We had the good fortune of connecting with Debra Mastic and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debra, how do you think about risk?
The more success I gain from taking a risk, the less fear I have about taking new risks and encouraging others to take risks. To bring my new idea of the Fluff Trough to market, I had to use my entire life savings to purchase the tooling to manufacture the product and secure the intellectual property to protect my invention. It felt like the scariest risk at the time, but I didn’t want to look back asking, “what if?” I had been saving the money to purchase a home, but I decided to invest in starting my business instead.
I feel all of my risks are very calculated now so they don’t feel risky, and I constantly remind myself that failure is a stepping stone to success. When you take a risk, it will not turn out perfectly so you need to be prepared to pivot and make adjustments to make the most of your risk.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business was inspired by my pug Pork Chop. He struggled to eat from traditional pet feeders so I used a 3D printer to invent a new feeder specifically for him. I knew there had to be a better solution to help him eat better. When I shared my idea with other pet parents, they were so excited about my idea and encouraged me to mass produce it. I had no experience on how to bring a new product to market, but I had watched enough Shark Tank to know it was possible.
Managing and growing this business has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, especially with COVID-19 impacting the supply chain. I’ve overcome so many challenges because I’ve had no other choice. You can’t just give up on something you’ve invested so much time, energy and resources in so you just learn how to figure things out and ask for help from experts when possible.
My greatest takeaway that I share with other people is to start a business to solve a problem, not to make money. I love hearing from people all over the world how much the Fluff Trough has helped their pet and made their lives better. People often tell me it is the best purchase they’ve ever made for their pet.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I actually love the town I live in. Longmont has so much to offer. I love to walk the dogs around McIntosh Lake which has a beautiful view of the mountains. My favorite restaurant is Three Margaritas because there is a live Mariachi band that performs on Monday nights. I also highly recommend The Pumphouse Brewery which is an old firehouse with amazing food and service. We also have a great bowling alley and lots of beautiful parks in the area, as well as a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to recognize Anna Costello, owner of DropSHIP Like It’s Hot and Ship Sunshine. When I started looking for a fulfillment center to store and ship my products, all of the fulfillment centers I had contacted would not work with me because I was too “small” for them. Someone in my network recommended that I contact Anna, and she took the time to learn about my new business and provide guidance on how to fulfill my products and manage my inventory. She designed my brand’s unboxing experiencing, and helped me grow my business on so many levels, including shipping my product to over 55 countries now. I consider her my greatest mentor, and a wonderful friend and business partner.