This Women’s History Month, we’re putting a well-deserved spotlight on inspiring founders in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. First, Parisa Fowles-Pazdro, CEO and founder of maxbone. If you have a pet, or even if you don’t! ), and nutritional products with an elegant brand image. The Daily caught up with the former fashion designer to find out how her brand got stronger.
Tell us about your professional career!
My goal has always been to have my own business, and I have always been very motivated to be successful at what I do. I met my husband while living in London at the age of 28, and he was a successful real estate investor. In 2007, the fall of the financial markets had a major impact on our lives and we lost a large part of the assets in which we had invested. We decided to move to New York in 2008, where we really had to restructure our lives. My husband and I have very resilient personalities and we have worked hard to get through some tough times. We have had to rebuild our careers and network here in the United States. We moved to Los Angeles in 2011, where our hard work finally began to pay off. In 2017, I launched maxbone, a pet and lifestyle brand born with the mission to uplift the pet industry and bridge the gap between dogs and dog owners.
Was there a particular light bulb moment that led to conceptualizing maxbone?
Every time I went to pet stores, I felt frustrated with the product offerings for my dog. I used to think, ‘If nobody wants to change this industry, I’ll be the one who takes that step. It was a risky decision to step into a saturated industry and want to disrupt it, but it paid off.
What did the offer look like before launching the company in 2017?
We all know that dogs are not just a pet, but rather a real member of the family. Pet owners today are looking for branded products that are sustainable, more effective and suitable for their lifestyle. Although the pet industry is expected to exceed $ 96 billion in sales this year, it remains archaic when it comes to sensitivity and design quality. I was very specific about the experience I wanted to create at maxbone because it was something that was missing in the segment, and I knew I could do better. Every maxbone style satisfies both function and form and is designed with the utmost attention to detail.
Did things take off quickly enough for you or were there a lot of obstacles?
If anyone has built a million dollar barrier-free business, I’d love to hear their story! Every step of the way there was an obstacle… even the smallest things. All that could go wrong would be always gone bad, but the 20% that went well is what made us stronger. Each 20% progression takes you to the next stage.
maxbone is known for their amazing dog fashion! How does the process of finding the best fabrics for pets go?
We believe that an important part of sustainability includes responsible sourcing and the longevity of a product. We only work in partnership with the best factories around the world to ensure that every item meets premium standards. We are constantly researching and testing samples with new materials. Before a material is chosen for production, we perform wear and wash tests to make sure it will meet the demands of a pet’s lifestyle. The materials take a while to develop properly, so we always work six months to a year in advance on all products.
What about nutritional products? What does the brainstorming process look like to bring a product to market?
Maxbone’s values and quality standards have been a great motivation for us when creating our line of healthy foods and treats. People go to maxbone looking for high quality products, so it made sense to create nutritional products that only deliver the best for dogs. We live in a time when we have become more aware of making healthy choices and of course this applies to our pet’s diet. We have partnered with the best suppliers to ensure our food is made with the highest quality, sustainable ingredients.
How has maxbone been affected by COVID? Seems like people are buying more for their pets than ever before?
Well, I absolutely think the pet industry is a recession resistant category. Lockdown orders have created the perfect environment for pet ownership where people spend more time and invest more in their pets. We have seen an increase in demand for pet care products such as toys, treats, and grooming, and we have been able to adapt our diets as people seek healthy and convenient options. On top of that, COVID-19 has given me a new perspective on the role of our business within our community. We have truly embraced the transformation and have adapted our current marketing model to better serve our clients. We want to deliver meaningful value to our segment in every way possible.
How does maxbone reflect your personal tastes and values?
Growing up in Sweden, I was exposed to Scandinavian design from a young age and it made me develop a particular interest in a timeless style aesthetic, where function is often just as important as beauty. I believe there is beauty in simplicity and wanted to translate that into the designs of maxbone. We create simple, essential styles that can perfectly match almost any style and eras. At its core, Scandinavian design seeks to improve everyday life and that is our motto at maxbone. Our mission is to improve the lifestyle of pets and their humans through thoughtful designs that meet the needs of the dog, but also take human sensitivity into account.
What do you think is the difference between maxbone and other pet supply stores?
The maxbone community sets this company apart from all others. We have a passionate community of dog lovers who love modern design and are inspired by well-designed premium products for their pets that are unique in the market. While there are many companies in the pet food or pet accessories space, there are very few that serve the customer in both areas with high quality parts and visually exciting, and this has inspired our loyal maxbone clientele. We have an amazing community who are excited with every new product launch and can’t wait to be the first to create content with new products. I am amazed every day by their passion for the brand and their creativity. As an example, we collaborated with designer Christian Cowan: we collaborated to design a limited edition fluffy pink dog sweater and from that sweater we saw our community post thousands of photos and videos on several social media channels which have been amazing to us.
I saw this sweater everywhere on my news feed! Are you planning to team up with another fashion designer?
We are planning to expand the collaboration with Christian Cowan as it was such a smooth and successful partnership!
Can you tell us about other upcoming collaborations?
We have some amazing and unexpected collaborations coming up, like with OUAI and Lunya. Collaborations with brands have truly become a critical part of maxbone’s growth strategy to create hype, stay relevant and ultimately reach new audiences. Our customers are at the heart of all of our business decisions, so our main goal is to maintain their loyalty by coming up with creative and refreshing ideas that will keep them excited. We are honored to have been approached by great companies such as Disney and Away, which further strengthens the relevance of maxbone in the pet industry. For us, working with like-minded brands that align with our values is crucial to ensure a successful partnership.
Finally, what’s the perfect gift for any pet owner in our lifetime?
FOOD! All dogs love real food, and there is nothing better than seeing your dog happy and healthy. On top of that, our bestselling travel bag makes a great gift for pet owners.
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