Carly Strife: Paws-itively Awesome

January 25 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Woman’s Best Friend

We’ve talked about cats here at On The Dot, but now it’s time to talk about their loveable frenemies: dogs. Pretty much every good Super Bowl commercial contains at least one dog, and the hashtag #dogstagram has more than 24 million posts. It’s safe to say Americans love our Fidos and Rovers, and why shouldn’t we?

Dogs are fiercely loyal, often waiting by the door when we get home, barking merrily and wagging their tails excitedly just to see us, an act pretty much unseen from everyone else in our lives! Who can resist such sweet, furry love bundles? And by the way, I think it’s time we rechristen dogs’ nickname to “woman’s best friend.”


Because so many women are indeed dog lovers, it comes as no surprise that, according to marketing data, 89 percent of women in America consider their pets members of the family. In fact, there are about 70 million dogs in this country who are considered part of the family, giving their humans tons of snuggles, a lot of sloppy kisses and, yes, the occasional slobbery, chewed-up shoe. As the saying goes: Love me, love my dog!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Carly Strife, COO and Co-founder of BarkBox

Carly Strife is the brains behind a business that has really gone to the dogs! A lifelong dog devotee, Carly adopted her first dog, Cooper, a puggle, when she was in college studying mechanical engineering. Cooper’s influence was life-changing for Carly, and he was the impetus for what would become Carly’s wildly popular dog-focused business. But that’s putting the dog before the leash, so let’s back up a bit.

After graduating from college, Carly worked as a financial analyst before becoming an early management employee at Uber. It was hard work, but devoting her time to a startup gave Carly a much-needed sense of ownership and helped her understand what it truly takes to build a company from the ground up. So, she started thinking about creating her own company. Inspired by her best friend, Cooper, who Carly says was the one consistent buddy in her life who made her happy, she got to really chewing on an interesting business concept, and before long, co-founded a company called BarkBox.

For those of you who have been hiding under a rock or barking up the doggone oblivious tree, BarkBox is a treat of a subscription-based service that delivers handpicked doggie goodies and toys directly to your door. It’s basically your dog’s favorite thing, besides you, of course!

Founded in 2011, BarkBox has grown to more than 200 employees and now ships out 130 different kinds of boxes each month. BarkBox blossomed into just one portion of Bark & Co, which includes an online marketplace called BarkShop, a newsletter called BarkPost and an adoption-service app called BarkBuddy.

As a startup entrepreneur, Carly says the one thing she’d do differently is to get going on the business faster, to not wait around for the picture-perfect startup or position. But to me, it looks like her timing was perfect. After shipping more than 25 million paws-itively fantastic products to dogs throughout the country, it’s safe to say Carly is one fur-ocious businesswoman.


Today’s quote is from late comedian and dog lover Gilda Radner, who said:

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures. They give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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