Rachelle Vilardi is an entrepreneur in Southern Florida who has dedicated her time to establishing her company Sweet Pawfections. Sweet Pawfections is a dog treat company that focuses primarily on using healthy, quality ingredients for your pet.
Rachelle's main inspiration for beginning her business is in fact her own dog, Benny. After debating whether or not to get a dog for quite some time, she came across images of Benny online she couldn’t resist. There was an instant connection from the moment they met and he has truly become a member of her family. Benny receives the utmost luxuries; from going on adventures whenever the destination is dog friendly to even receiving his own presents from his family during the holidays!
Rachelle first got the idea to build her brand when she was buying dog treats from the store; she was so concerned by the number of recalls they received. She wanted to create products that people could feel 100% comfortable giving to their pets. Her passion for organic overall health and wellness in dogs is what makes her business so special. Some of the products she offers include basic treats like cookies and biscuits, to “pupcakes” and cakes for events like doggy-birthday parties. After doing her research on the most quality, dog-friendly ingredients, Rachelle tailored basic recipes to include things like oats, bananas, and peanut butter (of course!). One of her short term goals is to come up with a hit recipe by using more unique ingredients that are safe for dogs, like applesauce.
Rachelle began brainstorming the idea of starting her own business last summer and quickly gained a customer base of friends and family. Since then, her customer base has expanded immensely to other local Floridian dog mom, dads, and pups. Sweet Pawfections became an LLC just three short months ago and has been marketed through social media. Rachelle is extremely grateful for the love and support for her company that has come from her family, and her mom specifically. She realizes how difficult it is for an entrepreneur in their earliest stages and her family influenced her to never give up on her dream. Working from her home, Rachelle has only recruited two very helpful employees: her boyfriend who helps make the treats, and Benny, the official taste tester. A typical work day for them consists of baking for customers and working on custom orders as they flow in. She also works hard to better her content promoted on the internet and products overall. Rachelle hopes to soon develop a website for her company to improve customer convenience. The biggest obstacle Rachelle has faced being her own business owner is financial stability. Before establishing her company, she spent months saving up to ensure the products were the best of the best for pet health care, and that the packaging and company image was exactly what she envisioned. Rachelle’s most gratifying moment of success was when she received her first couple of sales outside of her family. It was heartwarming to her to see that locals were interested in not only the same mission of finding more natural dog treats, but were investing in her company specifically. In a year from now Rachelle envisions her company to have grown substantially among her local community and internet presence. She hopes to have her website up and running for general and custom orders. Her ideal vision of the future of Sweet Pawfections consists of her own franchise of dog bakeries, and to host and promote events that advocate for her dog treats.
Rachelle gives one piece of advice to everyone that is trying to operate a successful sole proprietorship: just go for it! Many people are hesitant and question if they will be able to succeed or not, but at the end of the day, "You should always give your dreams a shot!"
Rachelle and her delicious dog treats will be at the Go Bark Ball Launch Paw-ty in St Pete, FL at the Dog Bar on 11/11 from 1-4pm. Come out with your pupper to support the dog-penurers of Flordia!