We had the good fortune of connecting with Ann Greenberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ann, how do you think about risk?
I would not be in my own business today if I had not taken a risk… You cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result… you have to break out of your comfort zone and what is familiar and do something different and take a risk to achieve your desired goal and result. Risk is believing in yourself and your ideas as well as the willingness to confront the fear of uncertainty. Do all the risks work out? No not necessarily but, no risk no gain and hopefully you will have learned from the experience and alter and change your course of action so the next risk you take will have a more positive result.
What should our readers know about your business?
Hello, I am Ann Greenberg, I live in New York City and I would like to share the story of how I started my business. I was involved in the fashion industry for over 20 years, first designing and manufacturing women’s clothing which evolved into the handbag and accessories company, The Underground Chic, manufacturing fashionable eco-friendly handbags made of fabric from recycled plastic bottles. I wanted to expand the product assortment of The Underground Chic and I noticed that my stepdaughter Karen was carrying her beautiful cat Madison in a very unattractive and bulky pet carrier. I realized I could modify the handbag into a pet carrier by adding a zipper closing mesh top, gussets and back for ventilation. The carrier would have the look and feel of a chic handbag but with the functionality, comfort and safety of a pet carrier. I began researching the products available for today’s savvy pet owner and noticed there seemed to be a void in the market for companies manufacturing fashionable & sustainable pet products. I questioned “there is no reason why there cannot be more fashionable and sophisticated pet carriers and accessories” and I launched A Pet with Paws®. The initial pet carrier was named the ‘Madison’ after the cat that inspired me and it is still my top selling pet carrier!
A Pet with Paws® offers innovative, chic, eco-friendly and airline approved pet carriers & accessories made of fabric produced from recycled plastic bottles! We’re all about sustainability, style, safety and well-being for pet owners and their pets. My favorite role as the founder of A Pet with Paws® is creating products that do not currently exist in the pet industry. I am able to step back and look at the pet industry market place and identify what products are missing or how they can be improved. An increasing number of pet owners enjoy the companionship of their pets, whether it’s running errands, or traveling to destinations near and far. The challenge of carrying a pet often becomes burdensome or uncomfortable for the pet owner. The solution lies in the development of our patent pending Pet-Trek®, a 4-spinner-wheel, folding trolley which moves in any direction like 4-spinner wheel luggage, thereby taking the weight off the pet owners’ shoulders and back, allowing the pet parent the freedom to transport their pets safely, comfortably and effortlessly. A Pet with Paws® is committed to taking an eco-conscious stance. It is our responsibility to contribute towards protecting and respecting our environment. We pay it forward by partnering with Trees for the Future, and for every pouch, carrier, or accessory that is purchased from us, a tree is planted in various countries around the world.
The aspect I love most about A Pet with Paws® is the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction I derive in developing products that merge chic contemporary and functional design with thoughtful, eco-friendly and cruelty free materials, filling the void of sophisticated and stylish pet products. Along with the added bonus of helping to preserve the environment and enabling pet owners to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
New York City is the city that never sleeps and a source of fun adventures with so many places to visit and things to do that one is never bored. As the owner of a pet company, I want you to know that New York is also a walkable city and a great city to visit with your furry friend. There are many pet friendly hotels at various price ranges and no shortage of pet friendly outdoor cafes, restaurants and dog parks. You are also allowed to bring dogs on the subways and buses if they are in a carrier.
Let’s begin our visit at Hudson Yards, on Manhattan’s west side, accessible from midtown by the number 7 subway or 34th street crosstown bus. It is a neighborhood that was built from ground up and includes places to live, work, and play. It borders on Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea. First there is the Hudson Yards Mall which is unlike any other shopping mall, filled with fabulous shops and restaurants. The centerpiece of Hudson Yards’ open plaza is the Vessel, a structural artwork of interconnecting staircases to climb and provides the visitor with multiple views and experiences. From here one can access the Highline, an elevated park built on a part of the abandoned New York Central Railroad. The Highline is one and one half miles and runs from 34th street to Gainsford St and is the perfect segway to the Meatpacking district. Clothing stores, art galleries, restaurants, apartments and the Whitney Museum all coexist creating a vibrant and exciting neighborhood to wander around and explore. If one continues their journey you can connect with Greenwich Village, specifically the West Village and meander through the streets investigating all the interesting shops and cafes. And if you happen to be there in the evening you can stop by and listen to music at the Blue Note.
After the tragedy and destruction on September 11th , the financial district has been rebuilt to include the awe inspiring 911 Memorial Plaza, with two man-made waterfalls in the locations of the Twin Towers and the Memorial Museum paying tribute to the lives lost. In addition, The Freedom Tower, the tallest building in New York City offers a 360 degree exalting view of Manhattan and the surrounding areas. Nearby at the tip of Manhattan are the boats to take you for a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. However, if you just want to view them from the water taking the Staten Island ferry over and back is a fun and enjoyable experience. It is one of New York’s best sightseeing bargains, it’s free and the 25 minute ride on the Staten Island Ferry affords the best possible views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island and the Lower Manhattan’s skyline.
While one is downtown a visit to Chinatown and Little Italy are a pleasurable and delicious way to spend an afternoon. Enjoying Dim Sum in Chinatown and a Cannoli pastry and Cappuccino in Little Italy, as you walk down and across Canal Street, make you feel like you are on a vacation without taking your passport! A few blocks north and you have arrived in Nolita and Soho where there are a plethora of shops, cafés, galleries and restaurants to check out. And if you hop on an uptown subway or bus you can reach Times Square and Broadway where the neon signs and lights are continuous and the stores are open until midnight.
A walk or horse and buggy ride through Central Park, a visit to your choice of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and or the Frick, Cooper Hewitt and Guggenheim Museums are sure ways to fill your days with art and culture. There are still more sights to see and neighborhoods to visit so I guess you will have to come back again to take another bite of The Big Apple.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Loren Gelberg-Goff, author of Take Bake Your Life and Being Well Within, Kisma Donna Orbovich, CEO of Illumination Academy and my loving and supportive husband Paul Mudrick.