As the founder of KindTail, a pet product design company, Amy Kim has been making waves in a world where consumers take every purchase very seriously.
The pet industry is a multi-million dollar industry, and according to the American Pet Products Association, almost 85 million households have a pet, but Amy realized something was missing.
Combined with her belief that we all must be kind to people and pets, this savvy businesswoman, wife, mom of two, and product designer, has created dog crates and beds, aptly referred to as PAWDs and pads. No metal crates here. These pawlaces are comfortable for pups to live in and stylish enough for owners to keep in their homes. As natural denning animals, dogs need a place to rest that feels like a “cave” of safety and style – KindTail products grant them that space!
The company that is now available at Bloomingdales is not only focused on products, but also on getting an important message out to the masses that kindness and love must exist when it comes to the attention of our four-legged friends, and oh yes, also for those fur-babies with only two legs that work.
KindTail’s new “Be Kind” campaign highlights dogs with special needs to show that these differently-abled dogs deserve to live amazing lives too! Like Amy, we believe that caring for a dog opens up your heart and your world.
We spoke with Amy about her inspiration behind starting KindTail, what inspires her to change the lives of dogs everywhere, and how kindness influences her strategy as a businessperson.
Hi Amy!As a businesswoman, you have chosen kindness as a key component and philosophy of your company. Why?
I went through something very difficult while I was pregnant with my first son, and my dog Monkey saved me. I realized the importance of a relationship between a pet and a human and vice versa. Love and kindness are our ethos as a company and my ethos as a Mom, wife and artist. At KindTail, we’re not selling pet products, we giving pawrents options so that they feel good about their choices. Pawrents want to extend their feelings onto products that show their fur baby the kind of love and kindness they have for them and we are extremely proud to be a small part of that relationship.
What was your inspiration behind creating KindTail?
My Chief Barking Officer, Monkey, is my inspiration. I was living in NYC with him and while I was collapsing his wire crate one day I hurt my finger. I knew there had to be something better, and when there wasn’t anything on the market that was safe and looked good in a home, I made it my mission to design the best crate there was for him. We love our pets so much and yet we don’t have too many options that help us feel good about our choices for their homes, and instead of complaining, I decided to do something about it.
What products do you offer and what makes them unique?
We offer beautiful, collapsible, and light-weight pet crates. They are unique because we truly designed the product to offer the best nesting space for your pet. It’s a PAWLACE for your fur baby, not a metal cage. We see the PAWD as a baby crib, something to keep your fur baby safe and comfortable. Once they transition out of the crate training stage, the PAWD becomes their forever home, their nesting space. In addition, because it is beautiful and it blends in with your home, you don’t have to hide it when guests come over.
What has been your biggest challenge with starting KindTail? Can you share a few tips for someone looking to take that first step to entrepreneurship?
My advice is to figure out your ‘why.’ A wise person once told me that a person with a strong ‘why’ can bear any ‘how’. So start a business that means something to you because if you start a business that you’re not that passionate about, you’re more likely to give up. Entrepreneurship is a hard road so you’re going to come across a ton of setbacks and challenges. Thus, if you know your mission and the purpose behind why you’re doing it in the first place, you will figure out how to get there. That’s what mission and passion does to a founder, it allows them to be so engrained in their craft that they will always figure out a way to make it work.
You recently launched the Be Kind campaign that involves special needs dogs. Please tell us more.
At KindTail, we believe that every dog and every human deserves love and kindness. That led to our latest campaign titled, ‘Be Kind.’ We chose to use dogs with special needs as our models to bring awareness to these amazing pets and to also celebrate the love and kindness they bring to their pawrents and anyone who is able to meet them.
We also partnered with Road Dogs & Rescue, one of the most inspirational dog rescues we have come across. They rescue bulldog breeds, with the primary focus being special needs puppies, seniors, and complicated medical dogs that are, unfortunately, the most likely to be euthanized. Road Dogs & Rescue sees the dogs they rescue as just ‘differently beautiful’ and ‘differently-abled’ that deserve to live amazing lives.
We too believe in their mission, and for every medium-size PAWD sold, we are going to donate a percentage of our profits to help them achieve their mission of saving ‘differently beautiful’ pets.
We at Be Kind & Co. believe kindness is a strength, do you agree? If so, why?
We’re aligned in that we both believe in kindness as a strength. At KindTail, we operate from a place of love and kindness where, at our core, we trust that those two values are the foundational elements toward accomplishing whatever we dream of. ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind!’ is not only in my email signature but what we hope to instill in our business, employees, consumers and my two sons each day.
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