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An Interview With Bellatrix, a Company Passionate About Caring for Rescue Animals
Looking at Local, March 3, 2023
Bellatrix offers awesome pet gear and human gear as well! Every purchase supports animal rescue. When you purchase products for your dog, they donate products to a local rescue on their list. Moreover, they will donate dog food to a local rescue if you buy a product for yourself. Here’s a closer look at this fantastic company.
On your website, we saw the saying ‘Rescue Goes Both Ways’ on apparel. We love that! In what ways do you see adopted animals rescuing their new owners?
‘Rescue Goes Both Ways’ is a nod to the fact that dogs exhibit unconditional love and companionship; many times, our rescued canine companions enhance our lives as well. Several scientific studies provide evidence that dogs reduce stress levels, can be good for our hearts, assist in coping with tragic events, encourage physical activity, and increase our happiness, to name a few. So not only do we rescue them, but many times they rescue us too. Both physically and emotionally.
You feature some really cool products on your website, like the Astrologically Amazing collar and leash set that we adore! Please tell us about the design process.
The design process entails selecting a theme we want to embrace and designing the pattern that will be utilized. We collaborate as a team to design our products, working with our friends and family for feedback and input until we feel the pattern reflects the theme. Astrologically Amazing was inspired by having a cup of hot cocoa out on the deck with our daughter one evening while she was home on college break. There is not much light pollution where we live, so the stars and constellations are more easily viewed in the evening. We went back and forth with several colors and patterns until the consensus was reached that the pattern embraced our theme.
Do you donate to one community animal rescue in particular, or do you have multiple rescues that benefit from Bellatrix? How do you choose which rescues to contribute to?
We work with multiple rescues, which we refer to as our Rescue Partners. Our current partners are Pawzatively Canine, The Woofgang Rescue, Yappy Tails, Pawsafe, Double Dog, and Here Today Adopted Tomorrow.
The whole concept of rescue partners simply means we are partnering to support their dogs. We add the rescue to our list of partners and split the donations between them, highlight the rescue on our website, and highlight adoptable dogs on our social media to help them in their missions. In return, we ask that when we donate, the rescue gives us a shout-out on social media for the simple reason, the more people that know about us and shop with us, the more items we can donate to support rescues. It’s a win-win for us both. That’s why we call it a partnership. The rescue partners we have were all recommended by individuals who have rescued a dog or cat from them. We are always open to suggestions for new partnerships.
What sparked the idea to start Bellatrix?
The idea for Bellatrix was sparked when we drove down to Arkansas to pick up our rescue Bellatrix (the muse for the business) and realized how much work the rescue volunteers put into what they do with limited resources. We were thinking about ways to help provide some of the basic necessities like collars, leashes, and food which sparked the idea for Bellatrix. All of the rescues we work with are volunteer-based 501(c)3 non-profits.
Jason, thank you for your service. How did seeing homeless animals while traveling and serving the country inspire Bellatrix?
While deployed to various locations, there was always a variety of stray animals. We tended to befriend these animals by feeding them and showing them affection. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any of them home with me. When we were brainstorming about Bellatrix, I reflected on the animals I encountered when I was deployed. I realized that we could make a difference in the life of a dog or cat, and I thought, let’s do it. Even if it’s one dog or a whole rescue at a time – every donation helps show these animals that humanity as a whole hasn’t forgotten them.
Dawn, how has your prior experience in purchasing and contracting aided in launching Bellatrix?
My experience aided us as I was already familiar with the various resources available to small businesses for registering with state and federal entities, and knew how to identify sources for materials. Market research, solicitation, and negotiation have all been something that I have done during my career, and it has definitely come in handy for us when we were launching.
What was the most challenging aspect of launching your business? What has been the most rewarding aspect of creating your business?
I would have to say that the most challenging aspect is having to be a Jack of all trades when first starting. It definitely makes you step outside of your comfort zone when learning various things like webdesign, POS systems, social media, accounting software, or inventory control. The drive to help as many dogs as possible kept us determined and focused on our goals so that we could launch the business. We learned as we went along. I believe that if you step outside of your comfort zone, that is where the magic happens.
I would have to say that working with our Rescue Partners and knowing that we are making a difference is most rewarding. It is hands down one of the most rewarding feelings when we see a rescue dog going to their new home wearing a collar and leash from Bellatrix. It is also rewarding to listen to our customers joyfully talk about their own dogs and rescue experiences as they visit our vendor booth at craft fairs and markets we participate in. Jason and I are both social in nature, so when we meet excited customers, their positive energy and mutual love for helping dogs remind us why we started Bellatrix.
How do you both see Bellatrix growing in the next few years?
Our overarching mission is to grow our Rescue Partner list so that we can donate and assist dogs and cats waiting to find their furever homes. Our one-year plan is to expand our visibility by adding another vending team so that we can do multiple events at once. The more people who learn about who we are and what we do, the greater the chance of people shopping with us. Thus, the more we can donate and support our rescue partners. Ideally we would like to expand over the next few years. We’d like to open our own storefront.
Connect with Bellatrix
Here at It’s Local Online, the only thing we love more than local business is a local business that also gives back to its community. This is why Bellatrix caught our eye. When you shop their products, you’ll feel great about every purchase because you’ll be helping an animal in need. Plus, they sell really awesome stuff! Want to stay in touch with Bellatrix? Follow them on Instagram or stay connected via Facebook.