How being a dog mom inspired a business idea for Ripley+Rue founder Jeannie North

What if I could tell you that you could start a business from literally anything? What if I could tell you that there is really only one ingredient to making that business successful? Would you believe me? That’s exactly what Jeannie North did. All she did was follow her passion of making accessories & apparel for her dogs and now she’s an unstoppable force producing clothing for both dogs and humans!

I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to interview such incredible female founders…these founders aren’t just bad ass women, they are passionate, kind, generous, forward thinking innovators, and most of all creators of community!

Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting several female founders who share insight on their success, their struggles in balancing a one man show, and what they would tell future business owners.

When you begin the journey of being an entrepreneur, it’s definitely a bit daunting and a lot of living in the grey. It takes guts and trust! Growing a business is a wild ride! This week LOTP interviews Jeannie North, owner of Ripley + Rue.

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Jeannie is also the founder of International Doodle Dog Day which began in 2016! On this special day, doodle dogs and their parents go to a meet up specifically made for doodles! This year it will take place on Saturday, May 4th. The first year had about 10 major cities celebrating and this year they have have over 40 major cities wanting to be involved from around the world!! To find out if there is a romp in your city or to create your own you can visit https://www.internationaldoodledogday.com/. Make sure to tag #internationaldoodledogday @internationaldoodledogday on May 4th to get featured on their page!

I absolutely LOVE her collections and have purchased several bandanas both customized and standard from her. She has also made my family custom @paxthedood hats. Is there anything this girl can’t do?!

ENJOY JEANNIE’S INTERVIEW BELOW AND MAKE SURE TO CHECK HER OUT AT @RIPLEYANDRUE ON INSTAGRAM!

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Tell us a bit about your background both personally and professionally.

I'm Jeannie, designer + girl boss + stay-at-home dog mom. Dogs + design are my true passion. I’m an Omaha native, but spent most of my 20’s in the SF Bay Area. After graduating college, I began my career in marketing and design, then a couple years later went back to school for web development to improve my skill set and start a new career as co-owner of a design and web agency with my husband when we moved to Omaha. After only 5 months of launching Ripley + Rue on Etsy in 2016, I stopped taking clients in my design biz and went full time on this new venture and hired an extra hand to help me sew, then expanded to human apparel and my own .com website! Since then, I haven’t looked back and know this is where so many years of searching lead me to right where I was supposed to be.  I’m goofy and weird (and proud). You can usually find me working in my slippers and listening to podcasts or dancing around to music in my shop...and talking to my dogs (I mean who else am I supposed to talk to all day 😜)

How did you get your idea or concept for the brand?

Ripley + Rue are my two doodles! I started making accessories for them, and they are my inspiration.

Tell us more about your brand and what you do!

Ripley + Rue is more than just a job for me, it’s my true passion. We are a dog accessories boutique that creates adorable and witty dog bandanas as well as human apparel for obsessed dog parents. All products are original designs handcrafted in the U.S. by the R + R team. We currently ship hundreds of products to pups around the world and we also are now carried in several stores across the US and CAN.

Looking back would you do anything different?

I think I would tell myself to work a little less, and enjoy life a little more. It took me 3 years of owning this business to have a work-life balance.

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What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

Freedom - to make what I want to make and see other's enjoy it. Knowing I make people and dogs happy with each bandana or product they wear.

Share your favorite moment or moments while growing your business.

So many!! Being featured on Buzzfeed, adding a really big client to our list (can't say who yet), and being featured in our local Chamber's video promos for Omaha. I'm so grateful for all the success and growth opportunities I've had.

What are some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur?

Self-doubt is a major one. Overworking yourself or burnout. I'm a chronic work-aholic and it becomes an issue for my personal life as well. Succeeding is an addiction to me. Worrying about competition. Just take one day at a time and know that you are only capable of so much.

Advice for other entrepreneurs or those looking to get started?

Be passionate about what you are doing, and you will succeed. Be unique, and let your brand be an extension of yourself! Show up! Show yourself in your brand and let people know you and trust you and see what you are all about.

How do you advertise your brand?

Instagram is probably my most prominent. But some facebook as well and email marketing.

How can clients reach you/collaborate with you?

They can email me at jeannie@ripleyandrue.com!

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When you read interviews like this does it make your heart skip a beat? Are you ready to take your dreams of being a business owner more seriously and learn more?

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