Fargo seventh grader Ivy Mastrud has taken it upon herself to make sure dogs look dapper with her YEA Shark Tank-winning business BowWow Bo Ties.
Even though Mastrud’s concept won the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy this year, as Mastrud tells it, the concept was a last-minute replacement.
“The whole time I was working on this other business,” Mastrud said. “I changed it two weeks before the investors panel.”
While she was brainstorming a new business idea, Mastrud said she also wanted to think of an idea that would allow her to meet dogs, if possible. She looked at her dog, whom she described as a “big fashionista,” and the bow tie concept came to her.
“They were easy to make,” Mastrud said, “and each one can be a little different.”
The bow ties are made with cotton fabric, hot glue, and thread.
“At first there was a little bit of a learning curve,” Mastrud said, but with time and repetition she became quick at making the dog accessories.
In addition to dog bow ties, Mastrud has also been purchasing matching socks for owners to wear alongside their suited-up pups.
Mastrud is working on getting the bow ties into vet clinics and potentially Fargo boutique Olive Street. Response to the accessories so far has been positive.
“Customers who have bought them are in love with them,” Mastrud said.
The ambition needed for business ownership has been with Mastrud from a young age.
“Ever since I was like three, I’ve been doing lemonade stands,” she said. “I have a few family members in entrepreneurship, but I really like the idea of just going for it and doing my own thing.”
One skill Mastrud took away from her YEA experience is the ability to present her ideas to an audience.
“It taught me really how to public speak,” Mastrud said of YEA.
Mastrud is working on getting a website set up for BowWow Bo-Ties. Her ambition for the company is pretty simple: “I would like to see dogs wearing my bow ties,” she said.
For more information on Young Entrepreneurs Academy, visit fmwfchamber.org/YEA. 1 Million Cups Fargo takes place each Wednesday from 9:15-10:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.