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Meet Nicole Artino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Artino. 

Hi Nicole, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
It’s definitely true when they say that when one door closes, another door opens. My pet accessory business story starts at the end of 2016 after closing the doors of my brick-and-mortar women’s clothing boutique. I was trying to figure out my next move and while searching the job market, started dappling in making dog collars for my own pup and decided to put a few up on Etsy. The rest as they say, is history. The collars started to sell and the business quickly grew past what I was able to handle on my own so my husband joined me full-time in 2017. Through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, we have since grown to four additional employees and pride ourselves in offering high-quality, customizable pet accessories at an affordable price. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There have definitely been bumps in the road along the way! We grew quickly in the beginning so we spent a few years feeling like we were constantly playing catch up because the orders were coming in faster than we could make them (which is a good problem to have but still a problem nonetheless!). I hesitated to hire outside help because we worked out of our home and I wasn’t comfortable having someone we didn’t know come in. With fast growth also comes the trick of figuring out how to keep enough supplies in stock so inventory management became a struggle. We moved the business out of our house in 2019 and would hire our first employee at the beginning of 2020, just in time for the world to shut down due to a global pandemic and a time of uncertainty to set in. The pandemic introduced a new host of problems including supply shortages which are just now starting to level out. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We manufacture pet collars and other accessories such as bows, leashes, ID tags, etc. We specialize in customizations and everything is made to order. We want to make sure you get a collar that is the perfect fit for your pup so for collar sizing, we offer 6 different length sizes and then 2 width options for each of those size. For hardware options, we offer 7 metal hardware colors and over 20 different plastic hardware colors. Two styles of bows, two lengths for leashes and two widths for each length. The list goes on and on and all while offering exceptional quality at an affordable price and trendy prints that you won’t find in the big box stores. That is what sets us apart from others. 

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I really enjoy listening to podcasts while driving and my favorite in Barbara Corcoran’s “Business Unusual” and “How I Built This” with Guy Raz. I really enjoy hearing other entrepreneurs’ stories about how they got started and different perspectives on how to operate a business. 

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