Dogist: Building Community One Dog at a Time | Chasing Business

take to the streets

At age 13, Elias Weiss Friedman had been printing pictures of his Labrador retrievers Ruby and Isolde in the darkroom at home, never realizing it To this hobby will one day become his life’s mission.

But in 2013, after being fired from a “traditional, real job,” he dusted off his cameras, put on some knee pads and hunted for funny dogs on the streets of New York. Inspired by documentary street photographers, he wondered: Why isn’t anyone telling stories about dogs?

“I think dogs are amazing subjects,” Elias said. “They’re very expressive. They come in all different colors, shapes and sizes.”

Armed with a squeaky ball and dog treats, Elias began taking portraits of dogs on the sidewalk, on dog runs, and around parks, then posting them on Instagram with bios about the pets and their owners. His goal is to “make people happy, add a little dynamism to the world, and be an antidote to the other news you see on the internet.”

Building a dog-loving community

The simple premise – a picture of a dog and a story – was an immediate success. Within a few months, Elias’ account was gaining thousands of followers a day. A year later, he had a million followers.

“I think from day one, I knew what it was going to be like. I knew it was an amazing formula,” he said.

“As we walk around, we want to know who these dogs are. I’m going to photograph all these amazing dogs and tell their stories and tell you who they are. So, I’m addressing a problem that everyone has.”

Soon, Elias was appearing on multiple TV shows, a dozen publishers were vying for the rights to his books, and feedback from admirers around the world was pouring in.

Like Kate Speer, who lives in Vermont and is a Dogist fan, her mental illness struggles are lightened by these daily puppy updates: “In those very, very tough days, it’s like, ‘Okay, today’s What about the dog?'” she said. “That’s one reason I’m on medication, maybe to be brave enough to get out there.”

Not only does Kate understand the power of dogs – she credits her service dog waffles as “saving her life” – she’s also a marketing guru who sees untapped potential for The Dogist to become a multi-platform brand in this Surrounded by a thriving community to be inspired.

She and Elias met in 2018, and Kate was named CEO of Dogist, joining other new hires Isabel Klee (Content Director) and Jacquelyn Sawyer (Partners Director).Kate’s The goal is “to be a community, to be a brand, to touch more people, to light up more days, and to do something good”, with equal emphasis on profit and public welfare. It’s not easy, but it’s possible – with help.

Find a partner

Kate, a self-proclaimed “newbie in business,” has no shy about asking Chase for Business to help build a growing team to succeed. “I worked as a sales and marketing director for a coffee company and built an incredible lifestyle brand. But I’m a complete novice when it comes to running and starting a business,” she said.

From how to divide your income stream to the right way to check your credit card, frequent calls to Chase service experts offer advice. No problem was too small, and it was this high-touch attention that brought Kate back on the phone.

“When we started, I was so nervous that I would fail the business,” she said. “They convinced me. They sorted everything. I didn’t expect it, it was just kindness.

“I’ll say, ‘Hi. I’m Kate. I’m the CEO. I need help.’ They’ll just laugh. I’ll laugh with them. And then we’ll go on.”

From bark to fire

Today, The Dogist is in major growth mode with a strong team and financial partners. They used their strong social media presence to win multiple influencer marketing campaigns, still tell canine stories on their digital story site, and now also sell branded apparel and dog supplies through e-commerce. They even published two New York Times bestsellers, produced a podcast, and have plans for a documentary and TV series.

Add in their 4 million social media followers and $1.5 million in annual revenue — a figure that has tripled since Kate became CEO — and they have a lot to celebrate.

But the team is most proud of The Dogist Fund, their charitable program dedicated to supporting nonprofit efforts in rescue, rehabilitation and working dogs. Last year, they donated $70,000 to dogs in need and hope to surpass that number by 2022.

technology they need

Kate says she likes that, with the Chase Business Complete Banking Account, she can separate new types of income streams as they come in, then reconcile them in QuickBooks, “It just feels like magic at the click of a button. .”

Team members can use Chase Mobile to conduct business from anywhere, even if they are distributed across the country® application. Kate checks balances and wire transfers throughout the day, and uses Chase QuickDeposit℠ to “deposit checks directly on my phone”. This is a gift. Because it allows me to walk the dog, or photograph, or go out to lunch. “

When Elias is out shooting dog portraits—he has captured more than 50,000 of them—he can stop at any Chase branch for pocket money and treats for his husky combo, Elsa. As he sees it, “The job of a bank is to give businesses access to their money anytime, anywhere. That’s what Chase for Business does.”

In parks, mountains, or water, if there’s a dog, you’ll probably find Elias there too. “I’ve been doing this for nine years and there are still a lot of dogs to be photographed. Our goal is to get them all.”

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