Serious Entrepreneur: Lifestyle Brand for Dog Lovers
Ankhi-Krol Law (www.ankhikrollaw.com) features various successful entrepreneurs in its series "Serious Entrepreneur."
For a chance to be featured, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Nichole Smith of Working with Dog
J. Nichole Smith is an author, speaker, and marketing consultant. She spends most of her time helping individuals and companies to build dog brands that people crave.
How long has your business been in existence?
What made you decide to start your own business?
I am a serial entrepreneur. My parents were entrepreneurs, so I am not sure it was even a choice! It was just meant to be. I opened my pet photography and design studio in 2005. In 2006, I co-founded Dog is Good, a lifestyle brand for dog lovers. In both cases, I was inspired by my Great Dane puppy and compelled by my desire to create beautiful, desirable things.
What sets you apart from your competition?
I have an incredibly diverse background that allows me to be a unique authority in making dog brands or businesses successful.
As a photographer and designer, I have the experience of creating the "pretty stuff" which is the core of effective marketing. As a small business consultant and a product manufacturer, I have also experienced the nitty-gritty reality of making and selling products, working with little to no budget, building a business and trying to get attention in a noisy world. I have also consulted with billion-dollar pet corporations. So, I have the insider perspective from that angle, as well.
Additionally, I have owned and operated a dog boutique. I know what it is like to be a buyer and retailer. I am also a published author, a journalist, and have been on staff at a dog magazine company. So, I have diverse first-hand PR and editorial experiences from several sides of the publishing world. Now, I am an owner in a pet-related silicon valley tech start-up, which is exposing me to a whole new level of business and brand building. My real-world experiences are coupled with a Marketing Masters degree from one of London’s top-ten business schools.
Basically, I have had my paws all over the pet industry, in multiple countries. I have an incredibly comprehensive knowledge base, which leads to my superpower – I almost always just "get it" – no matter who in the pet industry I am speaking with.
Who’s your target clientele?
My target clients are "petpreneurs" or people who dream of becoming "petpreneurs." I also work with savvy corporations who value relationships with their customers the way small businesses do.
What’s your advice for others in your industry who are in need of legal help?
In a decade of petpreneurship, I have had some tumultuous legal experiences. My best advice would be to find a legal professional you trust BEFORE you need legal help. It can provide such incredible peace of mind to have that person to call when you need to! You have so much else to worry about in your business that it’s nice to be able to turn to someone you trust to just handle the "legal stuff."
One overall business advice for your clients.
Build relationships. Wherever you go, build bridges. Be generous, and offer help. Be open to the idea that your next big break could be hiding just about anywhere. So, practice showing up each day as the person you want to be – the person you want your best customers to meet and know.
What service(s) did you use Ankhi-Krol Law for?
I have referred Ankhi-Krol Law to several of my clients for Intellectual Property ("IP") Law matters, with many seeking help with trademark law.
Why is that service(s) necessary/important in your industry?
In a space growing as quickly as the pet industry, it is critical to protect your intellectual property as soon as you have proven the viability of your product or service. I am especially keen on helping my clients to build businesses that create sustainable passive income. To achieve that, there are often elements of licensing, franchising or otherwise selling of intellectual property. That's why it’s essential that their IP is protected.
What was your overall professional experience with Ankhi-Krol Law?
I have found Shahrina to be professional, thorough, dedicated, and whip-smart. Everything you want your lawyer to be!
One fun fact about you.
I am decidedly a dog person but I am pretty sure I ended up with Great Dane as my first dog "kid" because I’ve had a life-long affinity for horses. Now that I live in London, I am working on rounding-out my cowboy roots by learning some English riding skills. I am hoping that one day very soon, I will finally fulfill a life-long dream of getting a horse or two of my own!
About Ankhi-Krol Law
Ankhi-Krol Law is a boutique law firm located in the heart of Midtown, New York City. The firm takes pride in working with ALL types of businesses in the areas of:
Business Law; Contract Law; Trademark Law; and Copyright Law
Niche focus in the following industries: Fashion, Art, Pets
Shahrina Ankhi-Krol is the founder of Ankhi-Krol Law. She started the law firm with the goal of providing accessible and transparent legal representation to small business owners after noticing that small business owners are often uninformed or ill-informed of the law. As a result, they either attempt to solve legal problems on their own or do nothing at all. Both courses of action are dangerous as “un-doing” a legal mistake – either through misfeasance or non-feasance – costs more money and time than would have been spent if the business owners obtained legal counsel from the start. Ms. Ankhi-Krol not only provides legal representation, but also provides business counseling to her clients in order to identify and address small problems before they become unmanageable.
Shahrina Ankhi-Krol, Esq.
Admitted in: NY, NJ, EDNY, SDNY
Small Business & Intellectual Property Lawyer
112 W. 34 Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10120
Phone: (212) 729-6153
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