By: Lara Merriam-Smith
Name of inventor/product developer: Kellie and Katya Szirom
Product: Artisan dog products.
How to buy: Bellingham Whole Foods Market, Hohl Feed & Seed, Whatcom Farmers Co-ops, our website.
Contact information: www.twoterriersinc.com
Two Terriers is a local family-run business that provides artisan dog products using minimal, natural ingredients that are
locally sourced in sustainable packaging. We use all human grade ingredients and do not add any dyes, artificial flavors
or preservatives. Our line of products include: 100% Pure Beef(heart, liver or kidney), supplement for dog and Organic
Castile soap shampoos
What was the problem you were trying to solve (or niche to fill) and how did you come up with the solution?
We have dogs and were very disturbed to find there are so many recalls on dog food products.
Our dogs are considered our family members, and we wanted to create a truly safe, nutritious supplement that
sourced from within WA State. We wanted to create a pure beef protein base that individual dog owners could
use to personalize and customize their own pets’ best diet.
What made you decide you wanted to take this idea to market?
When we started experimenting and giving samples to friends, we received positive feedback. The dogs loved
our product and their owners loved that they loved it! We spent a lot of time doing market research and
reading lists of ingredients. We hoped that our single ingredient with a single source was something that people
would want if given a choice.
What has it taken in terms of time, effort or expense to get the business up and running (or product on the shelf)?
We first had the idea for Two Terriers in June of 2014. Since then, it has been a slow process of researching and
getting all the certifications and paperwork in order. Right now we are focused on working with local business
to sell our products, which can be a slow process. While many of the buyers we have talked to like the product
by the time you work through all the administrative stuff it takes a while to show up on the store shelf. We are
also spending time doing local events to help get our product out there and meet folks who can help us spread
What was the biggest challenge you faced in the process?
Since we were starting a business for the first time, we had to do a lot of research! We spent a lot of time
looking up what licenses we needed and how to register our business. We also spent a lot of time researching
dog nutrition to educate ourselves and others about natural dog foods. It has also been a challenge to get our
name out there, as a small family-run business, we are self-funding our business and do not have the budget to
do a lot of advertising. We are finding out how challenging it is to your name out there! That is why we
encourage our customers to share our products with their friends and spread the word about our products.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you have something you are passionate about and want to share it with others, find out what it takes to make
it happen and make it happen. The best thing is to try it out first and get feedback from people you trust.
Ultimately, if you believe in your product, do not let anyone else deter you from making it happen. A lot of it is
simply getting out there doing something each day to work towards your goal. It is a lengthy and sometimes
stressful process to get everything prepared for starting a business, but once you see your products on shelves,
it makes it worth the hard work.
*This piece originally appeared in the Bellingham Herald.