Today we’d like to introduce you to Tina Le.
Hi Tina, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My business Hound and Friends first stemmed from the true experience of love and gratitude I felt from dogs along with all the lessons they have taught me. I will forever be grateful to my mom for teaching me how to sew when I was seven and to my dad who taught me about running a family business. My business is all about matching with your dogs and having fun while at it! I love seeing the joy in people’s faces when they find an accessory they love for both their dog and themself. Being able to watch that connection and bond extend from their dogs to their friends and family will forever be a life-changing experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. The connection between a person to their dog is a precious thing and is a very important part to me. When I was a child, I almost committed suicide but my dog being my #1 companion helped me feel like I was not alone. I was able to overcome my challenges while learning how to give unconditional love like my dog. Dogs teach us so much about how to love without any boundaries or restrictions, which is such an important life experience. To me, giving our dogs the best accessories is the cherry on top. At age 33, I am now realizing that my parents gifted me three core gifts – sewing, business, and my dog Mickey. These three gifts are such an important part to the creation of my business.
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?
My journey has been both smooth and challenging at times. I am grateful for both the kind and loving support of my family and friends whether that is them physically being there for me or supporting me through financials. Starting out, I didn’t have a mentor so there were many obstacles to overcome along with the many trials and errors. For example, it took a couple of times to hand make the bow ties to fit the different-sized dogs. Another recurring issue was when I would try different events not knowing what they were like. I would go into the dog events having the expectation of making some profit when in reality, as a new business owner my expectations were not realistic. I would often have a loss of profit and that would deplete the funds that I saved for the business. Although that was a big challenge, the most challenging part of owning a small business is wearing all the caps. I was learning how to do all the things a business required both by myself and firsthand. As the business grew, it was a relief to start hiring help! With that, I started to learn how to delegate the work with someone else while also training them.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Prior to creating Hound and Friends, I was a visual merchandiser for over 12 years for luxury retail brands. I loved seeing the products come to life-based off of the creative placement in the store. It was so fun to see how the placement of the products would bring so much life, beauty and vibrance to the brand. Surprisingly, styling mannequins was one of my main priorities. Customers would base whether or not they were going to purchase the item off of the mannequin so it was definitely one of my main specialties. One of my all-time favorite parts of this job was when I would be invited to different locations to merchandise the stores across California and New York.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Something surprising that most people who may not know about me is that I am adventurous and I love to travel. I’ve done a road trip from New York back to California. I’ve also been to Europe and Asia months at a time to explore other countries. What I love most about traveling is meeting people along the way and hearing about their different lifestyles. That’s why I love being connected with customers from Hound and Friends worldwide and hearing their stories about why they love their dogs so much. I realized that no matter who I meet and where I meet them, I find that we all share in common is the love that we have for our dogs and the people in our lives.
- Bandanas – $17.90
- Flower Crowns – $24.50
- Bow Ties – $46.90
- Email: info@HoundandFriends.com
- Website: www.HoundandFriends.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/HoundandFriends
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoundandFriends
Credits to these IG accounts featuring @beauandwren, @iheartwallace, @marloweandshakes, @dawgfacegirltoo, @chinapelada, @bellalovesbeau, and @petitepokey who are in the photos.