Today the Venice Paparazzi Spotlight shines on Local Doggy Entrepreneur Rosalie Maduro
Tell us about your company?
Hungry Dawgz of Dogtown makes hand made, organic, natural dog treats.
How long in business, and how did you get started?
This our 9th year in business. In 2010, we moved from Boston to Venice Beach with our dogs Sara Bear (a Great Pyrenees) and Bounty Girl (a black labrador retriever). Bounty and Sara had special dietary needs. Bounty suffered severely from food allergies (corn, peanut butter, egg, barley, etc.). In 2011, Sara gained a lot of weight due to thyroid related problems. Her protein intake needed to be minimized. Months later it was found that she also suffered from Cushing’s disease. It was hard to find healthy treats and food that my dogs could safely consume. To help meet the girls’ dietary needs and maintain their health, I decided to make their treats using organic and natural ingredients. The girls loved the treats and soon we were sharing them with the neighborhood dogs. Not too long after that the neighborhood dog “parents” started requesting to buy the treats. Our friend Thea, who owns The Cow’s End Cafe, suggested that we sell it there. And so we did! This is how Hungry Dawgz of Dogtown came to life. Soon we were selling at local coffee shops, pet stores, and farmers markets.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Balancing life as a mom (to a human baby and several pups) and an entrepreneur. It’s not easy, but definitely rewarding.
Prior to starting Hungry Dawgz, I was a mobile marketing and technology executive. I managed the text voting technology behind game shows such as Deal or No Deal and 1vs100.
I gave birth to my son 5 1/2 years ago and sadly right after that, my Great Pyrenees (Ethan) was diagnosed with cancer and eventually died from it. I chose to focus on my babies and I had to scale back the operations for Hungry Dawgz. Now that my son is older, I’m planning to revamp Hungry Dawgz and scale the business. I’m also in the midst of building Whelpz, an online community platform focused on pet wellness. We want to connect devoted pet owners seeking information on the use of cannabis to remedy certain pet ailments with other pet owners, vendors and industry experts. In addition to my passion projects, I’m still consulting in digital marketing and advertising. I just signed on a few clients. This is going to be a very busy year for me.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
I started my career with a degree in mechanical engineering. My first job was with the World Bank Group. It was no surprise that I worked in technology and marketing. The pet industry is something I had never considered. Most of us hope to start our careers doing what we love, however, sometimes that’s not possible. In my case I happened to be great in math and problem solving. I thoroughly enjoyed engineering, but it was not my passion. It wasn’t until later in my life that I realized I LOVE animals and that I’m passionate about their welfare. My advice is don’t ever think it’s too late to find your passion. Always be open to new experiences!
Where do you find inspiration?
My babies (both humans and dogs)! As their needs change and they evolve, I’m constantly looking for ways to easily manage their lives.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote?
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Favorite book, band or movie?
Love in the Time of Cholera.
What causes do you support?
Best Friends Animal Society, Americans for African Adoption Inc., A Forever Home Rescue, Children’s Defense Fund.
What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?
Practice more tolerance
List 1-2 things on your bucket list, and 1-2 on your VENICE bucket list.
- (1) scuba dive in the Maldives and the Galapagos (2) climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
- (1) Skate at the Venice Skate Park (2) Surf.
Venice is a beach community of eclectic groups of people from all walks of life where you’ll find unique and vibrant mix of activities/attractions that reflect the various interests and passions of the people who live here.
Describe your perfect day in Venice?
That would be: Walk to the Venice pier with my pups, coffee at The Cow’s End and hang out with old friends, walk back through the Venice Canals, lunch at The Butcher’s Daughter, afternoon business meeting/coffee at Zinque, watch the sunset at the beach, and dinner at Barrique.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
Taking my dogs to the beach to swim in freezing water at 6am to avoid getting tickets from the beach police!
Any shoutouts or thank you’s?
Special thanks to The Cow’s End and the Modern Dog for taking a chance on our treats during those early days.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?
Thea Abenoja of The Cow’s End or Joelle Dumas of the Ecole Claire Fontaine. These amazing and strong women have been in Venice for a long time have managed to build local businesses that thrived and grew during the transitional times.
Where can one find you?
Here is a Venice Paparazzi fun fact!
Hungry Dawgz of Dogtown‘s Butterface’s Beef Fancies are named after Venice Paparazzi’s Boardwalk famous, legendary pit bull, Butterface!
Butterface lived his entire life on Oceanfront Walk. Born in late 2000, Butter died on May 18, 2010. Everyone new Butter. He would sit on the boardwalk, next to the Venice Paparazzi photo kiosk, smiling a smile as wide as the horizon. He was popular guy, and had many, many friends among the locals. When he died, the entire community mourned, he was enshrined in a mural, and the local papers ran stories on him.
And in Hungary Dawgs’ Butterface’s Beef Fancies, the spirit of Butter lives on. Each tasty bag of goodness has a photo of Butter, and his famous giant smile. Way to go Hungry Dawgs! A treat with all the wholesome goodness that was Butter!
Check out this ingredient list: Dehydrated Grass-fed Beef Organs (Tongue, Kidney, Heart) with Organic Carrots and Organic Flaxseed