A chance meeting between two strangers on a Brooklyn sidewalk sparked the idea for Found My Animal, a small, growing manufacturer of high-quality leashes, collars and accessories for dogs and other pets based in Brooklyn.
The company’s founders, Anna Conway and Bethany Obrecht, were walking their respective dogs—a pair of rescue pups both named Walter—when they started chatting on Atlantic Avenue. The conversation quickly revealed a mutual passion for animal welfare, and ultimately led to the launch of Found My Animal in 2007.
The business idea started when Anna was toying with marine-grade dock rope and hardware at the home of her father in law, who works in the fishing industry. She thought that sturdy rope, coupled with quality hardware would make an excellent dog leash that would appeal to dog owners for its durability and craftsmanship.
In collaboration, Bethany and Anna created more than just a business—they also use their enterprise to advocate for the welfare of rescue pets, and promote adoption and proper spaying and neutering. Rescue pets need all the help they can get: According to the ASPCA, nearly half of the approximately 6 million animals entering the U.S. shelter system each year are euthanized.
Chasing Their Tails with QuickBooks Starting small as a home-based business, Found My Animal used spreadsheets and QuickBooks to manage its finances and operations. But, as the business grew, the owners and staff were chasing their tails keeping track of inventory, order and customer information and staying up to date. As it turned out, the fishing industry professional whose dock rope triggered Bethany’s brainstorm had a solution—NetSuite.
Bethany’s father in law, Michael Dimin, started his own business, called Sea to Table, on NetSuite in 2005. Also based in Brooklyn, Sea to Table innovatively brokers business between fishermen at two dozen docks from Alaska to Florida to Maine and some 600 restaurants that buy the day’s fresh catch.
With Dimin vouching for the business benefits of the NetSuite cloud, Found My Animal decided to upgrade from QuickBooks to cloud business management. Like Sea to Table, Found My Animal is a B Corporation certified for an ethically and environmentally sound approach to business. And, also like Sea to Table, Found My Animal was, therefore, eligible for free and discounted NetSuite licensing through the NetSuite.org corporate citizenship program.
A Fast-Growing Retail Business With NetSuite going live in 2013, Found My Animal was able to keep up with a 400 percent increase in revenue between 2012 and 2013. NetSuite has helped the company expand its network of retail partners to more than 150 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and to more than a dozen countries, including Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Australia and the U.K., while offering direct-to-consumer sales over a SuiteCommerce-based website.
Meanwhile, NetSuite is helping Found My Animal streamline handcrafted manufacturing at its small Brooklyn facility while sourcing top-quality rope, leather, hardware and other materials from about a dozen U.S. suppliers. Freed from inefficient manual work of its QuickBooks days, Found My Animal has more energy and resources to channel into animal welfare, including product and promotion donations to animal rescue organizations.
“NetSuite is a very valuable tool to run a business with a lot of moving parts,” Bethany said. “Since we moved to NetSuite, we began seeing extraordinary growth and are now able to manage it efficiently. I don’t think we’d be able to grow nearly as fast without NetSuite.”
Through NetSuite.org, the future is bright for Found My Animal. The company is often highlighted in media reports and wins acclaim for its animal welfare activism. In turn, the future is at least a bit brighter for millions of rescue pets in need, too.