It all started with a rescued Aspin (a portmanteau of Asong Pinoy or Native Dog in the Philippines), and the desire to make it feel and look good. It was this beautiful beginning that sparked the launch of Pawdel, a lifestyle pet brand that is sure to make anyone swoon.
We spent some time with co-founder Arrian M. Lim to find out more…
Tell us the journey that lead you to launching your brand, Pawdel…
This isn’t my first business. But I’ve always dreamed of putting up any business for pets. In fact, my first business’ name was “Patchiro” – named after my first two dogs Patchi and Robby even though it had nothing to do with pets. Me and my partner have been to Europe and she would always buy all the nice stuff for our dogs. Until I realized we didn’t have any comparable accessories for pets here in the Philippines unless you go to a luxury pet supplies store filled with imported brands. That was my “Aha!” moment and I immediately worked on my business plan
Where did your love for dogs come from?
I grew up with dogs and cats in the household for as far back as my memory can recall so the love has always been there. Then I moved out at 21 and lived in an apartment that disallowed pets. I lived 4 years without a pet until we rescued Robby. He was my first dog as the primary caregiver. The responsibility is leaps and bounds different compared with before wherein you just pat their head, play with them and leave the rest of the responsibility to your mom. I certainly believe raising Robby advanced my maturity, patience and discipline by several years. That responsibility translated my love for them as if my dogs are my children.
Do you ever plan on extending your range and offering more products in the future?
I don’t view Pawdel as a pet accessories business. I see it as a pet lifestyle brand because my mission is to nurture the relationship between mankind and their most loyal pet companion. We started nurturing that with a wearable piece of love. But we recently started nurturing that too with a consumable piece of love like our successful Eau de Pawlogne (pet cologne). Our “North Star” remains the same in spite of a continuously evolving pet care market. I think that’s what keeps us agile yet focused in our strategic direction.
Since launching the biz, what has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment has been to break the barriers in what people thought Pawdel couldn’t do. They said nobody would ever buy a USD 30 dog collar in the Philippines yet it is our cash cow right now after 2 years in the business. Neither did they believe that a humble small company in the Philippines, a pet care market with a very low per capita spending in spite of being a nation in the top 6 global dog population, can export to a first-world market yet we did break that barrier too.
Have you had to make any pivots to survive 2020?
Yes, we did but not as dramatic as some other businesses. Luckily, we started as an e-commerce business. So we’re not catching up in today’s contactless and “homebody economy”. We had already been seeing tremendous growth in the pet care industry before it was amplified now during this pandemic. More people spend their time and money at home now, further developing that bond with their pets.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
I rarely regret anything as I’d rather learn from it. My progress today wouldn’t have been possible had I not had any of those setbacks in the past. Tomorrow’s success is the byproduct of yesterday’s failures.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Frank Sinatra didn’t have the best voice. He was the most famous singer. But some guy singing in the shower somewhere probably had the best voice and nobody heard him sing but himself.” A lot of great talent, product or service went unnoticed and didn’t succeed because that trait alone wouldn’t sell itself. You have to go out there to be discovered and make it happen. No matter what you do in life, we are all in the business of sales.
When lacking motivation, what is your go-to quote?
“I may be very good at it today, but I’m not yet good enough for tomorrow.” I always repeat this to myself to have the confidence in facing my challenges but it also humbles me to remain a student of the game of life.
What have you learned during 2020 that no other year has taught you?
No amount of success can make your fortune irreversible. All the accumulation of wealth and belongings can be wiped out in an instant. And that’s a very unstable anchor for happiness. So it’s best that your satisfaction in life should be oriented on giving and making a positive difference to others. It doesn’t matter if that’s in the form of charity, hobby or business.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your Bucketlist?
I’ve always been curious to discover the far ends of the Earth like Tibet, the Aurora Borealis of Norway, a safari tour in South Africa or the tail end of Chile and Argentina in Tierra del Fuego.
Where can people find out more?
People can discover more about Pawdel at www.pawdel.ph. We’re also open for international trade and distribution partners as our brand is now ripe for an adventure to meet dog and cat lovers from around the world.