always looking for more help to build a better and better product for free.
Soul Mutt Foundation – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am most known for The Dog’s Side which is my online educational platform. I share daily live videos from my dog daycare here in LA, write blogs frequently, and share all the ups and downs of my journey becoming a well-recognized dog behavior advocate. I don’t call myself a trainer bc that’s not what you do. You cant train a dog to be a dog. It knows how. What I do is educate humans where they confused their dogs with human thoughts and intellect and got off track.
I have been in business for 11 years. I currently own a dog walking business in NJ still which is where I am from originally, I sell an ebook for entrepreneurs in the pet space mainly dog walking, and have recently taken my pet photography to the next level submitting them into international competitions.
Why I am different is bc I have taken the time to learn the why about my industry. Why do we have the problems we have? Why are dogs in shelters? Many professionals these days have not seen the changes in the industry and are still perpetuating the problems that are ruining the industry today.
I am trying to be part of the solution on many fronts. Hands-on with clients, in the dog daycare space, pet sitting and walking, online education, and some other things coming down the pipe soon.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I don’t think it happened yet. When we launch our mobile application and we show people the power of quality content and storytelling, when dogs are getting to the right homes and staying then I will be proud of what Soul Mutt Foundation has done. 🙂
- Address: 530 S Lake Ave #386 Pasadena, CA 91101
- Website: thedogsside.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @thedogside
- Facebook: @garycassera
- Other: soulmutt.org