We had the good fortune of connecting with Dawn Sommers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dawn, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe the most important factor behind the success of Dog Gone Delicious Dog Treats is. my dedication to making my small business strong. I gradually increased from small farmers markets( getting my feet wet) to larger shows and more shows. When it brave too much, I had to leave a summer job I had for 21 years so I could continue my full time job and still successfully make my
business thrive. I continued during that time to make little upgrades like professionally looking bags, a logo, and a professional website.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started making dog treats for our first Shih Tzu when there was the dog treat scare from China killing dogs. I didn’t want Wicket to be a victim. I started making him peanut butter ( peanut mutters) treats. Wicket truly loved them and I started selling them through my future mother in law. My now MIL, would sell them at her craft shows on the weekends. She’’d send me back with an empty bag of treats and cash. They seemed like they were growing in popularity and I was starting to reap some benefits.
Since the treats were becoming popular, I had to spend hours researching how to “officially” get licensed to sell my treats. It was a lot of work, but I am so glad I did it. I was even able to go from treats that were delicious and would eventually mold due to lack of preservatives to treats that can last 6 months without preserving them. I lt was really tough at first and I wanted to quit, but realized I had to keep trying in order to be successful.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in Michigan, I’d have to take a coupe hour drive to the Traverse City area. I’d show them Lake Michigan, look for Petoskey stones. We would drive the long 6 hours to the UP to Felch when my father still has his second home. The views are breathtaking. There is the Lake of the Clouds, waterfalls, hiking and so many beautiful sights to be seen.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was getting started, I had a lot of help from my mom. She would attend every show with me. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She would spend some of her free time at my house helping me make more treats. She would also help me get treats bagged up for shows. She was always so proud of my small business. Even when her Lewy Body Dementia was getting worse, she tried to help me in the kitchen. I had to learn to pack more patience. But, she still enjoyed helping.. Baking the first batch after she passed away was tough. I am reminded of her often and know she is watching over me and my
Bedky Deyoung also helped from MSU. She pushed me to make some changes in the beginning to look at every spect of my business to aloe sure I would