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Part of being a small business owner means having the opportunity to take big chances at the risk of a lot. I also feel that as a small business owner, transparency is important. As you may know, I recently made the choice to leave my dream job at the Wisconsin Humane Society to become a full-time work-from-home dog mom focusing everything on my company. This past week, I have loved every second of being able to work alongside Milo; however, I also feel scared and anxious and nervous because leaving WHS meant leaving behind a lot of stability and security. But most of all, I'm feeling excited. I'm feeling proud.

With this big life job change, also came a big change for my business. It forced me to take the last couple of months to refocus on what it is that I truly want my brand to represent. Here's what I've come up with: Giving back, Community, Quality, Eco-friendly.

I've chosen to change the name to better represent the above. I formally introduce to you, Good Hound Company (previously known as Lost & Hound).

Giving back - YES, the main mission of the company will remain the same, but with a slightly different model. I realized that while toy donations are an amazing tangible way to show support, it's not always the most urgent need for every dog at every shelter. Will we continue to donate toys to certain shelters to help provide comfort for those dogs transitioning out of homelessness? Absolutely. But it's also important that dogs are provided with enrichment opportunities to stay sharp and focused and for dogs to get the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy. So what I'm saying is, each product purchased will contribute directly to supporting a local dog rescue and protection organization in some way - in whichever way is most needed.

Community - It is because of your support that I've been able to take a passion project that I started (almost) three years ago in a tiny one-bedroom apartment above a bar and grow it into a full time business. Because of that, investing back into the community that has given us so much support will be another goal of Good Hound Company. We've decided to team up with other local businesses and other like-minded individuals for certain projects. More on this to come at launch.

Quality - It's easy to get caught up in fast fashion and cater to current trends. I'll be honest, at one point I almost found myself doing just that because often times it's more profitable and it's what sells quickly. I feel that sometimes there's a pressure in our society to sell the most, be the best, make the most money. But that doesn't always feel good to me and when those thoughts started to surface, I knew it was time to take a break and refocus on what IS important to me, which is staying true to myself and the quality of product I make and sell. I have worked hard these past couple of months to find high-quality packaging, labels and fabric that I can proudly stand behind. I take pride in our material, in our products and in the hard work that goes into picking out what we think you and your dog will enjoy today, tomorrow and in the years to come.

Eco-friendly - As a socially conscious decision to be more eco-friendly, we will continue to expand our category of goods curated from up-cycled or vintage material. Our packaging is made completely of recyclable and reusable material and even our new business cards are made from recycled T-shirt fabric.

I felt it was important to explain the WHY to the name change, so here you have it. Good Hound Company. If what I've shared resonates with you, I encourage you to continue following along and kindly pass the word along to others. Our launch will be the last week of March as we're still waiting on a few moving pieces. Stay tuned!

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