Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Emilie and I’m the founder of Ta ib.
Ta Ib is a one-of-a-kind collection of dog accessories inspired by the arts and crafts of the Mayan civilization. Cruelty-free and ethically responsible, Ta Ib is handcrafted by talented artisans from the indigenous communities in Mexico.
From collars and bandanas to blankets, bowls, and even poop-bag dispensers, Ta Ib is dedicated to crafting beautiful accessories to speak to the adventure and character of each four-legged friend.
Ta Ib seeks to cultivate meaningful and lasting change for both animals and humans, donating 10% of their proceeds to animal charities while preserving the artisanal techniques of the Mexican culture.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I’ve been into crafts my whole life. When I was younger, I was one of those girls that did friendship bracelets all the time. Nine Years Ago, when I adopted my first dog, Matheo, I’d found him as a stray. I adopted my second dog, Copito, in 2015 at a shelter in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where I was living at the time. My amazing dogs are my inspiration. I lived in Mexico for six years, and I was in love with the culture and have been every day since, and I want to share that love with the world. So many artisans are leaving their villages to live in big towns, so we tried to find a way to provide work to the artisans there to help them preserve their cultural heritage.
Describe the process of launching the business.
The first round of prototypes was requested during COVID. Due to a lack of materials, the production was greatly delayed.
Our first collars were primarily sold via Instagram stories. Our business has evolved so much since then.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
First and foremost, I knew I wanted to provide excellent customer service and create a community on social media. That was what I wanted most of all when I was dreaming out my company. I know it’s important, and I sincerely enjoy it. I also, of course, want to provide quality products, and I wanted to create a relationship where customers feel attracted to the cause we’re sharing. These were the tentpoles I held close to as we planned and built and grew.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We’re doing so good. We’re growing at a comfortable pace, creating great relationships with our customers and little community, we’re working on new products. It’s a dream come true. Our goal is to help more communities, and who knows? Maybe expand our work into other countries so we can help showcase different cultures. India is one area we’ve been looking into lately and seeing how that system would work.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I’ve learned to invest in myself. Your business can’t become bigger than you. You have to commit to taking courses, to coaching, to trying to be a better business every day. Second, I’ve learned to invest in your platform (your website, sales page, etc.) instead of just relying on social media. And finally, I learned not to wait for everything to be perfect to start.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
Email marketing: Mailchimp
Graphic design: Canva
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Books: One million dollar dog brand by J. Nichole Smith, Pet blogging for love & money by Carol Bryant and Maggie Marton, Publicity tips for pet businesses by Rachel Spencer
Podcasts: Wear wag repeat, Publicity for pet businesses, The streetdog digital
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Take risks, challenge yourself, take action!