As we head into the Christmas holidays, I wanted to first say that I hope you and your families enjoy a very Merry Christmas and end 2018 filled with love, joy, peace, and of course some puppy snuggles. This has been an incredible year for Iconic Paws, and there is not a doubt that I could not have done it without each and every friend, family member, and customer. I cannot wait to jump right into 2019, but before we do, let’s look back on the last year!

I cannot believe that it has been almost one year since I announced that my new business, Iconic Paws, would be launching not one but two new products at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida. If you are not familiar with Global Pet Expo, it is the premier event in the pet industry, open only to retailers, manufacturers, and members of the press. Every March it is the place to be if you are in the pet industry and so it was very exciting to not only launch my business but to launch both the Iconic Paws  Hemp Chicken Sweet Potato Jerky and our Canine Super Probiotic! It was truly an amazing way to jump into the pet product industry!

In June, we started off the month by partnering with Animal Wellness Magazine to give away 20  bags of Hemp Chicken Sweet Potato Jerky. Animal Wellness Magazine is a great resource for dog owners who are interested in learning about natural health solutions for their dogs, so it was such an honor to be able to connect with their readers via social media and share our hemp treats with them.

Also in early June, I attended the Virginia Beach Pet Expo. Events like this are a lot of fun and a great place for pet owners to connect with rescues, shelters, and pet businesses.  I love these events because I get to interact with our human clients and their pets and I can hear their stories, their health concerns, and share in the love of dogs in a very personal way. In the pet business, you know you’ve had a great show when you go home exhausted from talking to so many great people and covered in fur and dog saliva from loving up on their dogs. In late September, I got to do it all over again at the Fredericksburg Pet Show, where I met even more incredible dogs and their humans.

The road to Global Pet Expo starts right here!
The road to Global Pet Expo starts right here!
Introducing Iconic Paws Natural Products!
Getting our first four-paw review.

Ready to share Iconic Paws Natural Products with pet owners in Virginia Beach. 
We made new friends of all shapes and sizes, from small dogs…
to big dogs…
and even superhero dogs!
Ready to spend a weekend meeting pet owners in Fredricksburg.
This beautiful Great Dane was a willing taste tester!

Because I am passionate about giving back to the community, and because Iconic Paws was founded first and foremost on the desire to help dogs lead healthier lives, I was thrilled to be able to volunteer at the August 18 Clear the Shelters event at the Prince William Animal Shelter. More than 40 pets were adopted that day, including 40 cats, 12 dogs, and 2 rabbits, all finding their new forever homes. It was an emotional and rewarding day and I cannot help but think of those pets enjoying the holiday season with their families so many months later.

A long line of potential adopters waited to meet their forever friends at the Clear the Shelters event.

October was Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and we chose the Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) as our featured shelter. HART not only rescues and re-homes unwanted and abused pets, but they also provide assistance to people in need of help caring for their pets with the goal of keeping the human and pet together. You can read more about HART and donate to their organization at this link: https://hart90.org/HowToHelp/Donate.aspx

Earlier this month, Iconic Paws hosted the Paint it Forward for a Cure event at Wine & Design in Alexandria, Virginia. During this afternoon event, we enjoyed a few hours of friendship, wine, and painting and raised $318 for the Fetch a Cure Foundation, which supports pet owners whose dogs have been diagnosed with cancer. If you could not attend or live elsewhere, you can still donate to the Fetch a Cure Foundation at their website: https://fetchacure.org

Getting ready to paint it forward for a great cause.
A work in progress.
Our finished paintings turned out so nice!

And finally, I am wrapping up 2018 as a new member of the American Pet Professionals, which is an organization of fellow pet business owners who have dedicated their lives to offering products and services that improve the lives of dogs and cats all over the world. When people start a small business that caters to pets, they do it out of love and a passion for serving animals, and I am happy to have found such a great community of like-minded business owners. I even sponsored a networking event and was happy to make new connections and new friends.

Sponsoring the American Pet Professionals networking meeting.

As we head into 2019, I hope that you will connect with us via social media where we post upcoming events and updates. I love to hear from you and to see photos of your pets living their best life with you!

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your support over the last year and I hope that you and your dogs have a safe and Happy, Healthy New Year!