We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloe Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chloe, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was tired of trying to climb the corporate latter. I bounced around from company to company, working for whoever paid the most in my industry. Even after landing high paying jobs, I found myself frustrated because I had no time to enjoy life. It seemed like the more money I made, the less time I had for myself until all I had to look forward to was my two-week vacation time. I wanted to start a business, to work for myself. Because of the long hours and constantly feeling drained, I wasn’t motivated to try. Finally, I realized that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life living this way.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Simply Sage Dog Treats almost four years ago. My husband and I adopted a two-month-old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix from a local rescue organization. At the time she seemed to be pretty healthy, but after two weeks I noticed she had problems digesting her food, allergies, and dry itchy skin. It seemed like every couple of weeks we were at the vet and the bills were piling up. The medication prescribed didn’t seem to be working and it was costing me a lot of money. At the time, I had a food photography and food styling business working with health conscience chefs. I used the knowledge I had gained from them and applied it to my dog’s diet. I started reading the labels on the dog treats/food and discovered the reasons why my dog was suffering. The preservatives and chemicals caused my dog to have allergic reactions and it seemed that the treats were the worst. I ditched the dog treats from the big box pet stores and started making homemade treats infused with herbal teas for Sage (my dog). I also changed her food and feed her more fruits and vegetables. This is how Simply Sage Dog Treats came to be. At first, the business focused on making plant-based dog treats infused with herbal teas (Chamomile, Peppermint, and Rooibos). Later, I developed other pet wellness products such as herbal paw balms, skin salves, and shampoo bars. I couldn’t find decent all-natural paw balm or skin cream for allergic reactions at my local pet stores. This inspired me to make my own for Sage. The paw balm has worked wonders for my dog as well as the skin salve and shampoo bars. My products help dogs like Sage, with allergies and skin issues.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Food Truck Fridays in Down Town Duluth. My best friend and I would go food truck hopping and catch a movie on the green or grab margaritas from the local restaurants. Also, I love Peachtree Corners. They have the Forum, for shopping, and across the street is the town green, along with a variety of restaurants and a movie theater.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Robert is one of my biggest supporters. When I told him that I had decided to start my own business, he smiled and said what are you going to do? I knew right then that he was on board with me becoming an entrepreneur. Robert has supported me through every business I’ve started, never judging or discouring me from pursuing my dreams. My parents, who have named themselves the presidents of my fan club has always encouraged me to do what makes me happy. Once a week, I can expect a phone call from them saying “we are so proud of you”. I’m grateful that they never tried to encourage me to work a 9 to 5 job for “stability”. I believe they knew I would be able to make it. It took me years to realize what they had known all along. There are three books that I highly recommend for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The first one is Growing A Business by Paul Hawken, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and The Million-Dollar One-Person Business by Elaine Pofeldt. These books have changed my life. They teach you how to think outside the box and to be creative with the way you do business. All the things you don’t learn in school.
Photographer: Chloe Clark