Ava's Pet Palace with Ava Dorsey feature #45 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #45: Ava's Pet Palace presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Ava's Pet Palace
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the honor and privilege of interviewing the Ava Dorsey, Founder of Ava's Pet Palace. As a young girl, Ava had a passion for animals and a dream to create a healthier world for pets, people, and our planet. At just 6 years old, she drew her first business plan.
Two years later, with the help of her parents, she made her dream a reality with Ava's Pet Palace. Ava's Pet Palace believes in the power of simple, organic, and all-natural ingredients to keep pets happy, healthy, and feeling great. Their treats are not only nutritious and delicious, but they are also pet-parent approved. They are committed to using only the best, high-quality ingredients in their treats. As the Founder and Chief Pet Officer of Ava's Pet Palace, she is proud to be a part of the Pet Sustainability Coalition and to use sustainable practices in all packaging and shipping. Their bags are made from 30% post-consumer materials and all orders shipped from their website are carbon neutral. But their commitment to the animal community goes beyond just making healthy treats.
They are also dedicated to giving back to animal advocates and organizations each month. Believing that all pets, whether they are in our homes, living in shelters, or even homeless, deserve lots of love, kindness, and the best nutrition. Ava's Pet Palace community of pet parents, animal lovers, and advocates share this belief and are proud to have grown into an amazing community of like-minded individuals. Today, Ava's Pet Palace is a growing business with happy customers throughout the US and their treats can be found in retailers nationwide. With the help of her mom, who works for Ava's Pet Palace full-time, the company ship hundreds of bags of treats each month. Join them on their mission to create a healthier world for pets, people, and our planet.
8 Years old
What were you doing when you were 8 years old? Well the founder of Ava's Pet Palace, finally after enough pleading to her parents, started her dream job. Ava with the help of her parents started her company in June 2017. One short year later, Ava was featured in a segment on Windy City Live with Val Warner.
2019 Ava celebrates as her treats are sold at their first store. Bentley's Pet Stuff provided a display at Earthwise Pet in Naperville, IL. The hits kept on coming in 2020 when Ava was honored by winning the WDB Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
2021 as her website states it was a BIG year for change:
Successful kickstarter campaign
first treat made at a commercial kitchen
USDA certified Organic Treats
2022 Ava once again leveled up as Ava's Pet Palace was on fire! After attending industry expos for the first time, an agreement was signed with a distributor. As a result they cleared 1,000 PetSmart stores for a limited time. Ava was named the first participant in BSM Partners Young Entrepreneur Mentorship Program. Ava's Pet Palace became active members of the Pet Sustainability Coalition. And if that wasn't impressive enough she graced the covers of THREE magazines!
Leading the Charge
Ava was gracious enough to speak with us the day before she turned 16 years old. Remarkable to look over everything she accomplished in 8+ years, just highlighted above. Ava shared with us that her Mother quit her job in 2020 to go full time with her daughter's company. She now is full-time while doing many of the day to day things. Even more impressive is Ava is the older sister to her 3 siblings (7 year old sister, 5 year old sister, and 7 month old brother).
Ava mentioned how much she enjoys working with her family on a daily basis, telling us, "It is such a cool dynamic being in the same house to talk about business things. It can be a little tough to get away at times (she said with a laugh), but ultimately it makes it a lot less professional to have conversations being our family."
Ava credits the community of Ava's Pet Palace for the continued growth of the company. It has allowed them to develop a following and increase their reach. The community organically spreading and growing allows the company to not have to pay for much marketing instead enabling them to develop partnerships and collaborations of individuals and organizations who want to share the story of Ava's Pet Palace. Follow along with their Instagram!
In talking with us Ava was so proud of their monthly donation. As she shared with us, "Every month we choose a new rescue that we partner with and donate a portion of our sales to". We asked her the process or how she chooses and she said she opens it up every month on the Instagram page for suggestions, but picking one is HARD. But unsurprisingly, much like she has watched her company grow year over year, she hopes that continued success one day allows a larger donation platform as well. "I'm excited because one day I believe we will be able to donate to multiple rescues and charities each month, that is what I hope. And also I don't want to just limit it to animals, but people too", she declared. Here is a link to the most recent rescue that Ava's Pet Palace partnered with.
Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
An innocent 8 year old had the dream to create a better option for pets. Ava told us that at 8 they only used organic ingredients and just now companies want to have healthier options for pet treats. However Ava's Pet Palace, has never had to make that transition or change. From the beginning it has been a focus on limited ingredient treats with high quality and organic ingredients only. Also there is a focus on animal health, with treats being a big contributor to that.
Ava told us that there is a huge focus on the customer service when dealing with Ava's Pet Palace and she believes that starts from being a family-owned business. She reiterated the ability to connect with buyers and supporters of the product and brand to understand where the demand is. Utilizing both sides of the equation, Ava continues to put emphasis on areas where operations can be improved.
The products are found across the country, currently in over 400 stores. Ava's Pet Palace products are also found on Amazon and their website. Ava shared how important it is to her to not only be family-owned business, but also so few black-owned businesses in the pet industry. Her company is one of few, and as she will share with us a little later, it means so much to her to be able to show others if she can do it, they can too.
Take me seriously!
We asked Ava how she got noticed and put her company on the map, but she shared it wasn't that easy in the beginning, "It took two years for my parents to agree let me start the business, but for those two years they would take me to small shows, craft fairs, and little expos. I'd be at my table, but no one would take me seriously. It was frustrating." But Ava didn't let those experiences define her, instead she utilized it as an opportunity to develop her own qualities. She told us it gave her more confidence talking to people as time went on.
Don't forget, she isn't even 8 yet...!!!
Ava stated how capital is always a challenge along with work-life-SCHOOL balance being a 16 year old. One aspect of that is still in fact going to school and being treated differently due to her success and fame. She mentioned people only noticing her because of her business. She has managed to continuing to work through that and get over that fear, allowing her to accept that possibility with some.
It started as a passion at 6 years old, for 2 years it turned into a hobby, then she manifested it into a business. Her love of animals has brought her to this moment in her life. But as she shared with us, there have been a lot of bumps in the road, which caused a lot of doubt in their minds if this would last and be sustainable. And then a moment in 2020, changed everything literally all at once.
Ava told us the story, "We were shipping out a couple orders a month and then over a few day stretch we got over 2,500 orders. Out of nowhere we had to adapt on the fly, figure out what to do, how to handle it, and change the way we did everything. At this time we were still hand rolling every treat in our kitchen!" During that same time their Instagram, blew up as well as she suddenly had over 10,000 followers. Ava said everything changed in this crazy whirlwind of a few days.
Such a crazy change from starting with tuna cat treats!
Ava told us she takes pride in the company being colorful, bright, and upbeat. They attempt to do that through their packaging, branding, and ultimately wanting to be known as a happy company. Their palate color is unique which she loves as it makes Ava's Pet Palace stand out on the shelves.
Ava told us she appreciates most how many different experiences she has had from her time with her company including the people she has met and her parents giving her the opportunity to chase her dream. But she remains humbled telling us she always knows there is room to improve, as each day presents new obstacles and hurdles. But within that is the opportunity to grow which has her and the company always striving for more.
We were curious if in her incredible 8+ years, if she has a favorite moment, and she lit up, "Making and rolling those treats in our kitchen. I still think back to those days, including when we had those 2,500 orders, so anytime I start to have stress or doubt I think back to those early days. It centers me and puts everything into perspective while showing how far we have come. It reminds me to be proud of what we have created with Ava's Pet Palace".
A day before her 16th birthday we asked if she has an end goal in mind for the company and herself, if she could shed light on what she envisions the future holding, she told us "I have an idea, but you never really know where life is going to take you or business will go. I want Ava's Pet Palace to be a known brand, where animal lovers and owners can come and want to be part of the brand because they care and worry about their animal's health. I hope we can create the palace I drew when I was 6 years old, that has always been the goal. To have a world known brand of pet care that expands into everything involving pets and all types of animals as well."
Ava just continued to amaze us with her poise, joy, and overall care throughout our chat. But given she was a day short of turning 16 and running her own company for almost a decade we wanted to ask her if she could share a message to young people like herself, what would she say? Ava told us, "The best piece of advice is to just go for it, take that jump, take that leap, but make sure it is something motivated by passions. There will be times you want to give up or are not motivated to continue, but can always go back to that motivation and passion to get back on track. There will be bumps in the road, but I love this quote, 'hard work pays off and everything you're doing now will pay off in the future."
The future is bright for Ava and Ava's Pet Palace.
Purchase from their website and use the coupon code "KLS" for a 25% discount!
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
Ava and her company have also been featured in the following publications:
And the following podcasts:
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Ava's Pet Palace with Ava Dorsey feature #45 of Together Talks
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.