SickKids Innovators Q&A: Jacqueline Prehogan and Isaac Langleben
How did you decide to launch your company? And what were your biggest learnings?
I have always been a lifelong animal lover (or better said, a “crazy dog lady”) and hoped to build a career around animals. In 2010, Isaac and I adopted our first rescue dog, a Puggle named Bella. Being parents to Bella inspired us to pursue a business in the pet industry, and we noticed a market whitespace for fashionable and functional, branded pet apparel, which led us to start our first business Canada Pooch.
Around the same time, Isaac and I had been changing the way we thought about food after becoming concerned about the way farm animals were treated in conventional farming. We began to look for better sourced ingredients with higher ethical standards, and naturally wanted to start feeding our (now three) pugs the same way. We searched high and low but couldn’t find any pet food options with the standards we were looking for, so we decided to create it ourselves with Open Farm.
It has been an amazing ten years since we started our first business, and we have learned too many lessons to count through the ups and downs of business. One of the biggest lessons we have learned and stuck by is that you can do the right thing in business and be successful. In fact, doing the right thing can truly help you be successful. We all make so many decisions in any given day, around products, people, strategy, etc. and making those decisions with integrity and guided by a mission to do good through our work has helped us succeed and enjoy what we do.