The emotional intangibles: empathy, gratitude, and intuition are universally understood, however rarely applied in the context of revenue-driven businesses. Amandine Miller is a believer in the power of EQ and how it’s driven her business, Chloe’s Barkery, from a satisfying hobby to a promising career.
Amandine adopted Chloe at 8 weeks old during the summer of 2006, before she was due to attend college in the fall, and little did she know this puppy would later become her inspiration. In early 2007, the pet food industry endured a recall of hundreds of brands due to a potent byproduct of a variety of contaminated exports from China, leading to renal failure in pets across the globe. Witnessing her dog being affected by the recall and following her passion for baking, Amandine stumbled upon a dog treat cookbook and thus sparked her entrepreneurial drive to found Chloe's Barkery in May 2010.
The aforementioned pet recalls were also due to a lack of regulatory oversight that, ironically, nearly slowed her ambitions to a halt. “The biggest hurdle was finding out who regulated dog treats ... it probably took me two years to get a straight answer on that issue alone,” she recalls, as no local health organization could lead her in the right direction. At last, she found the Office of the Texas State Chemist as the necessary regulatory body in monitoring animal-human health and environmental hazards. Fortunately, all her treats contain no artificial flavors, preservatives, fillers, or byproducts and are baked to a delicious crunch!
After adopting Chloe, Amandine became aware of the Beagle Freedom Project - a nonprofit advocacy group created to eliminate the suffering of all animals through rescue, public education, and outreach - and makes it her long-term mission to adopt another beagle from their organization. After gaining traction with her business, she set her sights on helping animal-based nonprofit organizations through monthly proceeds and established the “Pawing It Forward” campaign. “Beagle Freedom Project was my personal inspiration for starting the campaign,” she states, “so my customers can nominate and are able to give back to causes they’re passionate about as well.”
Chloe’s Barkery has also partnered with various retail partners, including supplying the Mutt Menu for all Opal Divine’s locations, and can be found at weekend Farmer’s Market locations in New Braunfels and Austin (Mueller and Barton Creek). Customers can even pre-order treats on their website and select a local Farmer’s Market to pick them up to avoid shipping costs! She reminds us, “that’s why I love what I do … seeing my regulars at the Farmer’s Market on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I have so many customers that came to me when they got a new puppy and I’ve gotten to watch them grow up.”
The future is sweet for this company and she has offered one piece of advice for those looking to start their own company someday:
“Do not let fear or anxiety hold you back,” Amandine says. “Don’t wait to be perfect … Just do it.”