Talking with Women of Wonder:
Pride + Groom
In celebration of Women’s History Month, SHOWFIELDS wanted to take this moment in time to highlight the female founders and artists who are pushing the envelope with mission-based topics that resonate most with our community. We like to refer to them as our Women of Wonder or “WOW.” This week we will be sharing interviews with the Founders of Pride & Groom.
Introducing Regina Haymes, Patricia Machado, Jane Wagman, Heather Perlman- Founders of Pride & Groom
What motivated/inspired you to start your company, Pride + Groom"
RH: My partners and I are mad dog lovers – between us we have 7 dogs and 2 cats. When we asked each other 'what’s your go-to brand of grooming product', we realized there wasn’t a product line or even a single shampoo any of us loved. That was the “AHA moment” and we decided to create one. We spoke to over 200 dog parents, none of which had a brand that they were in love with. Almost every existing product either smelled of chemicals or cotton candy and the ingredients were not very good. So... we combined our diverse backgrounds - chemical engineering, advertising, marketing and design and set out to create the first beauty brand for dogs! The first thing we realized is different breeds (IE: hair vs fur, shedding vs non-shedding) have different needs. We researched and sourced essential oils from all over the world creating a unique blend for our clean, amazing-smelling, coat-specific line of grooming products. My partner Jane says she was all in when I called her up in August 2019 and said, 'I know - let’s be the next Vidal Sasson of dog shampoos!’ "
- Regina Haymes, Co-founder
As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?“
PM: At one of our very first business meetings the person opened the meeting with “so you’re four bored housewives…”. Needless to say our collective jaws dropped. Forgetting the fact that we have ALL worked our entire lives, that Pride+Groom is not a 2nd act but more of a 3rd or 4th act, there is no way this person would have said that to four men starting a new business. That said, the times they are a changin’ and that kind of remark is few and far between. We have been partnering with many other female founded businesses and it’s been incredibly inspiring to see how women help women. We are a force to be reckoned with!”
- Patricia Machado, Co-founder
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
JW: “As Phil Knight says “JUST DO IT”. Ignore the nay-sayers and follow your dreams and talk to ANYONE who will talk to you. My sister has always said 'Just make it good' and it’s really true. There is no get-rich-quick path and nothing is going to be easy. Pick something you love and put everything into it. Overall people are very nice and want to help. DM people on social media, Linkedin (or whatever the new new thing is). People actually respond and want to help! My partner Regina turned to me a few months ago and said 'can you believe we started a company where we get to talk about dogs every day?' I really can not! To be working with three women who I admire on a product that I stand by 100 percent makes work fun."
- Jane Wagman, Co-founder
If someone is new to your brand - what's the first thing you'd suggest they try?
HP: It’s hard to pick a favorite child :). It’s a toss up between PROUD, a scent so fabulous, created with the idea that it had to be appealing enough for us to use it on ourselves and we truly do! We even made a lipstick size version that we carry in our bags (like hot sauce for the soul) and THE MANE TAME, our foaming waterless shampoo. I have 2 cats so THE MANE TAME is great as I can use it on them.
- Heather Perlman, Co-founder
What's a desert island product from your brand?
PM: “Definitely our wipes. They do everything - clean, refresh, wipe muddy paws and you don’t need water or a towel. Oh and did I mention, they are good for cats too!”- Heather Perlman, Co-founder
Who do you look to for inspiration?
PM: “ It’s impossible to point to one person. We are all obsessed with Guy Raz’s podcast “How I built This”. From Sarah Blakely (Spanx), Sarah LaFleur (M.M La Fleur), Katheen King (Tate’s Bakeshop), Sandy Chilewich (Chilewich) to Melanie Perkins (Canva) there is so much to learn. Whenever we hit a roadblock or a challenge one of us will inevitably say, 'I was listening to the podcast of (insert ANY founder here) and this similar thing happened to her…'. We have spoken to hundreds of people since our conception of Pride+Groom and there isn’t one meeting where we didn’t walk away with at least one nugget.”
-Patricia Machado, Co-Founder, Pride+Groom