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We ponder with Alana and Michele Scarce, sisters who infuse every endeavour with their infectious energy, spirited leadership, and sparkling humour.
These dynamic siblings excel in business, but their vibrant personalities set them apart. With a shared passion for health and wellness, they co-founded Raw Pawz, a trailblazer in canine nutrition.
Beyond their entrepreneurial success, they are captivating individuals who engage the world with wit, positivity, and a deep commitment to making a difference.
What inspired you to start a dog supplement company, and how did you come up with the name Raw Pawz? –
We have always been super passionate about food, clean eating, health, wellness, and the importance good gut health has on us living our best lives. This is not limited to us as humans but extends to our favourite furry friends.
We have been lucky enough to have grown up with excellent education about healthy food, cooking and eating everything in moderation. Well, maybe too much pasta, given our Italian heritage. We have our Mum to thank for being an incredible role model and showing us the way.
As we get older, we are increasingly grateful for that as we have adopted such clean eating habits in our adult lives.
We have applied these same rules to our dogs. Our business was born out of our love for fresh feeding our babies. We wouldn’t eat highly processed products on the shelves, so why would we provide them to our dogs?
We saw a gap in the market where we believe dogs shouldn’t be eating processed foods – they can’t tell us they don’t like it, so we wanted to create something that they liked and was good for them.
Who inspires you in business and why? –
Gosh, so many people…
Where to start:
Lisa Messenger – Her attitude, resilience, and mindset have motivated us throughout our journey.
Sacha Packer: She is really paving the way in this space and leading the charge in this movement and growth of the category.
Carla Oates – Her commitment to her family to cure eczema with natural remedies and share it with the world is inspiring.
And fundamentally, we truly inspire each other. Starting a business is not easy, and there are countless hurdles along the way. We continue to inspire each other with our strength, positive mindset, and ability to pivot and embrace all the challenges thrown at us.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of running a business with your sibling, and how do you handle conflict or ideas?
We understand each other so well. We have been best friends since we can remember, trust each other, and it is so special creating a business we are both insanely passionate about.
Resolving conflict has gotten much easier over time and with life experiences under our belt – aka, age 🙂 We both do a lot of work on ourselves and are on a similar self-discovery journey, so the ability to take responsibility and own our SH^T is pretty powerful.
Our skill sets complement each other, too, so we trust each other and are each other’s biggest cheerleaders. We are honest and open about ideas and every decision we make!
What is one of the most powerful lessons you have learned since starting your business?
Stay in your lane, and don’t get caught comparing yourself to other brands or where you think you are in your business journey. This causes distraction and making decisions out of fear rather than your true values as to why you started in the first place.
Also, be your biggest cheerleader! There are so many happy dances and memorable moments when we achieve a milestone, fulfil orders, and see ourselves growing – it is a great way to stay grateful and appreciate the business growth process.
Don’t give up! You get smacked down so many times with production issues, operation costs increasing, and lack of responses, but if you keep focusing on the goal, you can overcome these and keep striving forward. It can be really hard sometimes.
We are lucky to have each other because we cheer each other on, support and fix any mistakes together, and learn so much from each other. We are a dynamic sister duo!
What is the most potent insight for other parents with young children starting their businesses?
The juggle is real! There is no sugarcoating that starting a business, especially in today’s market climate, is challenging, and there is much to do.
But if you are super passionate about the brand, service and/or cause you are launching, it will ignite a fire that will keep you going.
Balancing a household, kids, self-care, and a business can be tough but extremely rewarding when you find your happy pace.
It is great for our kids to see us building empires and getting them involved. It shows spirit and entrepreneurship from a young age. But I think there is a point when the business will be there even when your kids are older, so don’t miss out on the small stuff because even though you think you need to answer an email urgently – it can all wait.
Don’t let it consume you. Let it inspire you.
What is it you love about dogs so much?
As corny as it sounds….. The absolute unconditional love! And for me, honestly, it is having the best adventure buddy ever! Lenny comes on every adventure. Just last month, we were out swimming in the ocean when a pod of 4 dolphins came up and started playing right next to us. I mean, you can’t even buy experiences like that. He is my best friend and the best adventure buddy!
Where does the entrepreneurial spirit come from?
We always talk about this, as we are so different from our parents and wonder where our adventurous spirit, entrepreneurship and wild side come from. However our Mum has always taught us to be independent and encouraged our ideas early on. She even googles at night and comes back with research, other brands, or ideas to help with what we discussed the day before (she’s the best)!
She does love nature, has extremely high family values and has instilled a very strong work ethic in us from an early age. We have worked at our family Italian restaurant since we were 13. We saved our money to ride horses as a hobby (this wasn’t cheap – even back then :)), but we loved it, and it fed our adrenaline and passion as young kids.
As sisters, we encourage each other to achieve our goals and reach for the stars. We both believe that life is short and needs to be lived to its fullest potential, and that’s what we intend to do with it. We don’t want to die wondering.
Are there any personal hurdles or inspirations that have helped form the business’s success or spurred you on?
We have both always been very positive, energetic, life-loving humans. Over the last few years, we have found that delving deeper into our inner work has helped us thrive in business together and surrender to the process, allowing us to break through any limitations and beliefs we may carry.
It has helped us work together, understand, keep each other accountable, and bring out our best. This has allowed us the space to become more patient in business and really sit with the next steps and decisions from an intuitive level, which has helped us tremendously as the business grows.
You are both incredibly funny and energised; we love your social media pages! Can you share when your sense of humour helped you overcome a business challenge?
When we started Raw Pawz, our brief to our designer was – Bold, Sassy, and With lots of Character – this really does represent who we are, and we wanted that to shine through in our branding and packaging for the products – she nailed it (credit to Danka). We love that you love our social media pages. We just try and be authentically ourselves, so we hope that is shining through how we engage with our community. We love our dogs and what we do, so our positive energy and passion doesn’t waiver. Even if we are passionate about fresh feeders, it can be controversial. What we do energises us is how we get through ANY business challenges!
What’s the funniest customer feedback you’ve ever received about your supplements?
“Your Liver Powder is like crack!!”
Hahahahaha! We were told by a customer that their dog was the fussiest and wouldn’t ever eat their food. Until trying our liver powder! The fussy dog problem is solved!
If you could create a dog supplement that could solve any problem, what would it be?
It would be a supplement that enhances cognitive function in older dogs. The cognitive decline as a dog ages is so distressing for the dog and its owners. A supplement that could solve this problem and slow down the effects of aging on the brain would be amazing.
But watch this space as we have a secret obsession with Adaptogens and Nootropics.
What’s the biggest misconception about dog supplements, and how do you address it in your products? –
One of the biggest misconceptions about dog supplements is that they are unnecessary and only for sick or aging dogs.
However, supplements can provide numerous benefits for dogs of all ages, from boosting their immune system to improving their joint health, skin, coat, and digestion. Many commercial dog foods may not provide all the necessary nutrients and vitamins that dogs need.
Supplements can fill those nutritional gaps and support your dog’s overall health and well-being. And, like us humans, prevention is always better than a cure. Keeping our dogs happy and healthy from the inside means fewer visits to the vet and a longer lifespan – this is a win-win for the owners.
With our products, we only use the highest quality, human-grade ingredients. All our products have been specifically designed to improve gut health, skin and coat, mobility and overall wellness of our furry friends.
We are fully transparent and provide a complete nutritional panel on the back of our packs, allowing pet owners to make informed decisions about what supplements to give their dogs!
What’s next for Raw Pawz, and where do you see the future of the dog supplement industry heading?
We have some very exciting things on the cards. However, we are keeping them close to our chest for now!!
The dog supplement industry has been proliferating in recent years. More pet owners are demanding better quality and seeing the benefits of supplements for their pets. We envision more specialised supplements tailored to specific health issues and based on a dog’s needs! We also see a massive movement for people switching to feeding entirely new diets and pet owners sourcing more nutritional toppers that are high quality and natural!
Additionally, with the growing interest in natural and organic products, we may see a shift towards more plant-based and sustainably sourced ingredients in dog supplements.
We are pumped to be one of the brands pioneering in this space.
Treehouse or cubby house?
Alana – Cubby house!!! Terrified of heights!!!
Mish – Tree House – love being nestled in nature 🙂
Dog Fact: the composition of the gut microbiome in dogs is correlated with overall health according to extensive studies. Gut health matters when it comes to our pets!
Want to know more? Head over to: https://rawpawz.com.au
Source: The Role of the Canine Gut Microbiome and Metabolome in Health and Gastrointestinal Disease
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