In Conversation with Parisa Fowles-Pazdro of maxbone

Maxbone_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Maxbone has become the #1 platform for pet lovers looking for a timeless style, focusing on products that are both modern and functional. Our mission is quite simple: to empower pets and pet owners through our digital platform, where everything we make starts with our community. We think shopping for your dog should be fun and hassle-free.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

My goal was always to have my own business, and I have always been very driven to succeed in 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 effect on our lives and we lost a lot of the assets that we had invested in. We decided to move to New York in 2008, where we really had to restructure our lives. Both my husband and myself are very resilient personalities and we work hard to get ourselves through tough times. We had to rebuild our careers and establish a network here in the USA. We moved to Los Angeles in 2011, where our hard work finally started to pay off. In 2017 I started maxbone, a pet and lifestyle brand born with the mission to elevate the pet industry and connect the gap between dogs and dog owners.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I was born in Iran, raised in Sweden, lived in London, New York and now in LA. I started working hard at a very young age, with very strong ambitions for a career and to make sure I was self-sufficient. I studied in Stockholm whilst having three fashion retail jobs. I managed to save up and buy my first condo at the age of 19. From there, I was able to renovate and sell it after six months, at which point I made a good profit, moved to London and bought another condo.

I had to really hustle to get my first job, since I was so young. I really wanted to work in a retail store and everyone turned me down for being too young. In the end, my persistence won someone over, and I finally got a job at United Colors of Benetton. They told me that they couldn’t resist my charm and grit, and after three months of working with them on weekends I got promoted to key holder. At the time it felt like such a big deal and made me feel so responsible! The first time I got paid felt like heaven! I felt in control over my future, even with that tiny check.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Two things I always knew I wanted to do were start a brand and lead a company. I didn’t know what company and brand, but I always saw myself building something new.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We didn’t want to rely on buying a customer over and over again through paid marketing. We were interested in how to build an organic presence as well as growing by word of mouth. We were lucky to have major celebrities such as the Kardashians, Selma Blair and Orlando Bloom, shopping from Maxbone at an early stage, which gave us credibility and positioned the brand differently in the market. We are a digitally native company so Instagram was where we started the connection with our audience, and it has been an incredible tool to show user-generated content. Our community is very passionate about the brand, and understand our mission to deliver a digital experience that everyone can be excited about.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Not delegating enough was a hard lesson to learn. However, by not delegating you’re limiting your company’s growth potential. Nobody who’s ever scaled a business from the ground up did it alone. Since maxbone is growing exponentially, I need to focus on the big picture and my amazing team is really committed to our goals, which makes the delegation process easier.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Stay resilient and focused on the mission in order to create a long-term and authentic brand. I’m most proud of launching our food line and getting so much positive feedback from followers, and most importantly innovating the pet industry with our designs and brand experience.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

My go-to question is “Why are you passionate about what we do?” I’ve always hired people who were excited about what maxbone was building. I’ve always had a clear vision for the company and I wanted to bring passionate people to help me evolve maxbone into a fashion, lifestyle and customer-centric company. I wanted people with global, multi-cultural backgrounds, that understand the power of creating an international brand.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Well, I absolutely think the pet industry is a recession-resistant category. The lockdown orders have created a perfect environment for pet ownership where people spend more meaningful time and invest more in their pets. We saw an increased demand for pet care products such as toys, treats and grooming and we were able to scale our food since people are looking for healthy and convenient options. Besides that, COVID-19 has given me a new outlook on our company’s role within our community. We’ve truly embraced the transformation and we adapted our current marketing model to better serve our customers. We want to offer meaningful value to our segment in every way we can.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Gearing up for even more growth while building a profitable company. One thing that I’m very, very excited for is to create the future of a pet brand that is much more emotional and connected with customers.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

To react ASAP and do not sit and watch it out. Adapt to what’s happening, listen to what the demand is and change accordingly.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Learn from your bad days! Each challenge that you face is a building block that will get you where you need to be.⁣ Adding to that, I’d recommend not ignoring when someone is not the right fit for their position. Having the right team is KEY to build a successful business and most of the time we rationalize poor performance for far longer than we should. Hire slow, fire fast is my tip for entrepreneurs looking for building a strong team that will be in the long haul with the company.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Practicing self-care to remain calm, keep the creativity flowing, and support my team. To me, self-care means setting aside some time to unplug and focus on things that make me happy. Personally, listening to music, cooking, and reading have brought me joy throughout these times. I also love burning sage, I find it to be so helpful as I unwind at the end of the day!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

As the founder & CEO of a growing company, my life and work are indistinguishable. The quote “There’s no such thing as work/life balance” made a lot of sense to me in 2020 when I realized I needed to switch my perspective in order to keep myself energized and fulfilled. I stopped thinking that fun moments were only rewards for my hard-work and started recognizing that achievements and joy can happen at the same time.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’d definitely be an FBI agent. Lol. Jokes apart, I’m obsessed with crime and serial killers shows.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • To-Do List.
  • Exercise and Fresh Air. 
  • Sticking To Your Routine.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means being resilient and pursuing your passion. At maxbone, we appreciate all efforts to support the brand throughout this time. My advice would be to stand behind the small businesses that you love! Whether it is sharing with a friend, sending a kind Instagram DM, or making a purchase, your words mean more than you will ever know!

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





How to achieve a life of financial freedom with Alisha Pennington of ATvantage Athletic Training

Describe your business in a few words? Empowering, Dynamic, and Comprehensive. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been a business owner in a very niche industry (athletic training) for almost 10 years, so I have experienced the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a business owner. My…

How Jenny Strebe used positive affirmations and crystal healing to create her modern haircare brand AIIR Professional

Describe AIIR Professional in a few words? A modern haircare brand that is focused on well being through positive affirmations & crystal healing. What made you take the leap to start your own business? As I was driving every aspect of my stylist business and social media facets, the peace and relief I found in…

How FLyQuest CEO Tricia Sugita is using the esport platform to affect real change and make people happy

Describe your business in a few words? FlyQuest is an esports organization competing in the franchised League of Legends League Championship Series (LCS). What made you take the leap to help transform FlyQuest into the organization it is today? One of my primary goals throughout my career in esports has been to create a community…

Lauren Montgomery, founder of Monty’s, on making simplicity the new sophistication through her line of plant-based dairy products

Describe your business in a few words? Monty’s makes clean and craveable plant-Based essentials like cream cheese and butter that nourish your mind & body. With simplicity and nutrition at the core of the brand, Monty’s selection of cream cheeses and butter are made from real-food ingredients and crafted using time-honored techniques like fermentation. What…

How Maradith Frenkel turned bamboo into pajamas for the whole family with Little Sleepies

Describe Little Sleepies in a few words? We make buttery soft bamboo sleepwear that your whole family will love. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I saw a white space in the market after I had my son. I absolutely could not find a sleeper that checked all of the…

Erin Coles couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for in a band for her wedding so she launched her own — The Metropolitan Players

Describe your business in a few words? The Metropolitan Players is a wedding band collective based out of NYC – so we provide incredible music for weddings! What made you take the leap to start your own business? When my husband and I were planning our own wedding, we couldn’t find exactly what we were…

Azora Zoe Paknad on creating a new entry point to sustainability with Goldune

Describe Goldune in a few words? We make sustainability less beige! What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was into the sustainability world, personally and professionally, but I didn’t see myself in any of the dominant narratives I saw on Instagram or online in general. On one end of the…

Elisa Marshall on creating warm, French-inspired spaces with Maman, a collection of NYC-based cafés and venues

Describe your business in a few words? Maman is a New York City-based collection of cafés and event venues, offering family inspired recipes with French influences in a warm and welcoming home like environment  What made you take the leap to start your own business? Before I opened Maman, I had many passions and there…

Kim Hehir, co-founder of Brutus Broth, on enhancing your dog’s health through specially formulated bone broth

Describe your business in a few words? Brutus Broth is the latest innovation in pet health, made with human-grade bone broth that has been specially formulated to enhance any dog’s existing diet by adding beneficial nutrients, amino acids, and joint protecting supplements. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Sue’s dog…

How a lack of female empowerment in the real estate industry lead Marina Shiferman to create her business, The Real Estate Academy

Describe your business in a few words? I teach women how to buy and own real estate correctly so they can be the bad ass queens of their own lives. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was a realtor for 10 years, I loved it but something was missing.…

Carla Olivia on revolutionizing the beauty bar experience with DashBar

Describe your business in a few words? DashBar is beauty made efficient! We are one stop beauty and wellness for the modern woman. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been an entrepreneur since I was 22 years old. I started my first business because a great opportunity was…

Christina Matteucci (a.k.a TeucciMama) on her 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Christina Matteucci, Executive Director of David Beahm Experiences and proud “Number Two” to celebrity event designer David Beahm. I’ve produced legendary soirées all around the globe, but it’s my unique, 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two that qualifies me as a sought-after speaker and coach. In…

Niki Shadrow Snyder on coining the term “givefluencer” and making an impact with the Project Pop Drop foundation

Describe your business in a few words? My husband and I started the idea for the Project Pop Drop foundation on our first date. Our business sponsors a monthly drop off at a different homeless shelter each month. We spearhead these donation events with our children, and with local businesses and schools. We call this…

How Natasha Case of Coolhaus is disrupting the dessert space with cutting-edge ice cream creations

Describe Coolhaus in a few words? We are an innovative dessert company, specializing (for the time being) in ice cream/ice cream novelties. We are known for thinking outside the box, super unique partnerships, a truly cutting-edge brand identity and an inventive way of entering the marketplace with our trucks, brick and mortars, and now national…

How Jennifer Jolorte Doro used strategic partnerships to build Nouri from the ground up

Describe Nouri in a few words? Supporting people to feel their best. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I wanted something of my own. I’ve worked for many successful entrepreneurs and I knew I could do “it” my way and really enjoy it. What was your background prior to starting…