There are many women in the pet industry who, simply stated, rock. They make a difference, they are folks you should follow, read, get to know, and whose advice/presence/knowledge goes above the norm. Fidose of Reality celebrates these women with our annual 2014″Paw-er Women” announcement.
Some of these women you may not know about…and now you can. In some way, shape, or form, they are doing something in the name of dog. There are way more than 12 women who affected my life directly this year, but ultimately 12 stand out for Fidose of Reality. This list evolves all year long, with some names added fairly recently while others were selected many months ago. These women are in very good company, as the list of Fidose of Reality Pawer Women over the years includes such dyanamos as Dr. Jean Dodds, Paris Permenter, Kristin Elliott, and Yvonne DiVita.
The list this year is in very special dedication and with loving memory of Dr. Lorie Huston, a bright light in the world of veterinary medicine and social media, whose passed away this year. She, too, was selected as a paw-er woman in recent years.
The 2014 Fidose of Reality Paw-er Women are:
Shawna Schuh: In word word: Dynamo. Shawna Schuh is the President of Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN). She unites women in the pet industry far beyond her savvy business skills and power to empower. She touches lives, helps women believe in themselves, brings an industry of females together to rock girl power, and never ceases to inspire. Just listen to her speak: Your life is better for hearing her. More about Shawna Schuh.
Colleen O’Fallon: A chance meeting at the pet industry’s biggest trade show, Global Pet Expo, is how Colleen O’Fallon crossed our paths. Owner of Sweet Paws Gourmet Bakery, Boutique, and Doggy Day Care, Colleen’s love and passion for dogs shines the moment you meet her. She is real, kind, giving, and all the qualities one looks for in a friend: Yet those same qualities transcend into her business and how she interacts with others. Her clients rave about Sweet Paws and Colleen, and Fidose of Reality has come to discover a forever friend in her. With her repeated sponsorships of Wigglebutt Warriors fundraising events for Cockers: From driving from Florida with her mom, significant other, Cocker Spaniels, and hundreds of “Paw-scar” cookies to her never wavering support of dogs in need, Colleen is a savvy business lady and rock star human being. More about Colleen and Sweet Paws Bakery.
Kelly Ladouceur: She shows, she breeds, she photographs, she grooms, she rescues, she runs a successful Cocker Spaniel magazine, and she has perhaps the cutest dog on the face of the planet (move over, Boo): She’s Kelly Ladouceur, who hails from Canada. Our physical paths have crossed but once, but her presence in the lives of Cocker people in general is well known. This publisher of American Cocker Network (ACN) Review magazine gives to the breed with her whole heart and soul. Cockers, as many know, are an amazing breed and not without their share of health issues. Kelly educates, informs, showcases the world of things from agility to conformation to scent work, and always has time to help a dog in need. More about ACN and Kelly Ladouceur.
Lisa Coplin Kerner: Lisa is the co-founder (along with Nancy Metzger) of Pugs for Pinky, a 501(c)3 that helps sick pugs and their people with high medical costs. Beyond her Pugs for Pinky year-long fundraising, Lisa supports other rescue and is well-known in the pet fashion world. Her rock star Pug, Rose, is a fashionista with a huge heart and a wardrobe to rival Hollywood’s best. Most notable about Lisa is her kind personality, coupled with her humility. She is truly one of those people that folks say, “why yes, I know Lisa, everyone loves her!” Pinky is the pug who inspired Lisa and the namesake of her foundation. In February of 2015, Rose the Pug will “marry” Kismet in a Pugs for Pinky fundraiser in New York City. Fidose mascot and canine life force, Dexter, is proud to be a groomsman, and tickets are on sale now. More about Lisa and Pugs for Pinky.
Amy Shojai: She writes, she blogs, she’s a spokesperson, certified animal behavioral consultant, and one of the writers whose words make a difference in our lives often. Many folks in the pet industry know Amy for her cat knowledge and love, but Amy is also a doggie dynamo. Sit next to Amy at a conference: She doesn’t stop. Go online and check your social media at midnight, and there’s Amy. Her work ethic is only matched by her willingness to help someone’s pet with a problem. Cat missing the litterbox? Ask Amy. Got a puppy who won’t stop barking? Amy knows. Oh, and she’s been doing this for so long that we only hope someday she shares her secrets for looking young while carrying a cyber briefcase filled with mad skills. Amy Shojai’s website is here.
Caroline Golon: The co-founder of BlogPaws, if I had a dime for every time this woman’s advice has steered me right, well, I’d be retired right about now. She knows the impact she’s made (and continues to make) on my life, but that’s just the beginning. PR pro and founder of High Paw Media, Caroline has raised more than $80,000 through her blogs, Facebook and Twitter. She is best known to many for her humorous cat blog, Romeo the Cat, but those who know her well can attest to her generosity. Call Caroline morning or night: She never fails to help, lend friendly advice, and contribute to the pet industry in a positive, meaningful way. We’re still waiting for that first book of hers so we can grab the first copy and rave about it. Connect with Caroline Golon here.
Sandy Robins: As one of the country’s leading multi-media pet lifestyle experts, Sandy Robins documents the wonderful relationship that we have with our pets highlighting trends and innovative ideas as they happen. She is the 2013 winner of the Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award presented by the American Pet Products Association. She is also inspiring to folks who need advice, want to grow in the pet industry, and her humor never fails. Sandy Robins is also keynoting at the BlogPaws Conference in 2015, along with co-panelists Laura Nativo and Harrison Forbes. For those who want to put their paw forward in pet, follow Sandy’s lead.
Laurren Darr: Folks who guffaw at the notion of pets who wear clothes have not met Laurren Darr. Founder of the International Association for Pet Fashion Professionals, Laurren’s loved pet fashion before couture became cool. In 2013, she co-authored “Pet Fashion Almanac 2014″ with Ellen Zucker, which became a #1 Best Seller. The 2015 version is a hit as well. Laurren showcases through her teachings and background that fashion for felines and couture for canines is past trend and moved into mainstream. She herself is a trendsetter and the sky’s the limit for where her fashion forward sense will take her. Follow Laurren Darr here.
Maggie Bradburn Marton: She inspires me, plain and simple. Strike that: Maggie Marton inspires a lot of people. She probably doesn’t know this, but she is not only one of my favorite people, a writer whose work I admire, but a general human being I want to grow up and be more like. I’ve known Maggie for years but our paths only cross at conferences like BlogPaws. Sometimes the folks we see the least have the most impact on us, anyways. Freelance writer, founder of Oh My Dog Blog, she kicked cancer’s ass, and her dog, Emmett, is facing his own set of health challenges at this time. Maggie and Emmett are featured in the 2015 Pinups for Pitbulls Calendar. More about Maggie Marton here.
Susan Godwin: Dog lover and founder of PupScouts, Susan Godwin saw an untapped niche and went full force to mark her spot: And oh how she has succeeded! Susan says, PupScouts is very similar to the girlscout /boyscout organizations but PupScouts is strictly for dogs and their parents. We are all about having fun, earning badges, helping others, meeting new friends and bonding with our parents.” Godwin is dog mom to Tasha, who is also a little fashionista with a warm personality just like her mom. Our dog, Dexter, is a member of the founding troop of Pup Scouts. You can become a member of Pup Scouts here.
Darlene Bryant: Darlene Bryant is the co-founder of Wigglebutt Warriors® and without her, all of my life’s work would not be possible. Wigglebutt Warriors® is the fundraising arm of Fidose of Reality. We kicked off with the Wigglebutt Wedding as a fundraiser for Cockers in need. Thanks to Darlene’s vision and forward thinking, restructuring took place and we now have a business plan in place. Our second fundraiser, Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof, brought in nearly $30K. Darlene leads with her heart and manages with her brains, with a kind word for everyone. She is the embodiment of role model for leadership with kindness. What few know is that Darlene has some health issues that took her from her love and passion of teaching, where she was a Teacher in Space candidate the year the Challenger exploded. With three Master’s degrees, she is too humble to share her own successes. Aside from being my wife of over 20 years, she is inspirational and remains one of the brightest, kindest people I’ve ever known. For more about Darlene, follow us here on Fidose of Reality.
Congratulations to all the Fidose of Reality Paw-er Women: We salute you!