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Name:  Emily Lagasse

Business:  FedWell Pet Foods, a maker of home-style dog food

Industry:  Food & Beverage

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Reason for starting?  When my dog Fenway became ill on a typical dog food diet, I started cooking for him myself. FedWell Pet Foods was founded using what I learned from that experience, with a commitment to the importance of a wholesome diet for all dogs. FedWell foods are made with human-grade meat, fruits, and vegetables. Our recipes are baked at low temperatures to retain nutrients from original ingredients. Once bagged, FedWell foods are shelf-stable for 14 months without any preservatives.

Related: Lucy Postins: The Honest Kitchen, Progressing the Pet Food Industry

How do you define success? Success is taking action using natural abilities and resources available to make a purposeful impact.

Biggest Success? Completing FedWell’s first production run successfully! It took a lot of work and assembly of the right team to bring my home cooked recipes to the mass market. I am thrilled to be providing homestyle food for dogs everywhere to improve their health and longevity. My first production run was the first step in achieving this goal, which is why I consider it my biggest success to date.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?   FedWell’s immediate challenge is to build lasting relationships with customers and value chain partners while making initial sales online and in stores. To address this challenge, I have spent the last year building relationships with independent pet food store owners to help me understand their needs and the needs of their customers.

Related: 5 Women Who Lead Authentically, On Purpose, Every Day

Who is your most important role model?   The women I admire and look up to are the women who are unapolegetically their truest selves. They challenge themselves every day to be the best, despite harsh critcism and adversity. These women take action to get what they want, while maintaing their sense of self. I admire their ability to self-reflect and be generous with their time and spirit.

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Edited by The Story Exchange