Go Two Bag has indirect competition with the plastic bags designed for cleaning up after a dog. They are a very good idea, but as a dog owner, after I used one of those bags, I always thought, “Now what?” The Go Two Bag answers that question.
Name: Go Two Bag
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Product / Service Offering: Portable trashcan for dog walkers
Founder Interviewed: Dana Pomroy
This article is part of our Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series featuring female entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
For 15 years I made and sold my artwork while at home raising my three children. I have always enjoyed the challenge of creating new things. About a year ago though, I was ready for a new challenge. Starting a small business had its challenges, but I wanted to address an issue that I saw in my community, which was members cleaning up after their dogs. What motivates me is doing my part to keep the environment clean. We all have a responsibility to take care of Earth. I wanted to provide an easy option for dog owners to pick up after their dogs, while at the same time, keeping the earth clean.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
I established my company in April 2017. Albuquerque has many beautiful open walking trails and parks. It also has an abundance of dog walkers, but not enough public trashcans to accommodate so many dog owners. Every time I took my dogs out walking, the issue of cleaning up after them became a problem. When I realized that dog owners have no easy options for picking up after their dogs, I started exploring ways to solve that problem. When I founded Go Two Bag, I wanted to create an easy way to dispose of dog’s waste.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Dogs are becoming a much larger part of many people’s lives. As a community, we are much more aware of the importance of giving homes to shelter and rescue dogs. Along with this love and devotion we have for our dogs, owners need to be equally responsible for every aspect of their care. That includes cleaning up after them when we take them out for a walk or run.
Due to the death of trash cans in the city, it was hard for me to be motivated to carry my dog’s used waste bags. It was also discouraging to see the dog waste that had been left behind on our beautiful walkways. In response to those issues, I developed a “trashcan on the go” for myself and fellow dog owners. The Go Two Bag alleviates the issue of carrying that special package while trying to enjoy a walk or run with your dog.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Go Two Bag has indirect competition with the plastic bags designed for cleaning up after a dog. They are a very good idea, but as a dog owner, after I used one of those bags, I always thought, “Now what?” The Go Two Bag answers that question. In that aspect, I think the two products complement each other. There is a gap between the accessories associated with walking your dog, such as leashes, harnesses, the plastic waste bags, etc., and picking up after our dogs and finding a city trashcan. I believe my product fills that gap. I think it is an important and very useful tool for dog owners.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
I am a single mom, so my biggest challenge was the financial risk in pursuing my business idea. Believing strongly enough in my product, I chose to take that risk. I always had a strong desire to pursue my own interests, and I decided I wanted to control my own decisions in my business.
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
I was not at all aware there are so many free (or practically free) services and classes through the city available and designed to help educate and inform business startups. It is just invaluable information that is so accessible for everyone. Never be afraid to ask questions and send an email. The amount of people who are willing to talk about their own experiences and offer their advice has amazed me.
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
The issue of learning how to establish a relationship with a manufacturer, seamstresses, and distributors has been one of my biggest challenges. Although I am still learning how to navigate this particular aspect of being a small business, it has still been very rewarding. I still have a way to go, but I am hopeful that one day I will have this aspect of my business solved.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
This goes with the question above, my price point. I feel it is at a good point, but I have gotten differing opinions from manufacturers here in the states. This is something I am still actively working through.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
What I have learned is that even though it is scary or even a little embarrassing at times, it is absolutely essential to ask questions. I felt that building my business was a task I had to tackle by myself. What I have learned from other business owners is that they are so willing to help and answer questions and give sage advice to a “newbie.” I have met several other small business owners who have encouraged me to apply for a spot in the Ignite Community Accelerator Program, which is just such a fantastic, informative and exciting program.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
I believe in my idea, and I believe it will become a commonly used product for dog owners in the future.
Advice to female entrepreneurs…
If you believe in your idea, get input about it from people you trust and have an entrepreneurial spirit. When my kids said “Yes, it’s a good idea mom,” I felt like I was on the right track. It is a very, very difficult journey at times, and you feel like you are wandering around in the dark. The journey is worth it even if it is “the road less traveled.” There have been days that I have wanted to quit, but the thought of giving up on my idea is a much more devastating feeling than dealing with the difficulties of starting a business. It is worth it, no matter the bumps and bruises. The feeling that you are making a difference in the world, no matter how small, will be an achievement in its own right.
Are you familiar with other Women-led startups? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below!